There are plenty of story lines in today’s Sac-Joaquin Section boys soccer championships at Cosumnes Oaks High School and Stagg High School in Stockton.
• Ten-time Division I section champion Jesuit, No. 2 in the nation, defends its title against public school power Granite Bay in a match featuring coaches with more than a combined 1,100 wins.
• Unbeaten Cosumnes Oaks, a school in its seventh year, goes after its first boys section title in the D-II final against another new school, Gregori of Modesto (three varsity seasons), at its home field in Elk Grove.
• New school Liberty Ranch and old school Galt will try to bring home section banners for the first time to their two-high-school town in their D-IV and D-V finals.
• Christian Brothers will take on Central Valley of Ceres in a D-III match that features the section’s two most prolific scorers.
• In a classic David vs. Goliath faceoff, Encina challenges powerhouse Capital Christian in the D-VI finale.
Jesuit, 26-0-3, is trying to finish undefeated for the third time in six years and win its fourth section title in five seasons. The Marauders are led by seniors Evan Barrett (team-leading 21 goals), John Bovill and Matt Nemeth.
Granite Bay, last year’s D-I runner-up to Jesuit, hopes to win its first section title since the 26-0-1 2010 team won it all in D-II. Zach Boyle, Ash Gunn, Corban Anderson and scoring leader Jeff Gaebler (20 goals) anchor the Grizzlies.
Jesuit’s Paul Rose, California’s all-time-winningest boys soccer coach, has more than 700 victories. Granite Bay’s Steve Fischer has more than 400 boys soccer wins.
Cosumnes Oaks has come a long way since its first varsity team went 1-19-1 in 2009. The Wolfpack, 17-0-4 is attempting to become the first boys team at the school to win a section title.
features the section’s second-leading scorer, junior Kristian Heptner, who has 33 goals. Central Valley (25-1) counters with section leader Omar Orozco, who has 45 goals.
The city of Galt has never had a boys section soccer champion. Galt, which plays Riverbank for the D-V title, was a runner-up in D-II in 1989 and 1991 and last year in D-IV.
Liberty Ranch, which faces Weston Ranch of Stockton in the D-IV championship, is in its fourth varsity season and playing in its first boys section soccer finale.
Capital Christian, which faces Encina for the D-VI title,
beat Granite Bay 3-1 and Christian Brothers 6-0. Coach Ab Alvarez’s son, Devon, leads the team in scoring with 18 goals.
Encina has won three of the last four D-VI titles (including a 2-1 overtime upset of Capital Christian in 2009), despite declining enrollment for years. The Bulldogs’ soccer team has won three of the 55-year-old school’s seven section titles.
TODAY’S SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
• No. 1 Jesuit (26-0-3) vs. No. 3 Granite Bay (21-3-0), 4 p.m.
• No. 1 Capital Christian (20-4-0) vs. No. 2 Encina (14-3-0), noon
• No. 1 Forest Lake Christian (16-5-1) vs. No. 2 Faith Christian (17-6-1), 10 a.m.
• No. 3 Christian Brothers (14-3-4) vs. No. 1 Central Valley-Ceres (25-1-0), 2 p.m.
• No. 1 Weston Ranch-Stockton (17-5-4) vs. No. 3 Liberty Ranch (13-8-2), noon
• No. 2 Galt (18-4-3) vs. No. 5 Riverbank (13-5-4), 10 a.m