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Runner-up for Bullpups

Hanford coach DelRay Dias (center) talks to his team during halftime of the CIF Central Section Division III championship game against Independence on March 23.

NOE GARCIA, The Sentinel

Hanford girls soccer coach DelRay Dias has another game to coach as he’s been named the 2018 West Girls All-Star game head coach.

“It’s always an honor when other people take notice of what you’ve done with a program and what you’ve done the last three years,” Dias said. “But I wouldn’t be in this position without the players that I have or the girls that I coach.”

His selection as an All-Star coach comes on the heels of one of Hanford’s best seasons for girls soccer. The team went 18-3-4, 9-2-1 in the West Yosemite League and made it all the way to the CIF Division III championship.

In just three short years, Dias has compiled a 36-18-8 record with the Bullpups and has made the playoffs each year. He will coach a roster of approximately 25 All-Star players from schools including: Golden West, Mt. Whitney, Redwood, El Diamante, Central Valley Christian, Tulare Union, Mission Oak, Tulare Western, Hanford, Sierra Pacific, Hanford West, Lemoore, Corcoran and Coalinga.

“It’ll be a challenge because I’ve only got four days of practice with them,” Dias said. “I want to be able to showcase their talent at the position they feel most comfortable in and we’ll go from there.”

All-Star players selected from Hanford, Lemoore, Coalinga and Sierra Pacific so far are Sheyenne Hodge, Skyler Martinez, Sam Chedester, Chloe Chedester, Desiree Jimmeye, Ashlyn Martinez, Jasmine Ferrer, Sadie Ronquillo and Hanna Murrieta — the 2017 All-Star game MVP.

Benjamin Orozco, coordinator of the All-Star game, said his decision was between three coaches, but the selection of Dias was an easy one.

“He had such a dominant and successful season that I just couldn’t overlook that,” Orozco said. “You talk about the last couple years, there hasn’t been a school from that area be so successful.”

Orozco said he really took notice when Hanford lost and tied two narrow contests to Redwood. Then once league started and Hanford continued to dominate, Orozco knew who he wanted as the West Girls All-Star coach. The only way he wasn’t going to be the head coach was if Dias turned it down.

The selection of Dias also makes him the first coach from the city of Hanford.

“It’s a great honor,” Dias said. “It just shows people outside of our small community are taking notice of something that’s going on at a program that hadn’t done anything for a long time.”

Orozco said it meant a lot to him to have Dias accept the spot as head coach. He’s heard nothing but positive things from other coaches and added that Dias’ character is the kind of thing he looks for in coaches.

“That’s what helps us promote our All-Star game because they want to make soccer special and promote it to the next level,” Orozco said.

The West All-Stars  will take on the East All-Stars on June 22 at 6 p.m. at the Lindsay High School Sports Complex. For the East All-Stars, players come from Lindsay, Kingsburg, Selma, Orosi and more.

June 22 and 23 will also mark the 10th annual All-Star game where four boys and four girls teams will battle it out for All-Star supremacy. In total, about 200 student athletes will take the field between four games in two days.

The full rosters will be unveiled during the All-Star game radio show presented by Front Row Sports on April 28. The All-Star show will take place at Fatte Alberts Pizza at 1 p.m.

“June 22 is going to be a fun time for me to be able to coach a bunch of young ladies,” Dias said. “We’ll put our best foot forward on Friday night when we go in and play against East.”

Noe Garcia can be reached at (559) 583-2431 or Follow Noe on Twitter at @noecarlosgarcia.

Sports Reporter

Sports reporter for The Sentinel

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