Historic First: Bighorns Men’s Soccer announces local lineup for upcoming season

Mohave Wire

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MOHAVE COUNTY – Mohave Community College Head Men’s Soccer Coach Camilo Valencia has announced the local lineup for the squad’s inaugural season in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).

Bullhead and Lake Havasu cities will both be represented on the pitch come the season’s start in August 2024 with the signings of Leo Cortinez, Yahir Acero and Jose Alvarado.

Leo Cortinez graduated from Mohave High School in Bullhead City in 2022.

Leo Cortinez graduated from Mohave High School in Bullhead City in 2022.

Cortinez, a 5’11 Forward, graduated from Mohave High School in Bullhead City in 2022. Cortinez was born in Guerrero, Mexico, to Leonardo Cortinez and Lidia Eriza, and now resides in Bullhead City. Cortinez will study business at Mohave Community College.

“We identified Leo in the local Bullhead City league and comes highly recommended by Mohave High School Coach Matt Camacho,” says Coach Valencia. “He impressed us with his speed and ability to combine up top. Leo will be fighting for a spot in any of the forward positions and we expect him to contribute with goals and assists from the get-go.”

Acero, a 6’0 Goalkeeper, also graduated from Mohave High School in 2022. Born in Bullhead City to Alejandro and Karla Gabriela Acero, Acero will also study business at Mohave Community College.

“Yahir was part of our ID Camp in March and impressed our staff at the event. He will bring maturity to our goalkeeping crew and an excellent work ethic,” says Coach Valencia.

Yahir Acero graduated from Mohave High School in 2022.

Yahir Acero graduated from Mohave High School in 2022.

“Yahir was also coached by Coach Camacho at Mohave High School. He showed great commitment throughout the recruiting process and will proudly represent Mohave County.”

Jose Alvarado, 5’8, is set to graduate from Lake Havasu High School in 2024 and will take the position of Defender for the Bighorns.  Alvarado was born in Tucson, Arizona, to Jose Alvarado and Paola Navarro, and now calls Lake Havasu City home.

Alvarado, who plays for the Spartans soccer club in Tucson, boasts accomplishments including state champ, regional champ and President’s Cup national finalist in 2023. He has yet to decide on a major at Mohave Community College.

“Jose was one of our first identified players out of the Mohave area. He is a very solid defender and a quiet leader,” says Coach Valencia. “He has been part of a very successful club team and one of the brighter spots on a very good Lake Havasu High School team. Coaches Christina Gibbs and Jimmy Molyneux have great things to say about him and we can’t wait to see him running up and down the sideline wearing Bighorn Red.”

Jose Alvarado is set to graduate from Lake Havasu High School in 2024.

Jose Alvarado is set to graduate from Lake Havasu High School in 2024.

Coach Valencia says all three Bighorns earned the opportunity to be the first-ever players signed at Mohave Community College, and that they will represent the community with pride on and off the field.

“This is a giant step for our program, and we are very proud and excited about the team we are starting to build,” says Coach Valencia. “The Arizona Community College Athletic Conference is the most competitive NJCAA men’s soccer conference in the country and we believe that the talent, character and work ethic that we saw in these players is going to help us compete and achieve success in our inaugural season.”