Prep2Prep 2019-20 NCS Boys Soccer Honors
Montgomery's Zack Batchelder is the Prep2Prep NCS boys soccer player of the year.


Player of the Year

It’s hard to imagine anyone having a better season than Montgomery senior Zack Batchelder. Not just in the North Bay League, not just in the North Coast Section, but anywhere that soccer is played at a high level.

Batchelder racked up an amazing 55 goals to go with 16 assists, and yet his individual prowess led to something even bigger, as his Vikings captured their third straight North Coast Section title, first NCS Division I title in school history for any sport and first CIF NorCal title in program history. The UC Davis-bound standout also made arguably his biggest mark late in the season, finding the back of the net in every post-season match, often multiple times in each game.

“Zack is a stone cold assassin, and the most clinical natural finisher I have ever coached,” said Montgomery coach Jon Schwan. “He uses his speed and knowledge of angles to toy with defenders, both with and without the ball. He is so underrated in terms of strength and speed, but he has never lost a foot race.”

Batchelder may not have lost a foot race all season long, and he certainly didn’t lose many battles with defenders either. As the season wore on – a special one indeed for Montgomery, which finished the year 26-0-1 – Batchelder’s performances became more Herculean, especially in the playoffs.

The Vikings opened the post-season with a 3-0 win over Foothill, a match which featured two goals and an assist for Batchelder. But that was nothing compared to the quarterfinals, when the speedy striker scored all five of his team’s goals in a 5-1 win over Monte Vista. Batchelder added a brace during a 3-0 semifinal win over Clayton Valley, and then spread the icing on the cake with two goals and an assist during a 3-2 title game victory over Berkeley.

If there was such a thing as an NCS all-tournament Team, Batchelder would certainly have been named the MVP of the section playoffs after amassing 11 goals and two assists in the four playoff matches. Almost more unbelievable was that Batchelder was far from finished, as Montgomery went after the regional title. Three goals and two assists sparked a 6-0 victory over Tokay-Lodi in the CIF NorCal Division I quarterfinals, and he then scored the only goal in a 1-0 semifinal win over CCS Open Division champion Bellarmine. Finally, goal number 55 was added during a regional championship victory over SJS Division I champion Jesuit-Carmichael.

The past two seasons were a coming-out party for the 5-foot-9 Batchelder, who could be easily overlooked due to his size. A varsity player for the past three seasons, Batchelder helped lead the Vikings to 70 victories in the past three years, including back-to-back NCS Division II titles before Montgomery moved up to Division I this year under the competitive equity bylaws and promptly added the school’s first Division I crown.

As a junior, Batchelder notched 32 goals and 12 assists, earning first-team all-NCS honors to go with his NBL-Oak Player of the Year honors. As a senior, however, he had no equal, blitzing every opposing defense which tried to slow him down. He had 20 multi-goal performances, including regular-season braces against Vintage, San Ramon Valley and Berkeley, all among the top Division I programs in the section.

“Zack is a kid who has found a way to keep improving throughout his high school career, so it will be fun to watch his college journey unfold,” Schwan said. “He thrives on the doubt of others, and now he has a whole new group of people who will doubt him at the next level, but I will never be one of them.”

For his efforts this past season, we are pleased to recognize Zack Batchelder as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Player of the Year.

Other players considered for this award include Berkeley’s Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, Montgomery’s Kevin Welch, De La Salle’s Ramiro Rosas, Ygnacio Valley’s Diego Ramos and Saint Mary’s’ Wyatt Meyer.

Coach of the Year

Montgomery's Jon Schwan is the Prep2Prep NCS boys soccer coach of the year.

Words like “powerhouse” and “dynasty” get tossed around a lot these days when describing runs of greatness, but rarely do they fit so perfectly as when discussing the boys soccer program at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa and the string of success it has put together under head coach Jon Schwan.

For the third consecutive season, the Vikings went unbeaten in the North Bay League and then replicated the feat in the North Coast Section playoffs. This year, however, Montgomery took its level of success a bit further.

After capturing NCS Division II titles in each of the two previous seasons, the Vikings were elevated into the Division I bracket for the 2019-2020 season. The larger challenge was hardly reflected in the results, as Montgomery easily dispatched Foothill, Monte Vista and Clayton Valley in the first three rounds by a combined score of 11-1 before pulling away from Berkeley in the second half of a 3-2 title game victory against the defending section champions. The win over the Yellowjackets was a watershed moment for the Vikings, who have won 90 games in the past four seasons.

“That title was the first-ever Division I championship in our school history,” said Montgomery athletic director Dean Haskins. “Jon has a gift to effectively coach the sport of soccer and communicate his ideas to his players. He is also very good at maintaining integrity and diversity within our program.”

Schwan, a Montgomery alum, then added another first for the program. After falling in the CIF NorCal playoffs following each of its two previous NCS titles, the Vikings refused to accept a single defeat this past season. They routed Tokay-Lodi in the regional quarterfinals, then knocked off CCS Open Division champion Bellarmine in the semifinals, 1-0. Finally, a 3-1 victory over Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion Jesuit-Carmichael brought home the program’s first CIF regional crown.

“This year’s group was an amazing collection of players who understood what we wanted to do and what it would take,” Schwan said. “They had very little ego or attitude, we had complete buy-in and everyone knew and understood their role.”

The program’s dominance was a season-long trend, one which started with a 5-1 victory over a traditionally strong Marin Academy team. Mid-December featured a 5-2 victory over Vintage-Napa, and the impressive victories continued to pile up from there. The eventual NBL division champions met two days later, when the Vikings turned away an upstart Piner team, 2-1, and early January featured an eye-opening 4-1 win over Berkeley. After blanking San Ramon Valley one week after the win over Berkeley, it was clear that all Montgomery had to do was avoid an upset loss in order to cement the top seed in the Division I playoff bracket.

The Vikings posted eight straight wins by shutout late in the season, but the regular-season finale against Rancho Cotate nearly spoiled the unbeaten regular season. The Cougars led by a goal at the half, but freshman Drayden Ponte’s second-half equalizer allowed Montgomery to escape with a draw, a result which would end up being the only blemish on the record all season long.

“We didn’t approach that game the right way, with the playoffs already on the horizon,” Schwan said. “In hindsight, the end result (against Rancho Cotate) was probably a blessing in disguise.”

Indeed, the draw against the Cougars left Montgomery refocused and intent on asserting its dominance in the post-season, which it ultimately did with lasting effect.

“This team improved both mentally and tactically with what we wanted to do, game in and game out,” Schwan stated. “We also had such an underrated defense and goalkeeper who got to show their prowess in the playoffs when the games got tighter. In all, this was a magical group of guys and a magical outcome for the season.”

For his efforts this past season, we are pleased to recognize Jon Schwan as the Prep2Prep North Coast Section Coach of the Year.

Other coaches considered for this award include Berkeley’s Andre Hebert, De La Salle’s Derricke Brown, Las Lomas’ Kurt Adkins and Ygnacio Valley’s Cesar Chavez.


Alex Lopez, Ygnacio Valley
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Lopez, a first-team all-DAL selection, was especially lethal in the post-season for the Warriors. The Humboldt State commit had 12 goals and six assists during the season, but five goals came in the section playoffs, including the game-winner in the quarterfinals against De Anza, a brace in the semifinals against San Rafael and another goal during the come-from-behind win over Albany in the final.

Fynn Hayton-Ruffner, Albany
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The lanky junior and TCAL-Stone MVP was phenomenal for the Cougars, especially down the stretch. The 6-foot-2 attacker had 17 goals and 10 assists, but nothing could slow him down in the post-season, when he had key goals in wins over Marin Academy and Terra Linda before notching a brace during a title game loss to Ygnacio Valley.

Zack Batchelder, Montgomery
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The top player in the section this year and UC Davis commit, Batchelder had a whopping 55 goals and 18 assists for the Division I champion Vikings. 16 of those goals came during an extended post-season run for Montgomery, which reached the NorCal final.

Emmanuel Duran, Vintage
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The Offensive Player of the Year in the VVAL, Duran had double-digit goal totals for the Crushers, leading them to a VVAL title and a blowout of Dublin in the first-round of the Division I playoffs before falling in the quarterfinals.

Ruthwick Tallagonda, Terra Linda
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The Player of the Year in the MCAL tallied 22 goals to go with 12 assists for the Trojans, including three of their four goals in the playoffs.

Wyatt Meyer, Saint Mary’s
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The Cal-bound Meyer led the Panthers on a deep playoff run, culminating with a NCS Division IV championship and berth in the NorCal regionals. Meyer had a brace and an assist in the section title game win over Cardinal Newman, and was also a first-team TCAL-Rock selection.

Kalani Kossa-Rienzi, Berkeley
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The Washington-bound standout had 10 goals and 14 assists for the Yellowjackets, leading them back to the Division I title game. That included a key goal during a quarterfinal win over San Ramon Valley, and a goal during Berkeley’s title-game loss to Montgomery. He was also the back-to-back Player of the Year in the WACC-Foothill.

Ramiro Rosas, De La Salle
Position: Midfielder
Year: Junior

The Player of the Year in the EBAL, Rosas tallied nine goals and nine assists for the Spartans, including the game-winner against Pittsburg in the quarterfinals.

Alfonso Sandoval, Newark Memorial
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The MVAL co-Player of the Year led the Cougars to a league title with 16 goals and 15 assists, including five goals in their two playoff victories.

Ben Wold, Amador Valley
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The first-team all-EBAL selection was the key cog for the Dons’ attack and the difference-maker in many of their matches with his ability to play on the attack and drop back defensively. He led them to a near-upset of De La Salle in the first round of the section playoffs.

Kevin Welch, Montgomery
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The UC Davis commit was a first-team NBL-Oak selection, accumulating 10 goals and 11 assists for the Vikings. Coach Jon Schwan described him as the heartbeat of the team.

Salvador Leon, Napa
Position: Defender
Year: Junior

Leon was named Player of the Year in the VVAL after leading a Grizzlies’ defense which allowed just nine goals in 12 league matches. That defensive effort propelled Napa to a Division I playoff berth.

Ben Parker, De La Salle
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The defensive-minded Spartans allowed just 22 goals in 25 matches as they captured the EBAL title and reached the Division I semifinals. Parker was a big reason why and was recognized as a first-team all-EBAL selection.

Diego Ramos, Ygnacio Valley
Position: Defender
Year: Junior

Ramos was not only named Defensive Player of the Year in the DAL, but his efforts all over the pitch led the Warriors to the NCS Division III title, as YV allowed just 20 goals in 23 matches. He also found ways to help spark the attack, adding three goals and 12 assists, including a brace during a big non-league win over Marin Academy.

Fernando Escobedo, Clayton Valley Charter
Position: Goalkeeper
Year: Senior

The first-team all-DAL selection posted 10 clean sheets and allowed just 14 goals all season. He posted 64 saves for the season, including six during a tense double-overtime victory against Vintage in the Division I quarterfinals.


Stanley Gaither, Redwood
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

The first-team all-MCAL selection could score and create up front for the Giants, assisting on both goals in a section semifinal win over Northgate, while scoring the only goal in a title game loss. He also had an assist during their quarterfinal comeback win.

Gabriel Plasencia, Bishop O’Dowd
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The first-team WACC-Foothill selection and multi-sport standout for the Dragons had 13 goals and five assists this season. He is also one of the top returning place-kickers in the NCS for the upcoming football season.

Saul Vasquez, Pittsburg
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

Vasquez, a first-team all-BVAL selection, had 15 goals and eight assists for the Pirates, who captured a league title and beat Richmond to reach the section quarterfinals.

Isaac Morfin, Clayton Valley Charter
Position: Forward
Year: Junior

The first-team all-DAL selection contributed 15 goals for the Ugly Eagles, none more important than his game-winning brace during a 2-1 Division I quarterfinal victory over Vintage.

Ian Scheringer, Antioch
Position: Forward
Year: Senior

For the second consecutive season, Scheringer led the BVAL in goals scored with 21, also adding eight assists. He tallied 43 goals over the last two years.

Saul Bronstone, Las Lomas
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

A first-team all-DAL selection for the NCS Division II champions, Bronstone could play anywhere on the field, using his range to defend when needed, but also illustrating his offensive skills with a brace in the section title game.

Landon Leal Ruiz, Vintage
Position: Midfielder
Year: Sophomore

A holding mid for the Crushers, Leal Ruiz is not only known for his defensive prowess, but also finds ways to create offensively, adding 12 goals and six assists, including the game-winner in a late-season victory over rival Napa. He was a first-team all-VVAL selection.

Marco Carbajal, San Leandro
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The first-team WACC-Foothill selection led the league in scoring with 26 goals and seven assists, giving him 47 goals in the last two seasons. That included the game-winner in a late-season win over Bishop O’Dowd.

Gabriel Bracken Serra, Berkeley
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The first-team WACC-Foothill selection and University of San Francisco commit had 12 goals and 12 assists for the Division I runner-up, including a goal and an assist during a quarterfinal win over San Ramon Valley and assisted on the game-winning goal in the semifinals against De La Salle.

Edgar Castaneda, Clayton Valley Charter
Position: Midfielder
Year: Senior

The Offensive Player of the Year in the DAL, Castaneda had 15 goals and 10 assists for the Ugly Eagles, and was stellar in the post-season, scoring both goals in a first-round win over California and assisting on both goals in a quarterfinal win over Vintage.

Hayden Fargo, Redwood
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

The Giants allowed just 16 goals in 16 league matches, with Fargo anchoring the defense. He turned up his game in the post-season, part of a stingy back line that allowed just three goals in five different section and regional playoff victories, as Redwood reached the title game in both brackets.

Clayton Branco, San Ramon Valley
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

With Branco leading the back line, the Wolves allowed just 11 goals in league play, finishing second behind De La Salle. He was a first-team all-EBAL selection.

Angel Tapia, Vintage
Position: Defender
Year: Junior

The co-Defensive Player of the Year in the VVAL was instrumental in helping lead the Crushers to a league title and a quarterfinal appearance in the Division I playoffs, especially as the team posted shutouts in four of five matches late in the season.

Rogelio Cisneros, Rancho Cotate
Position: Defender
Year: Senior

Named the Defensive Player of the Year in the NBL-Oak, Cisneros played big for a Cougars’ defense which sparked a late-season draw against Montgomery to get into the playoffs.

Jax Williams, Pittsburg
Position: Goalkeepeper
Year: Senior

The MVP of the BVAL posted 81 saves and eight clean sheets to lead the Pirates to a league title and a berth in the Division I quarterfinals. His efforts against De La Salle in the quarterfinals kept Pittsburg in the game until the final minute.


Position: Forwards

Drayden Ponte (Montgomery), Paris Manthoulis (Branson), Colby Allard (Las Lomas), Anthony Fuller (Concord), Alberto Padilla (Freedom), Jose Rodriguez (De Anza), Alex Dominguez (Piner)

Position: Midfielders

Owen Flanagan (University), Gael Cervera Ramirez (Elsie Allen), Biniam Mitiku (Washington), Elexsio Pelayo (Alameda), Eduardo Navarro (Freedom), Dominic Giusto (De La Salle), Owen Callahan (San Ramon Valley), Justin Carr (Marin Academy), Alex Johnson (Redwood)

Position: Defenders

Angel Rodriguez (Napa), Johny Aviles (Casa Grande), Michael McMasters (Amador Valley), Andrew Alvarado (Kennedy-Richmond), Edgar Guerra (Maria Carrillo)

Position: Goalkeepers

Andy Parra (American), Aly Alvarado (Terra Linda), Sebastian Ramirez (De La Salle)


ACALANES: Nick Geannacopulos, Will Easley
ALAMEDA: Lucas Schneider, Mack Woodworth
ALBANY: Ishaan Das, Jayden Arfa
ALHAMBRA: Marco Garcia
AMADOR VALLEY: Tim Gallagher
AMERICAN: Julian Barrera, Frank Jimenez
AMERICAN CANYON: Sergio Navarro, Graeson Gamorras
ANALY: Brennan Blondin, Owen Walsh
ANTIOCH: Melvin Morales
ARROYO: Carlos Pineda, Elio Corral
BENICIA: Michael McBride
BERKELEY: Jonah Birkholzer
BISHOP O'DOWD: Kyle Lew, Chase Anderson
BRANSON: Pierce Sanderson
CAMPOLINDO: Sean Donovan
CARDINAL NEWMAN: Shea Batchelder, Justin Patterson
CASA GRANDE: Daniel Edgide, Sean Laliberte
CASTRO VALLEY: Zachery Lau, Kareen Elshabaki
CONCORD: Ezra Lara
DE ANZA: Anthony Vasquez, Jesus Alvarado
DEER VALLEY: Mark Villanueva
DE LA SALLE: Gabriel Perez
DEL NORTE: Jadence Clifton
DRAKE: Erik Hargadahl
DUBLIN: Owen Svantner
EL CERRITO: Aidan Lajoie
EL MOLINO: Jesse Gonzales
ELSIE ALLEN: Cuauhtemoc Ortiz
ENCINAL: Maximus Rodrigues
FOOTHILL: Davis Wollesen
FREEDOM: Giovanni Maya, Alex Pantoja
GRANADA: Edgar Garcia
HAYWARD: Giovano Gonzalez, Caesar Soto
HERCULES: Alex Cuellar, Khristian Molina
HERITAGE: Ruben Huerta
IRVINGTON: Abdelnur Hassen
JAMES LOGAN: Jackson Harper, Salvador Martinez
JESSE BETHEL: Alejandro Cano, David Mendoza
JUSTIN-SIENA: Josiah Gutierrez
LAS LOMAS: Nick Young, Zach Miller
LIBERTY: Israel Ortiz
LICK-WILMERDING: Marc Eidelhoch, Max Beldner
LIVERMORE: Mateo Moncada
MARIA CARRILLO: Rohan Crossland, Kaito Maehara
MARIN ACADEMY: Sean Neville, Adrian Vasquez
MARIN CATHOLIC: Javier Martinez
MIRAMONTE: Kent Barbir
MONTE VISTA: Ethan Lopez
MONTGOMERY: Daniel Ledesma, Emmanuel Padilla, Jack Medin
MT. DIABLO: Lucio Santos
MT. EDEN: Julian Alvarez, Cruz Mejia
NAPA: Luis Rodriguez
NEWARK MEMORIAL: Robert Sanchez, Jose Luna
NORTHGATE: Felipe Ognian
NOVATO: Hugo Perez
PIEDMONT: Rico Barker, Rafael Stankiewicz
PINER: Luis Quiroz, Sergio Villagomez
PITTSBURG: Luis Toribio, Cristian Preza
RANCHO COTATE: Alex Sandoval, Manny Garcia
REDWOOD: Shawn Clarke
RICHMOND: Octavio Munoz
ROSELAND PREP: Ricardo Alvarado
SAINT MARY'S: Shawn Verdote, Jacob Bradley, Ben Banks-Altekruse
SALESIAN: Lucas Dugue, Oluwatobi Babaouge
SAN DOMENICO: Kallen Alley
SAN LEANDRO: Walter Avallaneda, Michael Gonzalez
SAN LORENZO: Mario Huerta, Emerson Calderon
SAN MARIN: Jordan Kennedy
SAN RAFAEL: Max Diaz, Bryon De Leon
SAN RAMON VALLEY: Spencer Gillen, Joe Kerr
SANTA ROSA: Yahir Pacheco
SONOMA VALLEY: Justin Castillo, Oscar Rivas
ST. PATRICK-ST. VINCENT: Anthony Dominguez
TAMAPAIS: Lessther Maldonado
TENNYSON: Roberto Zamora
UKIAH: Eduardo Diaz
UNIVERSITY: Drew Philips
URBAN: Ian Ryan, Alex Uchimura
VALLEJO: Cristian Rodas
VINTAGE: Gerardo Perez
WASHINGTON: Connor Creach
WINDSOR: Antonio Carranza, Alex Barragan