The 2015 soccer season ended almost a month ago, but it’s been rather difficult for the Blackhawks to forget. First, both the girls’ and boys’ squads reached the CIF Southern Section semifinals. Then, on March 6, the boys won the Division II title in a game in which they trailed by two goals.
The Blackhawks won most of the Desert Valley League’s major postseason awards, on the boys’ and girls’ side in the ensuing weeks. A month later and the accolades keep rolling in for La Quinta, which finished the season 24-6-1.
La Quinta striker Jesus Avalos was honored as the CIF Player of the Year and head coach Gary Nadler wrapped the season with a bow in being named the Division II Coach of the Year. They were among a group of seven from La Quinta honored by the CIF Southern Section.
Others included midfielder Daniel Alexander, a first team all-CIF selection with Avalos, defenders Sergio Gonzalez and Isaac Sanchez on the second team and forward Adam Lopez and goalie Sebastian Ascencio on the third team. All but Avalos and Sanchez will return to defend their title in November.
Also from the DVL, brothers Kevin and Jason Samperio of Palm Desert were honored on the all-CIF Division II squad. Kevin, a senior defender, was a first team selection. Jason, a sophomore midfielder, earned third team honors.
Two La Quinta players were named on the girls’ side of the all-CIF squad, which was announced last month. They were Aileen Galicia, who led the league with 23 goals and 49 points, and defender Melita Pena.
Avalos is the first player from the Coachella Valley to win CIF Player of the Year since Coachella Valley High’s Enrique Cardenas won it in 2009. He’s also the first La Quinta player do earn the award since Cullen Wilson in 2007. Cardenas went on to star at UC-Irvine before signing a professional contract in Mexico. Wilson played collegiality at Stanford.
Avalos led the DVL in points this year, scoring 19 goals and adding 17 assists. He finishes his career at La Quinta with a record 40 assists and 46 goals, which is second only to Wilson in program history.
“This is a year we’ll remember for along time,” Nadler said last month. “We’re really excited about what we have coming back next year, too.”
Player of the Year: Jesus Valos, La Quinta, sr.
Coach of the Year: Gary Nadler, La Quinta
First Team (local players}
Jesus Avalos, La Quinta, sr.
Daniel Alexander, La Quinta, jr.
Kevin Samperio, Palm Desert, sr.
Sergio Gonzalez, La Quinta, jr.
Isaac Sanchez, La Quinta, sr.
Adam Lopez, La Quinta, jr.
Sebastian Ascencio, La Quinta, soph.
Jason Samperio, Palm Desert, soph.