Jaguar boys soccer players honored by 6-4A coaches

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Thought to be one of the District 6-4A frontrunners before the season, Valencia fell short of their team goals by coming in third and missing the Class 4A state playoffs. They finished the season at 10-7 and 5-5 in district behind Los Lunas and Miyamura.

News-Bulletin file photo: Diego Ramirez, right, was named to the All-District 6-4A first team. His Valencia High boys soccer teammate, Zeus Mendoza, also made the first team.

It seemed that the coaches voting for the District 6-4A season-ending honors felt that the Jaguars fell short of expectations in individual play also, at least according to Jag coach Eric Gutierrez.

“I only had two players selected as first-team all district,” said Gutierrez, disappointed that his kids did not get much recognition.

The Jaguars did not have players on any of the Class 4A all-state teams.

Senior Diego Ramirez was practically a lock for the District 6-4A first team. The midfielder was on the first team last season and had eight goals and five assists in 2012.

“He was, by far, my best player on the field,” said Gutierrez. “He controlled the entire game, tiring the opposing team, and opening up so many opportunities for other players.”

Defender Zeus Mendoza also made the first team all-district list.

“He was my best defender,” said Gutierrez. “He isn’t fast, but he is solid. It is nearly impossible to get past him. He is also an excellent, aggressive player who doesn’t allow anyone to get in his head nor disrupt his game.”

Mendoza was also consistent, and didn’t miss much playing time throughout the year.

“Without Zeus in the defense, we would of had a lot more goals against us,” said Gutierrez. “He also was one of the few players that would play all 80 minutes, and more with overtime.”

The Jaguars did place three players on the second team. Junior midfielder Saul Frayre, junior forward Alan Ramirez and senior forward Joel Molina earned second-team 6-4A honors.

Junior defender Jose Zarrasola and senior Rodney Benard made honorable mention all-district.

“Rodney Bernard is an excellent player, and great person to be around,” said Gutierrez. “He had the best attitude in a student-athlete I have ever seen.”

Gutierrez complimented Frayre and Diego Ramirez for their team concept.

“We didn’t have a player who can score goals, this made our season real difficult,” said the Jaguar coach. “But Diego (Ramirez) stepped up as our top scorer and by not being greedy. He gave assists to anyone open on the pitch. Diego was a leader to this team.”

“Saul Frayre was another all-around player that supported the defense,” said Gutierrez of his midfielder. “He was one of Diego’s main partners on the field.”

Molina scored eight goals and had one assist.

“He was, by far, my best forward,” said Gutierrez, who felt that Molina would have been named to the first team had he not missed part of the year while tending to family issues.

“He has an exceptional eye for scoring goals. He can score from any position the defense allows him to score. If we had him at the beginning of the season, I feel he would of been an all-star player.”

Gutierrez is planning on returning next year. He will miss five seniors from the 2012 team — all of whom were starters.

“We do have a lot of hard work ahead of us,” he said


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.