Top of their league |

Top of their league

Alex Close
Sierra Sun
Alex Close/Sierra SunNorth Tahoe's Paco Delgado was named the Most Valuable Player in the Northern 3A Sierra League.

North Tahoe’s boys soccer team cleaned up not only at the state tournament in Las Vegas, but also in the all-league selections, with head Laker coach Beto Alcaraz taking Coach of the Year honors and senior Paco Delgado earning Most Valuable Player of the Northern 3A Sierra League.

Both honors were voted on by league coaches.

According to Alcaraz, Delgado’s nomination was not contested in the coaches’ meeting. Alcaraz said he nominated his forward turned midfielder and the coaches all knew him and respected is value as a player.

But, Delgado’s 23 goals on the season would be pretty hard to argue with anyway.

Alcaraz said that the four-year varsity veteran has the skills, the vision and the leadership on the field to warrant the honor. However, Alcaraz said that Delgado is also a good student and an all-around great young man.

“He is more than just an MVP,” Alcaraz said of Delgado.

Alcaraz said that he was proud to be named Coach of the Year, but gave credit for the award to his players.

“My award is thanks to the players,” Alcaraz said. “I’m not the one playing, they’re the ones who win games.”

This year’s state championship was North Tahoe’s sixth in the last 10 years. Of those six, Alcaraz has coached four championship teams.

Obviously Alcaraz’s knowledge of the game of soccer and his ability to harness the talent in North Tahoe into quality teams is a huge factor as well.

Alcaraz does have the good fortune to coach some very talented players, but the way those players consistently move the ball in a fluid and beautiful way while almost floating and covering each other from position to position is exemplary of a very well-coached team.

Alcaraz said that his philosophy of combining hard work with pure enjoyment of the game is key to his team’s ” and his own ” success.

“In reality, if we work hard they are going to enjoy the game,” Alcaraz said.

In addition to Delgado and Alcaraz, 10 other Laker boys were honored on the all-league team.

David Munoz, Ricardo Cervantes, Michele Basile and Eric Holman were all named to the first team, and Gerry Bolanos and Fernando Estrada represented North Tahoe on the second team.

Frankie Tenorio, John Bolanos and Jose Ortega were all named honorable mention for the 2006 season.

The girls of North Tahoe also represented the Laker badge well in the all-league selections.

Senior powerhouses Cassidy Iverson, Hannah Ewing and Joelle Lazzareschi all were named to the first team.

Iverson’s powerful shot, deft left foot and nose for the goal was what set her apart from competition this season.

Ewing’s vision, ability to run an inexperienced defense, distribution skills and her flawless tackling ability put her above just about every player in the league.

Lazzareschi primarily played goalkeeper for North Tahoe, and came up with countless key saves throughout the season. In addition, the senior tallied minutes on the field as well, distributing the ball from center midfield and laying down nasty tackles.

Sophomore forward Jenna Burnside, along with junior winger Michelle Zarick and senior Kaitlin McMillan, rounded out the second team.

The honorable mention selections give hope for a very strong Laker team in years to come, with freshmen Shannon Nicholls and Danny Pranin, sophomore Sage Clark and junior Shain Wickman all receiving honorable mention recognition.

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