Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

DHS captains crave a championship

By
November 6, 2010 |

Enterprise staff writer

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Everything has a beginning and an end.

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For Davis High\’s boys soccer team, the beginning often is Alex Vivona — a brilliant sweeper who clearly has become the field general of the 21-3-2 Blue Devils.

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The end? On 109 occasions during a career that will long be remembered at DHS, forward Cyrus Ghaffari has finished with a goal.

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Together, the senior captains are in the twilight of their prep careers. Both believe they have three games left.

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“The key for playoffs is focus and perseverance,” Ghaffari believes. “In the end, it all comes down to (the team that) wins four straight games wins the section title.”

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After opening the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a powerful 6-0 roast of Oak Ridge on Thursday, the Blue Devils now get Pleasant Grove — a 2-1 winner over Napa — on Tuesday.

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“If we stay focused and take sections one game at a time,” Ghaffari continues, “I am sure we\’ll be successful.”

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While the Blue Devils seemed nothing like a juggernaut after tying back-to-back games last month, since then, the Delta Valley Conference champions have been untouchable, winning six straight and outscoring their opponents, 34-2.

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Watch Davis in action and you will hear Vivona barking out directions, helping his teammates see the openings, find the open man. Keep your eyes on Ghaffari — sort of a Landon Donovan meets Tinker Bell.

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It\’s that beginning and end thing. If Vivona gets the ball with some breathing room, it\’s a good bet Ghaffari will be operating near the goal within seconds. He dances with the ball.

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“Alex is our eyes,” veteran DHS head coach Ashley Yudin says, a confident smile invading his country-comfortable face. “(He has) fantastic vision and a demeanor that allows him to tell people where they should be and what they should be doing without getting anyone upset.”

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Yudin says Vivona\’s grace under fire is special:

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“Only a handful of boys that I have had, can do that so well. He\’s constantly analyzing the games and what we should be doing.

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He sees in 3-D, a remarkable quality.”

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Ghaffari and Vivona have been playing together since U12 club soccer.

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“(Playing together) has especially helped this high school soccer season,” Vivona says. “Playing center back, I need to be one step ahead of the game … and this has become a lot easier this season.”

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Junior midfielder Ryan Gross — the third Devil captain — is the middle connection for the start-to-finish pair.

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Gross has been part of the Ghaffari-Vivona chemistry since those U-12 days.

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“I have gotten to know (Alex and Ryan) well on and off the field,” Ghaffari offers. “They are both

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great players who provide leadership and who are solid in both the offense and defense. They have helped me become a better player by always having a competitive attitude and working hard in training.”

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“Both Cyrus and Ryan\’s friendships have brightened the past few years of my life,” Vivona adds. “They are both such key players on every team … and (I love) watching them play. I have

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to say that it\’ll be sad when we go off to college, just because I have grown so close to them over the years.”

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What about life after high school?

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While neither Vivona or Ghaffari knows where he\’s headed, college is definitely up next.

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Ghaffari wants to stay in California and play soccer. However, he hasn\’t made up his mind where.

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Vivona\’s first choice is American University in Washington, D.C. He wants to pursue international relations or political science and isn\’t concerned about playing soccer at a higher level:

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“I\’ll find my way back to soccer, either through club or intramural leagues. I have been playing year-round since I was 11. It\’s hard to imagine stopping.”

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And neither he nor Ghaffari believes this season\’s end is near.

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— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] or (530) 747-8047. Comment on

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this story at www.davisenterprise.com. To view and purchase Blue Devil sports photos, visit http://davisenterprise.zenfolio.com

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