Only a sophomore, East Union’s Giovanni Perez was one of the top goal scorers in the Sac-Joaquin Section this past season.
The Lancers’ attacking midfielder notched 28 goals overall, tied for fifth most in the SJS. He accounted for the majority of East Union’s 50 goals and was voted All-Valley Oak League MVP.
“Gio was instrumental to our success,” East Union coach Ronnie Green said. “He was continually double-teamed and still scored over 50% of our team’s goals.”
Green is the Coach of the Year. The Lancers finished 10-1-1 in league and 13-6-7 overall but was denied the VOL title after the regular season for playing a suspended player, leading to them forfeiting multiple games. East Union still has five all-league selections while four others made the second team.
The league championship went to Sierra (10-1-1, 18-3-2), which also has five all-leaguers. The Timberwolves were the last area team standing when they reached the SJS Division III semifinals. It’s their third VOL crown in four seasons and seventh in all.
Featured on the All-VOL team for Sierra are junior forward Audie Garza (14 goals, 10 assists), junior midfielder Jorge Reyes (seven goals, four assists), senior defensive midfielder Gerrit DeRuyter (goal, assist), junior defender Adam Montero and senior goalkeeper Anthony Ayala.
East Union’s first-team selections are junior midfielder Anthony Sy, junior defender Samir Azizpor, senior defender Omar Lopez and sophomore goalie Andres Garcia.
Runner-up Weston Ranch is highlighted by junior forward Alexis Chavez (10 assists) and senior midfielder Angel Zapata (12 assists) on the All-VOL first team. They each paced the Cougars with 18 goals. Joining them are junior midfielder Sergio Garcia (nine goals, 10 assists) and junior defender Zinedine Valdez (10 goals, seven assists).
Senior defender Rafael Sanchez is Manteca’s lone representative on the first team.
Included on the All-VOL second team: Sierra sophomore forward Emmanuel Ruiz, East Union senior forward Corwin Snyder, East Union junior midfielder Ivan Chavez, East Union sophomore midfielder Angel Guzman, Weston Ranch senior midfielder Ivan Guerra, Sierra junior defender Paul Pimentel, East Union senior defender Hugo Martinez, Weston Ranch senior defender Cesar Juarez, Weston Ranch senior goalie Marcos Arriaza and Manteca senior goalkeeper Daniel Garcia.
Earning honorable mention: Sierra’s Juan Lara, Emiliano Sanchez, Jacob DeRuyter, Joey Velasquez, Larry Azevedo; Weston Ranch’s Armando Montes, Aaron Silva, Jaime Arreola, Mauricio Morales; East Union’s Cooper Rossi, Armando Silva and Oscar Zavala.