Right foot or left foot, it doesn’t matter.
Give Chris Amaro enough time to put his foot on the ball and the chances are it will land in the back of the net.
Tulare Union found out first-hand just how deadly the Dinuba striker can be with the ball at his feet.
Amaro scored three goals in the Central Section Division III championship match and the Emperors once again reigned supreme atop the Valley.
“Before the game, I asked him how he felt. I asked how many goals he had in him,” Dinuba coach Francisco Echeverria said. “He said at least a couple.”
Amaro delivered just like he had all year.
The 2014-15 Times-Delta/Advance-Register Tulare County boys soccer player of the year finished with a single-season, school-record 46 goals and led the Emperors to the Central Sequoia League crown and the Division III championship.
“For me, it was a great experience,” Amaro said. “I never thought I would score 46 goals. That was never my intention. Going through the season, I realized I could beat the record. That and winning Valley became my focus.”
The previous school record for goals in a season was 44.
Amaro tied the record through the Valley championship game. He then scored two more to break the record in the CIF Division III Southern California Regionals.
The Emperors lost that first-round game, but the season was already a huge success.
“For Chris, it was a dream to go to state,” Echeverria said. “And it came true. I was happy for him because I was there before. I knew these guys had the potential. They were great athletes and great players. I was happy for them to experience it. It is something they won’t forget.”
At one point in his high school career, Amaro wasn’t sure if he’d ever wear a Dinuba uniform.
During his sophomore year, Amaro opted to play club ball. When the club team he played for disbanded the team before his junior, Amaro decided why not represent his school? And he made the most of that decision.
“I found high school a lot more fun,” Amaro said. “I felt like it was a better experience having all those fans watching. And it felt great playing for my high school and representing Dinuba.”
Amaro’s talents didn’t go unnoticed. He was recruited by several colleges, including Sonoma State, Chico State and UC Davis.
But San Jose State felt like the right school for him and that’s where he’ll be playing soccer in the fall.
“I really liked how the coaches were there and I heard a lot of good things about them,” Amaro said. “I wanted to be a part of the experience of playing with them.”
Amaro will ride off into the San Jose sunset with a Central Section championship to his credit.
His coach will also be riding into the sunset after winning his second Central Section title as the team’s head coach.
“He’s a great coach,” Amaro said. “He’s always been on top of the students and making sure they kept their grades up. He had a lot of faith in his players. I was glad I was coached by him.”
And Echeverria was glad to coach a player of Amaro’s caliber.
“In all these years at Dinuba, he’s probably one of the top three players I’ve had,” Echeverria said. “He’s a complete soccer player. He can kick with both his left and right foot and could take shots from any distance. He was very dedicated and one of the team captains.
” … He works so hard. I can see why he’s such a good player. He has a passion for the sport and will keep trying his best to keep improving.”
All-Tulare County Honors
The following players earned 2014-15 Times-Delta/Advance-Register all-Tulare County boys soccer honors:
Chris Amaro, Dinuba
Pedro Berber, Farmersville
Adan Carrillo, Tulare Western
Arnulfo Cisneros, Golden West
Josh De Los Santos, Golden West
Jonathan Gutierrez, Lindsay
Jose Hernandez, Golden West
Arturo Najera, Mission Oak
Fernando Robles, Monache
Jason Ruiz, El Diamante
Ernie Vargas, Dinuba
Christian Webb, Tulare Union
Coach of the Year: Francisco Echeverria, Dinuba