By Ray Hamill — A pair of local soccer standouts have committed to play at College of the Redwoods, as the Corsairs continue their preparations for next season despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Fortuna’s Geovaney Ramirez, who played a pivotal role in the Huskies’ run to a North Coast Section championship last year, will join the program, along with Eureka’s Cristian Bravo Sierra.
Ramirez follows in the footsteps of his older brother Miguel, who played two years with the Corsairs, and is expected to have an immediate impact in the heart of defense.
“He’s just calm back there and under control,” CR head coach Kyle Van Dyke said. “He’s real strong and he’s good with his decision making. You can tell he has a lot of experience.”
Ramirez was an all-league selection this past fall, anchoring a Fortuna team that won both the H-DNL and the section title.
And Van Dyke expects the former Husky to be ready for the step up in competition.
“He’s got experience with them winning the NCS, and I know he’ll definitely come in and contribute,” the coach said.
Likewise with Bravo Sierra, who is expected to start in midfield for the Corsairs.
“He played varsity all four years (at Eureka), so he’s got good experience too,” Van Dyke said. “He’s going to be a strong asset for us.”
The two local stars won’t be the only newcomers next season, with Van Dyke busy recruiting for a team that will return seven players from 2019.
Last week, Van Dyke announced the addition of Albara Mutleq, a transfer form Johnson and Wales University in Denver, as well as Tyson Todd, a high school senior form Omaha, Nebraska.
And he’s not done yet.
“We’re still communicating with a few others,” Van Dyke said. “Some from out of the area and some locals as well. It’s definitely a process, but I feel good about where we are.”
The addition of the local standouts will definitely help.
“It’s real nice to see a couple of local guys who want to come and be a part of what we’re trying to build,” the coach said.
The transition for Ramirez in the heart of defense will be made easier with the return of sophomore defender Luis Melecio, who played alongside him in travel team soccer.
“They should have a good connection,” the head coach said.
Former McKinleyville standout Richard Carpenter, who went to Hoopa High, is also expected back in the fall, while Eureka’s Josh Duncan will join the team after a year at Lassen.
Duncan is expected to bring plenty of versatility to the roster and can play a number of positions in midfield and up front.