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Three Indians land spots on all-TVL first team
Ripon Highs Cesar Nuno starts a counterattack in a Trans-Valley League match with Hilmar Oct. 6. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Ripon High junior midfielder Arik Anaya only played the second half of the Trans-Valley League season.

The small sample size was enough to convince TVL coaches to vote him onto the all-league first team.

Anaya is one of three Indians to be selected, with three others earning honorable mention. In the Southern League, Ripon Christian had two players make the honorable-mention list.

Ripon (7-5 TVL, 9-14 overall) was at its best after Anaya rejoined the squad from a knee injury. He hadn’t played since Ripon’s nonleague-opening loss to Central Catholic and returned for the pivotal Hilmar match to start the second round of the conference schedule.

They went on to win five of their last six games of the year, including two over Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V postseason qualifiers Hilmar and Hughson. Ripon nearly completed its improbable run to a playoff berth until TVL champion Riverbank spoiled it with a 3-1 win in the second-to-last game of the regular season.

Anaya finished with four goals on the season, three coming over that final six-game stretch. Sam Bennet, the team’s leading scorer with eight goals and three assists, and veteran senior defender Cesar Nuno were the other Indians named to the first team.

Getting honorable mention were seniors Andre DeDonatis and Felix Garcia along with junior forward Jack Brierly (five goals, five assists).

Riverbank’s Martin Gonzales Jr. is Coach of the Year, and Bruins goalkeeper Rafael Ramirez and Hughson defender Anthony Lopez were tabbed co-MVP.

Ripon Christian’s rebuilding process continued in its second year back in the SL, where it placed seventh out of eight squads. The Knights finished 2-11-1 in league and 6-14-1 overall.

Goalkeeper Jon Vander Molen and junior defender Christian Manes are RC’s representatives on the all-league team. Manes was the team’s second-leading scorer on the year with seven goals and three assists.

The SL’s top honors went to champion Gustine, led by Coach of the Year Octavio Martinez and standout striker Jose Barriga, whose 45 goals and 21 assists combine for a state-high 111 points.