Central Section: Reedley Pirates lose in playoffs

Throughout the last four years at Reedley High School, forward Efraín Pérez often took his arguments about the team to his home.

Pérez and No. 6-seeded Reedley High Pirates lost 1-0 to No. 3 Golden West in the second round of the Central Section's Division III playoffs last Friday. Golden Valley will face No. 4 Sunnyside in the other half of the D-3 draw.

Pérez, an 18-year-old senior playing his final high school season, is ranked No. 4 in the Central Section. He's scored 24 goals and earned the Pirates 49 points this season.

His older brothers, Félix and Roberto Pérez, are the Pirates' coaches.

"At times, you know, when I don't give it my all, I hear about it. We have anger issues that carry over to the house, but it all works out at the end of the day," said Efrain.

Roberto, a 1999 Reedley High graduate, and Felix, a 2004 grad, thought out Efraín's game carefully. They moved Efraín to the Varsity team as a freshman.

Efraín believes the move was a good one. His game has reached collegiate potential, but Efraín remains critical about his success.

"I'm going to say, yes, it's my best season so far. My sophomore year though, we won Valley, but it was less scoring," he said.

Efraín was a midfielder throughout his time with the Pirates, but switched to the forward position this season.

He's hoping his 3.1 grade point average will help him win a spot at the University of California, Irvine. If Irvine doesn't pan out, he's looking at Fresno Pacific University and College of the Sequoias (Visalia).

Efraín gained a huge amount of experience playing with Club Italia in the Valley United Soccer League, the adult soccer league based in Fresno.

"Playing with Club Italia, I got a lot of experience. I learned a lot about touching the ball, moving, and communication with the team," said Efraín.

The Pirates finished the season 12-7-3 (3-4-1 league).

Lady Pirates earn their first Valley title

Boasting a 9-1 record, the lady Pirates won its first-ever league title, but the celebration was short-lived in a losing effort in the playoffs.

Reedley's girl's team lost 2-1 to visiting Tulare Western last Thursday.

After an early goal by Reedley's Mercedes García, Tulare's Mustangs come-from-behind victory was enough to end the Pirates' season.

In other Central Section boy's brackets, Central Sequoia League champion and top-seeded Selma High trounced over Garces 8-0 in Division III. Selma defeated Foothill and faced South Bakersfield on Tuesday. Dinuba visits host Roosevelt in the other D-3 semi. The Division-3 championship match is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22 at the higher seeded team's home field.

Division-4 top seed, Delano, faces No. 5 Shafter and No. 3 Chowchilla plays against No. 2 Mira Monte.

In Division 5, top-seeded Orosi, last year's CIF Southern Regional invitee, will face No. 5 Corcoran, while No. 2 Riverdale plays No. 3 César Chávez High School.

In Division 6, No. 1 Farmersville will face No. 5 Bakersfield Christian. In the other semi, No. 2 Avenal plays No. 3 Mendota.

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