Prep2Prep 2018-19 CCS Boys Soccer Honors
St. Ignatius' Sean Bilter is the Prep2Prep CCS boys soccer player of the year.


Player of the Year


Certainly, the St. Ignatius boys soccer program has seen its share of success over the past few seasons. The Wildcats have won three straight West Catholic Athletic League titles, captured two Central Coast Section Open Division championships previous to this past season and added a CIF NorCal Division I title in 2018, the first year in which that tournament was played. So when a player exiting the program is described as arguably the most decorated player in program history, one should pay attention.

That’s exactly how coach Alan Downey described senior Sean Bilter, the top defender over the last few years for St. Ignatius. Bilter, who was named the WCAL Defender of the Year this season, became a varsity starter as a sophomore, not coincidentally at the same time which the Wildcats started their amazing three-year run.

“He had tremendous maturity, even as a sophomore,” Downey said. “We built our entire defensive strategy around him when he was a junior, and he did anything we needed him to as a senior.”

Given his skill set, Bilter would have been a tremendous influence in the midfield or even on the attack. But staying with his consistent with what Downey described as a personality trait of selflessness, Bilter sacrificed personal statistics to do what was best for St. Ignatius, which was to anchor the defensive unit and prevent other teams from getting good looks at the goal.

That’s not to say he did not showcase his offensive ability at times, either. In early January, facing eventual Arizona 6A state champion Brophy College Prep, Downey moved Bilter up front in the final five minutes of a scoreless match. The UC Davis commit responded by scoring the game-winning goal, giving the Wildcats one of their signature wins for the season.

“He could have been great for us offensively if needed, and displayed so much versatility,” Downey added. “But he was so great defensively for us. He would take leading scorers from other teams and not even let them get a look at the goal.”

Indeed, the Wildcats allowed just 17 goals all season long, and three of those came in an early-season loss to Southern Section powerhouse Loyola. The best stretch of the season came late, when SI put up a 10-game unbeaten streak, winning its final nine games of the regular season, including a big win over eventual CCS and NorCal champion Bellarmine. That late stretch cemented a third straight league title for the Wildcats.

The season for St. Ignatius came to a somewhat premature end, falling in the Open Division quarterfinals to Branham. The previous year, when the CIF awarded at-large berths on a regional level, the Wildcats would have been a shoo-in to receive one of the at-large berths. The formula changed this year, stripping the CCS of any possible at-large teams, which ended all hope for the Wildcats.

Even in the final game, however, Bilter was strong defensively, and after an early goal, Branham never again got a good look at a shot. Now, he will take his all-around skill set to go play Division I soccer, carrying with him the successes of his high school career.

“He is a fantastic representative of our program, and will continue to be at the next level,” Downey said. “He deserves this accolade and many more.”

For his efforts throughout the season, we are pleased to recognize Sean Bilter as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Player of the Year.

Other players considered include Cupertino’s Chris Ortiz, Bellarmine’s Mario Barocio, Santa Clara’s Solomon Kendaya and Soquel’s Ryan Jordan.

Coach of the Year

Branham's Danny Kadah (third from the left) is the Prep2Prep CCS boys soccer coach of the year. Ryan McCarthy/Prep2Prep


Two years ago, Branham stormed to a league title and a top seed in the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs, only to find itself ousted in the quarterfinals. Last year was a rebuilding year for the Bruins, which left them off the radar of many teams headed into the 2018-2019 season. But despite numerous moments of adversity, Branham rose to the challenge this past season, capturing not only another Mount Hamilton championship, but surprising the rest of the section with a run to the Open Division title game and a berth in the CIF NorCal playoffs.

The Bruins took early control of the BVAL-Mt. Hamilton title race with an 11-game unbeaten streak, combining non-league with league success early in the year. However, a 4-1 loss to Prospect and a 1-0 loss to Pioneer left Branham in a must-win situation headed into its final game of the regular season, hosting Prospect in a match that would decide the league title and berth into the Open Division playoffs.

Despite the pressure of the moment, the Bruins stayed loose in the big-game environment, prevailing 2-1 over the Panthers. With the victory came a league title, but also a daunting quarterfinal match-up in the Open Division quarterfinals, facing three-time WCAL champion St. Ignatius, which was also the two-time defending CCS Open Division champion and the reigning CIF NorCal Division I champion. The Bruins went on the attack early, getting a first-half goal from Nick Orozco and then holding off multiple offensive surges by the Wildcats to notch the upset.

Three days later, Branham found itself in a defensive struggle against Soledad, scoreless through one half, with the Aztecs peppering the goal against keeper Tanner Lanphear, who would finish the game with eight saves. This time, the Bruins stayed loose despite the stakes and found the net in the second half on a game-winner from junior Carter Thompson. Their ability to adapt in the moment came as no surprise to the team, which had been learning how to play on the fly all season under coach Danny Kadah.

“His style really allows you to learn for yourself, and he then steps in as needed,” said Branham defender Derek Hogan. “He uses the feedback given from players and uses it to better the team. And we certainly got better through the year.”

The win over Soledad propelled the Bruins into the Open Division title game, where they faced another WCAL power, Bellarmine. This time, the Bells gained control with a first-half goal and then held off a few second-half challenges from the Branham attack. Despite the loss, the Bruins were still placed in Division I for the CIF NorCal playoffs, which resulted in a quarterfinal loss to Sac-Joaquin power and eventual regional finalist Jesuit-Carmichael.

For Branham, the season may have ended with a pair of losses to elite opponents, but the overall body of work was no doubt the greatest in program history. An unbeaten run at the Pioneer Valley Tournament in Santa Maria, capturing the BVAL-Mt. Hamilton title, reaching the CCS Open Division title game and being selected for the NorCal Division I playoffs are all accomplishments which will remain with this year’s group of Bruins.

And for all his efforts throughout the season, we are pleased to recognize Danny Kadah as the Prep2Prep Central Coast Section Coach of the Year.

Other coaches considered include Bellarmine’s Conor Salcido, Watsonville’s Roland Hedgpeth and Soledad’s Reyes Mendoza.

Danny Kadah is the president of Prep2Prep; however, he is not involved in the all-CCS selection decision-making process.


Solomon Kendaya, Santa Clara
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Kendaya was named MVP of the SCVAL-De Anza Division, and was responsible for over half of the Bruins’ goals during the season.

Ryan Jordan, Soquel
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Despite battling injury, Jordan scored 17 goals and was named co-MVP of the SCCAL for the Knights, leading them to back-to-back league titles. The Chico State commit had the game-winning goal in seven different league games, and scored 59 times over the past three seasons.

Cormac Gallagher, St. Ignatius
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The Forward of the Year in the WCAL, Gallagher paced the Wildcats to their third straight WCAL title. He scored 16 goals for the season, 13 of them during league play.

Chris Ortiz, Cupertino
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The Most Valuable Player in the SCVAL-El Camino, Ortiz tallied 23 goals and five assists to lead the Pioneers to a division title and a berth in the CCS Division II playoffs.

Ricardo Tovar Herrera, Mt. Pleasant
Position: Forward
Year: Sophomore

The BVAL-Mt. Hamilton Sophomore of the Year had 18 goals and three assists for the Cardinals, giving him 36 goals in his young high school career.

Mario Barocio, Bellarmine
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The Midfielder of the Year in the WCAL, Barocio tallied 10 goals and eight assists for the CCS Open Division and CIF NorCal Division I champions.

Eric Vazquez, Watsonville
Position: Midfielder
Year: Junior

A first-team PCAL-Gabilan selection, Vazquez had 11 goals and four assists for the ‘Catz, including a key tally in the CIF NorCal Division II semifinal win over Richmond.

Joey Kettle, Pioneer
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

Kettle was named Senior of the Year for the BVAL-Mt. Hamilton, leading the Mustangs past Carlmont in the quarterfinals of the CCS Division III playoffs before falling to eventual champion Sacred Heart Cathedral.

Dane Pendleton, Prospect
Position: Midefielder
Year: Junior

Pendleton was the key piece on the field for a Prospect team which fell short of a league title but made a strong post-season run, capturing the CCS Division I title and reaching

Sean Bilter, St. Ignatius
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

Bilter was named Defender of the Year in the WCAL, anchoring a back line for the Wildcats that allowed just 17 goals in 21 games, leading SI to the league title. He is committed to UC Davis.

Casey Jaeb, Bellarmine
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The Bells allowed just 16 goals in 24 matches, including shutouts in every CCS Open Division playoff game. Jaeb was a huge reason why, and earned first-team All-WCAL honors as a result. He added three goals and seven assists.

Andy Barajas, Overfelt
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The Royals had a difficult time scoring goals this season, but stayed in games thanks to Barajas’ efforts along the back line. He was named Player of the Year in the BVAL-Mt. Hamilton and has committed to San Jose State.

Ricardo Alvarado, Watsonville
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The first-team PCAL-Gabilan selection was responsible for anchoring a Wildcatz’ defense which allowed just 23 goals in 25 matches, leading Watsonville to a league title and a berth in the CIF NorCal Division II title game.

Willem Kelson, Saint Francis
Position: Goalkeeper
Year: Senior

The University of San Diego commit was named Keeper of the Year in the WCAL, as the Lancers allowed a paltry 11 goals all season long.


Scott Tracy, Carmel
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Tracy had 23 goals and 10 assists for the Padres, leading the section in overall points. That included a goal during a CCS Division III playoff win over Half Moon Bay.

Ruben Esqueda, Soledad
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The first-team PCAL-Gabilan selection had 12 goals and nine assists during the regular season for the Aztecs, who defeated Burlingame in the Open Division quarterfinals.

Ellis Brenneman, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The Fightin’ Irish thrived once Brenneman was moved into the center of their attack, eventually winning the CCS Division II title with the first-team All-WCAL selection as their primary scorer and distributor.

Angel Luis Hernandez, Watsonville
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The first-team PCAL-Gabilan selection had 12 goals and three assists for the Wildcatz, who defeated Los Gatos in the Open Division quarterfinals and eventually reached the NorCal Division II title game.

Sam Sells, Los Gatos
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Named by numerous coaches as the most dangerous piece of the Wildcats’ attack, Sells was instrumental to a Los Gatos offense that picked up its pace during league play to hang a division banner.

Miguel Tostado, Menlo-Atherton
Position: Midfielder
Year: Junior

The Midfielder of the Year in the PAL-Bay, Tostado was a consistent scorer for the Bears, who upended Alisal in the quarterfinals of the CCS Division I playoffs.

Liam Johnson, Sacred Heart Prep
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The Gators outscored opponents 68-10 for the year, and the WBAL Midfielder of the Year was a major piece of both parts of that. SHP was unbeaten for the regular season, thanks largely to Johnson’s efforts to control the field.

Isaac Lomeli, Monterey
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The first-team PCAL-Mission selection had 10 goals and 13 assists for the Toreadores, who went unbeaten in league play and knocked off previously unbeaten Sacred Heart Prep in the CCS Division I semifinals before falling to Prospect in the title game.

Max Morris, Bellarmine
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The first-team All-WCAL selection was a key piece on a back line that did not allow a goal during the section playoffs and helped carry the Bells to a CIF NorCal Division I title.

Derek Hogan, Branham
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The Bruins allowed just 19 goals all season long, with the first-team BVAL-Mt. Hamilton selection working at a high rate across the back line. His efforts were key during a post-season stretch that saw shutout wins over both St. Ignatius and Soledad.

Alex Moretti, Sacred Heart Prep
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The WBAL Defender of the Year, Moretti was the key piece which prevented opponents from getting clean looks during the Gators’ unbeaten regular season, as they allowed just 10 goals all year.

Jacob Simons, Los Gatos
Position: Defender
Year: Sophomore

Simons was named Defensive MVP in the SCVAL-De Anza Division, after helping lead the Wildcats to a league title and berth in the Open Division.

Tanner Lanphear, Branham
Position: Goalkeeper
Year: Senior

The first-team BVAL-Mt. Hamilton selection posted back-to-back clean sheets in the Open Division playoffs, with a combined 14 saves in those two matches, and had 12 shutouts during the year.

Eric Waltz, Valley Christian
Position: Goalkeeper
Year: Senior

The San Jose State commit kept the Warriors in games all season long, racking up large numbers of saves in numerous WCAL contests.


Position: Forwards

Diego Padilla (Ceiba Prep), Jaeson Gonzalez (Branham), Charles Debling (Los Gatos), Brandon Alper (Santa Teresa), Caleb Ojeda (Live Oak), Juan Arechiga (Monterey), Brandon Zelaya (Woodside Priory), Mica Sinko (Mitty)

Position: Midfielders

Alexis Martinez (Harbor), Angel Avalos (Branham), David Arenas (Del Mar), Marcus Grundmann (Burlingame), Rami Mehawieh (Serra), Oscar Toulet (Mitty), Kol Van Giesen (St. Ignatius)

Position: Defenders

Nick Baginski (Santa Cruz), Andrew Canepa (Pioneer), Eduardo Robledo (Prospect), Zach Aguinaga (King’s Academy), Liam Griffin (Burlingame), Matt Espinoza-Urata (Mitty), Eli Streiker-Hirt (Sacred Heart Cathedral)

Position: Goalkeepers

Julio Martin (South San Francisco), Alessandro Compoginis (Soquel), Jackson Druker (Palo Alto)


ALISAL: Angel Medrano, Osvaldo Avalos
ALVAREZ: Bryan Martinez, Ivan Gonzalez
ANDREW HILL: Cesar Cornejo
APTOS: Daniel Cantolan, Ivan Lomeli
ARAGON: Sergio Zavalon Sanchez
ARCHBISHOP MITTY: Noah Robertson, Tyler Stevenson
BELLARMINE COLLEGE PREP: Gabi Martinez, Yoni Aidlberg, Blaze Strangio
BRANHAM: Lucas Cuellar, Matin Faghany
BURLINGAME: Andrew Morales, Aymeric Destree
CAPUCHINO: Jose Chovolla, David Garcia-Garnica, Christian Medina
CARLMONT: Muaath Nofal, Daniel Wilson
CARMEL: Finn Mendez
CEIBA PREP: Abram Gonzalez
CUPERTINO: Ryan Washington
DEL MAR: Chris Vargas
EL CAMINO: Gage Rullhausen
EVERGREEN VALLEY: Saathvik Vangati, Daniel Patino
GILROY: Carlos Guerrero, Alberto Hernandez
GREENFIELD: Jesus Zavala
GUNDERSON: Christian Lerma Cervantes
HALF MOON BAY: Octavio DeLeon
HARBOR: Lalo Pardo, Anthony Rosales
HARKER: Jared Anderson, Andrew Cheplyansky
HILLSDALE: Gabe Dimas, Tomislav Jozinovic
HOMESTEAD: Sebastian Ruiz-Hurst, Tyler Ohman
INDEPENDENCE: Christian Vera
JAMES LICK: Oscar Hernandez, Ivan Adan
KING'S ACADEMY: Cooper Allen
LEIGH: Anthony Paoli, Anthony Moretti
LELAND: Aidan Whitson, Michael Garcia
LINCOLN: Luis Covarubias
LIVE OAK: Jesus Duran, Conner Dietz
LOS ALTOS: Harry Allen, Jim Dessouki
LOS GATOS: Thomas Petroff, Mathias Bonnet
LYNBROOK: Haruya Tatsumi, Justin Wang
MARINA: Isaias Guizar, Alberto Ramirez
MENLO: Ben Lasky, Connor Nelson
MENLO-ATHERTON: Kalani Napoleon, Jude Goncalves
MILLS: Justin Laver
MONTA VISTA: Sean Crofut, Avi Libman
MONTE VISTA CHRISTIAN: Bob Chavez, Josh Hollingsworth
MONTEREY: Auriel Perez
MOUNTAIN VIEW: Kevin Koh, Sawyer Sevely
NORTH SALINAS: Ezequiel Hernandez, Edgar Oviedo
NUEVA: Sebastian Ortiz
OAK GROVE: Christian Quintana
OAKWOOD: Collin Moosman
OVERFELT: Christian Escobar
PACIFIC GROVE: Caelum Kim-Sanders, John Garcia
PAJARO VALLEY: Kevin Rincon, Guadalupe Medina
PALMA: Edwin Cruz
PALO ALTO: Eric Aboytes, Kenzo Morabia
PIEDMONT HILLS: Marco Torres, JP Mendoza
PIONEER: Carlo Venegas
PROSPECT: Andrew Garcia, Sergio Cruz
SACRED HEART PREP: Ethan Veghte, Kevin Box
SALINAS: Luis Alvarez, Edwin Mercado
SAN BENITO: Abel Rivera
SAN JOSE: Juan Muniga, Bryan Sanchez
SAN MATEO: Luis Murillo, Matthew Angel
SANTA CLARA: Parker Lesnick
SANTA CRUZ: Zach Washburn, Nate Rogers
SANTA TERESA: Jake Miller, Alan Ramirez
SARATOGA: Owen Keogh
SCOTTS VALLEY: Gio Varar, Kyle Dapar
SEQUOIA: Joseph Adams
SERRA: Ivan Torres
SOLEDAD: Alexis Sanchez, Alexis Ortiz
SOQUEL: Jaden Ngo, Diego Alfaro
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO: Julio Martin, Lionel Rodriguez
ST. FRANCIS: Tyler Roey, Collin Hamilton
ST. FRANCIS SCP: Cesar Sanchez
ST. IGNATIUS: Sean Fitzgerald, Paul Rich
STEVENSON: Martin Gutierrez
TERRA NOVA: Andrew Stiber, Joel Glassman
WATSONVILLE: Julian Garcia, Jeal Leal
WESTMONT: Calvin Dougher
WESTMOOR: Luis Aguilar
WILCOX: Brian Montiel, Quentin Berbessou
WILLOW GLEN: Dino Kuljancic, Ryan Gardner
WOODSIDE: Robbie Sellman
YORK: Max Burke, Navid Daliri