Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Right after he received a Gatorade shower, Madera South’s Abraham Vasquez (14) and Christian Meza (8) give head coach Enrique Garcia a water shower near the end of the Stallions’ 4-2 victory over Sacred Heart for the Div. III NorCal Regional Championship on Saturday in Memorial Stadium.
The 2018-19 season was one of firsts for the Madera South Stallions boys soccer team.
The program won its first Central Section Championship in program history after defeating Tulare Union, 3-1, in the title game and its first NorCal Div III Championship with a win Saturday over Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory-San Francisco, 4-2 — the first state title in Madera South history.
“They believed in themselves from the beginning and wanted to do something special,” Madera South head coach Enrique Garcia said. “First, they were Valley Champions and State just ended up having to be the cherry on top.”
Goals from captain Christian Garcia, David Vasquez, Abraham Vasquez and Arturo Zavala sealed the deal for the Stallions over the Fighting Irish, but Luis Segura also contributed.
The sophomore goalkeeper remained a constant in the back for Madera South with five saves, including an assist.
Although their run culminated with a championship, there were tough tests along the way for the Stallions.
Against the University Red Devils in the NorCal semifinals on Thursday, the Stallions were pushed to the brink. Madera South came away with a 3-2 victory, with two goals from Angel Avila and one from Garcia. A quick comeback by the Red Devils tied the game and forced the Stallions to fight for a winner.
They did just that after Avila’s goal in the final minutes guided Madera South into the state championship.
The players have shown the same courage and fortitude throughout the season and while the players execute it on the pitch, the ones behind it — head coach Garcia and assistant coach Fernando Delgadillo — preach it.
Their bond throughout the years, including its Valley Championship loss to Dinuba two seasons ago, has shaped the Stallions soccer program into something special. From the beginning with the late Bobby Gutierrez, to present with Garcia, Madera South is ready for a bright future.
“We work so well together,” Delgadillo said.
“He takes care of part of the team and he relies on me to do my job and help him out. Together we can always find way to get through things and be successful and that makes our players better. This win is monumental, it’s legendary for these boys. These boys get to take this and run with it forever. That banner will hang in Madera South’s gym for all time — those boys deserve it.”
The first threat of the match came from the Fighting Irish. The visitors pressured Madera South, forcing its defense out of