Soccer Magic Returns

Madera South High School Boys Soccer team are North State Champions!

By Marty Bitter, MUSD Athletic Director

Everyone in the community of Madera would call this a soccer town! Very few realize how rare and amazing the Madera South boys soccer team’s Central Section Division III Soccer Championship and the CIF Division III Nor Cal Regional State Championship are.

In 1998, under Head Coach Bobby Gutierrez, Madera High School won the first and only boys soccer Valley Championship until 2019! On Friday, February 22nd, the magic returned to Madera. Madera South Stallions drew the #1 Seed in Division III and beat Tulare Union 3-1 to win their first CIF Central Section Championship and only the 2nd time ever in the community of Madera.

This time it wasn’t the end of the season as the California Interscholastic Federation has now instituted regional championships in both the northern and southern portions of the state. The Stallions were awarded the #3 seed in Division III. They hosted a first round game against Ceres High School and won 2-0. They then hit the road and played University High school out of San Francisco and outlasted them 3-2.

They were fortunate along their journey that the #1 seed lost in a semi-final match which meant for the first time in Stallion history, we hosted a State Championship Final!

In a game that had tremendous build-up and hype, because of the tradition of soccer in Madera, the town showed up from all over to support the Stallions. Before a crowd of about 1,500 spectators on a somewhat rainy night, the Stallions did not disappoint with a 4-2 State Championship victory over Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School.

Soccer has come full circle in Madera and is back on the map. You see Coach Bobby Gutierrez also started the Madera South boys program in the 2006 / 07 season. A freshman by the name of Enrique Garcia made the varsity team and played all four of his high school years on the varsity. Coach Garcia learned from Coach Gutierrez, who coached him for two years, before he became ill from cancer and was no longer able to work.

The impression Coach Gutierrez left had a huge impact on Coach Garcia. Coach Gutierrez would have been very proud of his successor’s work, not only for the program’s achievements and skills development, but also for the fine young men who played valiantly and were genuinely respected, throughout the Valley and State, for the tenacity and character they demonstrated in all their games.

Madera will always be a soccer town and the Stallions have brought our community back to the forefront with an amazing season! Congratulations to all the young men and coaching staff, who worked so hard and were rightfully rewarded (if you have the space) with a Valley and State Championship!!


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