By Joe Naiman
Highlights of Ramona High School’s boys soccer post-season awards banquet at Ramona Oaks Park included the selection of junior forward Andy Garcia as the team’s Most Valuable Player.
Garcia had 16 goals and five assists during the 2011-12 season, placing him fourth in points among all North County Conference players.
“He was kind of Mr. Consistent. Many times when we needed a goal in a tight spot he was the one who got it for us,” said Coach Michael Jordan.
The team had separate awards for Most Valuable Player, Offensive Player of the Year, and Defensive Player of the Year.
Senior Adam Dolan received the Offensive Player of the Year recognition. Dolan’s statistics included seven goals and seven assists.
“For a midfielder who played a lot of defense and midfield, it says a lot,” Jordan said.
The totals do not include “second assists” in which Dolan passed the ball to the player who received the assist.
“He played a big part in setting up the assists,” Jordan said.
Sophomore goalkeeper Jesse Bonilla was the Defensive Player of the Year. Bonilla had three shutouts, not including a team shutout against Calexico Mission in which Jordan played all of his substitutes in the second half.
“He had a tremendous year and just played really, really solid,” Jordan said.
Senior defender Connor Maruna received the Coaches’ Award.
“He’s got a great attitude. He makes the players better, more focused,” Jordan said. “He’s a great kid. We were lucky to have him.”
Jordan noted that his four varsity players who earned awards were a forward, a midfielder, a defender, and a goalkeeper.
“It makes sense,” he said.
The only junior varsity award was the Coaches’ Award given to freshman midfielder Ian Rode.
“He’s the kid that always is picking up the balls and picking up the cones,” Jordan said.
Ramona’s team had nine seniors, including seven starters, among the 22 varsity players. Jordan noted that two of his varsity award recipients are expected to return for the 2012-13 season.
“That’s a good foundation for next year,” he said.
The Bulldogs’ overall record of 10-12-3 gave Ramona double-digit wins for the third season in a row and was accomplished in part by a 2-2-1 record during the second round of Palomar League play, which had been Ramona’s goal following the first round of league matches.
“We were able to achieve that,” Jordan said. “We were disappointed that we didn’t go further in the playoffs.”
Serra’s 1-0 home victory in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs ended Ramona’s on-field season.
Jordan noted that the banquet format on Feb. 26 allowed family members to participate.
“It was a good event. Beautiful day,” he said.