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Baler roundup: Boys soccer looks to solidify top-3 spot in PCAL Gabilan

Hollister High junior Emiliano Castro unleashes a shot in their 3-2 loss to league-leader Alisal High on Jan. 26. The Haybalers rebounded with back-to-back wins and are tied with two other teams with 15 points for second place in the PCAL Gabilan Division. Photo by Jonathan Natividad.

The Hollister High boys soccer team is having a solid season playing in one of the toughest leagues in the Central Coast Section for boys soccer, the Pacific Coast Athletic League Gabilan Division. 

After a last-minute, 3-2 loss to perennial powerhouse Alisal High on Jan. 26, the Haybalers earned a couple of key wins to strengthen their position for a top-three finish and automatic berth into the CCS playoffs. 

They defeated North Salinas 2-0 on Jan. 28 on goals from Emiliano Castro and Anthony Mendoza. Two days later, they posted a 3-1 win over Salinas to improve to 5-2 in division play. Hollister did drop a 1-0 decision to North Salinas Wednesday but still has 15 points, tied for second most in the division with Alvarez and North Salinas.

However, the Balers have played two fewer games than Alvarez and one fewer than North Salinas, giving them an advantage to gain extra points. A key matchup comes on Friday when they host Alvarez at 5:45pm.

In other updates, the Hollister girls soccer team had Senior Night Wednesday against North Salinas. The six seniors honors were McKenzie Heckman, Shaelyn Tamez, Alexis Montoya, Trinity Arias and Gisele Santillan.

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Emanuel Lee is the sports editor of the Los Gatan, Gilroy Dispatch, Hollister Free Lance and Morgan Hill Times. An American High and University of Kentucky alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Gavilan College, various youth sports in south Santa Clara/San Benito counties and pro sports on occasion. Two decades of journalism experience and recipient of several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. With the Weeklys/NewSVMedia group since 2013. Emanuel has run eight marathons with a PR of 3:13.40 (7:24 mile pace), counts himself as a devoted follower of Jesus Christ and loves spending time with his wife and their two lovely daughters, Evangeline and Eliza. Coaches, athletic directors and parents are encouraged to report scores to