Parlier’s Luis Bolaños finds an escape in soccer

Parlier High’s Luis Bolaños keeps his eye on the ball in the loss against visiting Orosi High School on Feb. 15.
Parlier High’s Luis Bolaños keeps his eye on the ball in the loss against visiting Orosi High School on Feb. 15. dcasarez@

The final, winning goal would have been a fitting ending for Parlier High School scoring leader Luis Bolaños.

That was nearly the case for Parlier in a double overtime 2-1 loss Feb. 15 to No. 5-seeded Orosi High in a Division IV second-round match.

Bolaños, who scored the only goal for the Panthers against Orosi, finished four varsity seasons with 89 career goals. His next goal is collegiate play, then become a law enforcement officer in the Central Valley.

Bolaños, a 3.2 average student at Parlier High, was thinking about his mother, Alejandrina Hernández, and her well-being while he would be off to college. He was 12 years old when he lost his father, Silvano Bolaños, to a second heart attack.

Yet prior to any acceptance of college offer, he’s been worried over who will look after his mother. He thought of not attending altogether, opting to find a job, but has realized a college degree can go a long way.

Bolaños’ 36 goals for 88 Panthers’ points this season has prompted visits from college coaches to the small Fresno County community of just over 14,000. After defeating Hoover (Fresno) in the first round of play, Parlier ended the season at 15-5-3 and 6-2-2 in league play.

On Senior Night (Feb. 6), an Oregon State soccer coach watched Bolaños closely. Against Orosi, Bolaños received a text from West Hills Community about his availability this fall.

“I’m going to miss playing on this field. I got to play here for all four years. Right now (my mother) doesn’t work, but she makes food and she sells it like to field workers. My mom takes them food; that’s how we make money right now,” said Bolaños.

“I got to help my mom. My dad passed away; he had a stroke. The first time, he survived, the second time, he passed away.”

Silvano Bolaños was paralyzed from his first stroke and often used a wheelchair for greater mobility. It was necessary for Luis and the remainder of his family to lift Silvano everywhere.

“The first time he had the stroke, they took a bone from his head. A year later, they put it on, and like two days after they put it on, or the day after, he got another stroke.

Losing his father wasn’t the hardest thing for Luis.

“All during high school, the hardest thing was seeing my mom work so hard just to buy me stuff. That’s pretty hard seeing that because she’s getting old. She tries her best to give me everything she can,” said Luis.

“I’d like to go to Fresno City College. I want to go to a community community and then transfer,” said Bolaños, who never played on a club team because of the cost, but has participated in Sunday local adult leagues.

Orosi will now travel to face top-seeded Lindsay High School on Feb. 20. No. 2 Mira Monte hosts No. 3 Arvin the same day.

The No. 6-seeded Edison (Fresno) eliminated host and No. 3-seed, Selma Bears, last night in the section’s Division III playoffs.

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