Manteca Unified schools will be well represented this Sunday for the 8th annual San Joaquin Soccer Alliance Senior Showdown at Delta College.
The boys and girls all-star games features many of the top senior talent from this past winter high school season, with the Valley Oak League joining forces with West and Tracy on the South team to face off with the North, which is made up of players from Tri-City Athletic League and San Joaquin Athletic Association schools.
Local coaches will head the South sides.
Sierra’s Manuel Pires, Manteca’s Justin Coenenberg and West’s Nate Perry will combine to lead the South girls. Pires guided his Timberwolves (24-1-2) to a second straight VOL crown and the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals. They got the better of Coenenberg’s Buffaloes (19-6-2) in the second round, 2-1.
Included on the South team are the Sierra quartet of Daisy Valencia, Emily Cunial, Jasmine Loaiza and Yolanda Tavares. Joining them are Alexa Mayen, a key member of Manteca’s SJS championship squad two years ago, and Weston Ranch’s Laysha Alvarado.
East Union’s Ronnie Green and Tracy’s Phil Kalis are coaching the South boys. Green led the Lancers (19-5-4) to a runner-up finish in the VOL and second-round playoff appearance. He’ll be reunited with five of his top players, including league MVP Oscar Soto and first-team selections Jacob Garcia, Jesus Hurtado and Trent Rivera and second-teamer Tyler Soulier.
League champion Sierra (15-5-3) is represented by Edgar Reynoso. Manteca has one all-star in Erik Ruelas, while Notre Dame de Namur signee Christian Cardenas of Lathrop and Devon Alvarenga, Weston Ranch’s top goal scorer, will also link up with their former rivals.
The North will be coached by Tokay’s Ruben Gomez (boys) and Franklin’s Saul Hernandez (girls).
It’s a two-day event for the participants starting today with a training session and guest-speaker presentations from the Delta College soccer programs. Former Sierra standout Nicole Vanni (2009) is among the event organizers along with Lincoln graduates Eric Martin, Will Martin and David Wardell.
Admission is $5, and students (with IDs) and kids are free.