Aptos High junior Eddie Alvarez was named the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League's Attacker of the Year after scoring a team-best 17 goals for the Mariners boys' soccer team this season. (Raul Ebio - The Pajaronian file photo)

APTOS—Aptos High was considered to be one of the main contenders in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, especially with a squad that featured some big-time names on the pitch.

A pair of those names include junior attacker Eddie Alvarez and sophomore midfielder Nami Banks, who seemed to be all over the pitch for the Mariners boys soccer team this season. 

Both of their efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the coaches within the league. 

Alvarez was awarded the Attacker of the Year, while Banks was named the Midfielder of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

Alvarez was a scoring threat anytime he stepped foot on the field and he proved it with a team-best 17 goals to go along with nine assists. 

Aptos coach Roberto Zuñiga has been impressed with Alvarez’s dedication to the sport and he’s been improving over the past three seasons since joining the varsity team as a freshman.

“[Alvarez is] a hard worker, never complains, always dedicated and as focused as can be,” Zuñiga said. “He’s receptive to constructive criticism and I think that’s so important of a player.”  

Alvarez started as an outside back and made the transition to lead attacker for the Mariners this season.

Zuñiga believes his standout striker deserves the recognition for all of his efforts on the pitch and his role as one of the leaders at Aptos.

Banks took over the No. 6 position–defensive center back–as a freshman and he hasn’t let up since solidifying himself as the starter. 

Zuñiga mentioned his star midfielder is critical of himself, which is a strong trait to have because it builds character.

“I really appreciate the fact that he’s being self critical and at the same doing so to be a better player for his team,” Zuñiga said. 

Aptos sophomore goalkeeper Noah Curran, senior Nate Dow and junior Esteban García all earned All-SCCAL First Team honors, while fellow teammates junior Andrew Lopez, freshman Daniel Lozano and junior Kaleb Plascencia earned all-league second team honors.

Zuñiga will have a nice group of returning players for next season and that itself sets a good foundation for the future. He wants them to put in the same commitment just as much as the coaching staff, which helped the head skipper tremendously this season.  

“They’ve been putting in a lot of work,” Zuñiga said. “We tell them that it’s dedication for the span of the season. It comes and goes really quickly.”

All-SCCAL Selections

Individual Awards

Most Valuable Player: Raúl Calles (Sr.), Harbor

Attacker of the Year: Eddie Alvarez (Jr.), Aptos

Midfielder of the Year: Nami Banks (So.), Aptos

Defender of the Year: Juan Lara (Jr.), Harbor

Goalkeeper of the Year: Damian Escalante (So.), Harbor 

Coach of the Year: Michael Vahradian, Harbor

First Team

Noah Curran (So.), Aptos

Nate Dow (Sr.), Aptos

Esteban García (Jr.), Aptos

Alex Aparicio (So.), Harbor

Milan Behrens (Sr.), Harbor

Javier Calles (So.), Harbor

Alexis Madrid (Sr.), Harbor

Aiden Nounnan (Jr.), San Lorenzo Valley

River Hsu (Sr.), Santa Cruz

Andrew Redshaw (Sr.), Scotts Valley

Emilio Alfaro (Sr.), Soquel

Second Team

Andrew Lopez (Jr.), Aptos

Daniel Lozano (Fr.), Aptos

Kaleb Plascencia (Jr.), Aptos 

Alexander Alvarado (Sr.), Harbor

Moises Hernandez (Fr.), Harbor

Brandon Jimenez (So.), Harbor

Gio Linares (Jr.), Harbor

Milo Carrington (Sr.), San Lorenzo Valley

Kai Tsukamaki (Sr.), Santa Cruz

Caleb Mendoza (Fr.), Scotts Valley

Hector Gonzalez (Sr.), Soquel

Honorable Mention

Carlos Gutierrez (Jr.), Aptos 

Diego Tiran (Sr.), Aptos

Kai Walsh (Sr.), Aptos

Luis Gomez (Sr.), Harbor

Xavi Jacobson (Sr.), Harbor

Maury Martinez (Jr.), Harbor

Ryan Baker (Sr.), San Lorenzo Valley

Owen Garrahan (Jr.), San Lorenzo Valley

Shelby Monowitz (Sr.),  San Lorenzo Valley

Jonah Goodman (Sr.), Santa Cruz 

Juan Pina (Sr.), Santa Cruz 

Kenny Sanchez (Sr.), Santa Cruz 

Bradley Robertson (So.), Scotts Valley

Maksim Sacks (Sr.), Scotts Valley 

Daniel Soriano (Sr.), Soquel

Brody Staley (Sr.), Soquel

David Welsh (Sr.), Soquel

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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