It was a year of firsts for the top boys’ soccer programs in the De Anza League. Desert Mirage High School played its first season after the retirement of legendary head coach Jorge Chavez. It was Rancho Mirage’s first varsity season.
But both teams finished atop the league standings, won at least one playoff game each, and this week took home the league’s top postseason awards.
Desert Mirage’s Alejandro Pimentel and Armando Rivera were named the league’s top offensive and defensive players, and Rancho Mirage’s Josue Velasquez was named the top goalkeeper in the De Anza League.
Desert Mirage, led by first-year head coach Peter Zamora, was represented with five players on the first team, including Juan Gutierrez, Irvin Centeno and Fred Zaragoza.
Rancho Mirage has three players: Velasquez, Luis Gastelum and Gerardo Munoz-Garcia.
Eduardo Gardono of Shadow Hills, Carlos Minero of Desert Hot Springs and KJ Magwood of Twentynine Palms were also first team selections.
“These kids, this is the program that works the hardest,” Zamora said of his squad last week. “These kids work year round and we’re real proud of what they’ve accomplished.”
In all 10 Desert Mirage players were honored with selections to the All-De Anza League team, and several of them will return next season for the Rams, who will likely be the early favorites in November.
All De Anza
Offensive MVP: Alejandro Pimentel, Desert Mirage
Defensive MVP: Armando Rivera, Desert Mirage
Goalkeeper of the Year: Josue Velasquez, Rancho Mirage
Alejandro Pimentel, Desert Mirage
Armando Rivera, Desert Mirage
Fred Zaragoza, Desert Mirage
Irvin Centeno, Desert Mirage
Juan Gutierrez, Desert Mirage
Josue Velasquez, Rancho Mirage
Luis Gastelum, Rancho Mirage
Gerardo Munoz-Garcia, Rancho Mirage
Eduardo Gardono, Shadow Hills
Hugo Herrera, Shadow Hills
Carlos Minero, Desert Hot Springs
KJ Magwood, Twentynine Palms
Luis Hernandez, Desert Mirage
Ramses Mora, Desert Mirage
Jose Vargas, Desert Mirage
Jesus Negrete, Desert Mirage
Gerardo Serrano, Rancho Mirage
Nathan Ocampo, Rancho Mirage
Rodolfo Barcenas, Rancho Mirage
Noah Costello, Shadow Hills
Isaac Vargas, Shadow Hills
Oswaldo Serrano, Desert Hot Springs
Samuel Smith, Twentynine Palms
Christian Galarza, Desert Mirage
Daniel Whelan, Rancho Mirage
Angel Villalobos, Shadow Hills
Jaime Monjaraz, Desert Hot Springs
Jake Thacker, Twentynine Palms