SOCCER: Cougars Say Thank You to the Seniors

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Weston Ranch soccer said good-bye and thank you to their Seniors on May 18th. After a beautiful pre-game ceremony, the Cougars took the field and handed their senior teammates a 6-1 victory over visiting Escalon High School. Cougar soccer has a strong tradition. The nine seniors playing for the final time at Weston Ranch were great examples of a proud program.

The Prowl asked head coach Francisco Cisneros to write about his seniors. What follows is Cisneros’s tribute to each of these terrific student-athletes who displayed heart, courage, and joy playing the game each of them loves.

“Overall, if I had to describe this year’s seniors in one word, it would be “winners.” This group knows how to win. They only lost one league game last year, and this year they’ve only lost two. Their combined league record going back to the previous year is 15-3-3 and 18-4-7 overall. Those are great numbers and a testament to the excellence they bring to the field. I’ve been lucky to coach these guys for the last two years. I want to thank them for their time and effort over the years. They will be missed, but hopefully, I will see them in the stands as I do with so many former players. As a coach, that’s one of my favorite sights, seeing former players come back to watch their Alma mater play. It speaks volumes of what a great run we’ve been on over the years.”-head coach Francisco Cisneros

Sergio Rayo

Sergio is a skilled midfielder that I can always count on for quality minutes. He does things with the ball that not too many players can do. He is crafty, has great vision, and makes his teammates better. He, too, is one of the hardest workers on the team. He rarely misses practice. He was also part of the VOL championship team last year.

Alex Cadis

Alex brings tons of experience to the field. He was a huge part of our championship run last year. He has excellent leadership qualities and was selected as one of our team captains. Alex has also been one of the hardest workers on the team. He showed up all summer, and I can’t remember a day when he missed practice.

Dannick Hernandez

Dannick has tons of energy and works relentlessly both on offense and defense. He probably scored the biggest goal of the season this year, which was the winning goal against Oakdale, and those 3 points were huge in the VOL standings for us. Dannick is respectful and very coachable. Like the other seniors, he was part of last year’s championship team.

Rogelio Garcia

Rogelio has a great attitude and is a great competitor. He manages to work, keep grades up, and play soccer. He is always at practice and has a great understanding of our tactics. I could see him being a coach one day. He went from sneaking onto our bus as a sophomore during a trip to Turlock (he wasn’t on the team at the time) to becoming a key member and captain of our team. Rogelio has shown tremendous growth, and he, too, was a big part of our championship team last year.

Chris Lopez

Chris is a natural leader. His peers and coaches respect him. He is resilient after suffering a knee injury that kept him out his entire Junior Year. Chris has managed to make a complete comeback and has started every game at goalie when he’s been available. Chris brought a great deal of experience to the field and was also part of last year’s championship team.

Mauro Valdez

Mauro is an intense player that shuts down opponents at either left or right back. He is a great leader and demands a lot from his teammates. He is one of our captains, and his fiery personality and toughness on the field were a big part of our championship team in 2020. Mauro is extremely intelligent on and off the field. He has a bright future ahead of him. We have some big games coming up, and Mauro will be a crucial piece of our attempt to shut opponents down.

Bernadino Ramirez

Bernardino is the ultimate teammate.  He has a great attitude and has been a pleasure to coach.  He can score goals or stop goals as goalie.  He’s had to fill in at goalie several times and has done an exceptional job.  I hope more players had a positive attitude like Bernie.   Like others, he works, maintains grades and plays the sport he loves.  He was also part of 2020 VOL championship team.

Sergio Flores

Sergio stays ready when he gets the call. He is managing work, school, and playing soccer. He has a great soccer mind and a good understanding of our tactics. I can trust him for critical minutes at either forward or defense. He has a great attitude and is a team player. He, like the others, knows what it takes to win a VOL championship.

Not pictured. Jesus Diaz #20
Jesus had been working really hard for his senior season. Unfortunately, an early injury took him out for the entire season. Jesus was going to be a big part of our midfield this year. He, too, was a part of last year’s championship team.

The Cougars have two games left to play. On Tuesday, May 25th, they take on East Union in a must-win match for Weston Ranch. The Cougars will look to avenge an early-season loss to the Lancers. Weston Ranch needs to win Tuesday’s game and Wednesday’s game against Sierra to have a shot at winning the VOL title. A win against EU will get the Cougars close, but they will need some help from the rest of the VOL as they currently sit in third place with a 7-2-1 record.  . Both of next week’s games will be on the road.