Yellowjackets defeat Jurupa Hills 2-1 to take first league championship in 12 years. Team awaits CIF round one matchup.


J. Dollins

The Yellowjackets boys soccer team celebrates its 2-1 championship victory.

Fontana, CA—League champs. 

It has a beautiful ring to it.

Tonight, the Colton Yellowjackets won the San Andreas league championship, going into Fontana to defeat the Jurupa Hills Spartans 2-1. This is their first title in 12 years, since the 2010-2011 season, and only a season removed from last year’s last place finish.

“It feels good,” Miguel Marcelo said after the game, a perfect summation of his team’s state of mind as they celebrated on the Spartan home field.

This championship game comes on the heels of two previous defeats at the hand of the Spartans. On January 4, the Spartans came to Colton and beat the Yellowjackets 5-3. When Colton visited them on January 23, they lost again 2-0. So it was clear this game was not going to be easy.

Goals by Miguel Marcelo and Yahir Rodriguez were all the Yellowjackets needed to seal this victory. Goalkeeper Ulises Castillo had four saves in defense of the net.

Prior to the game, head coach Jose Ruvalcaba was preaching discipline and heart in the team huddle. “I told these guys, ‘Man, if you guys played with heart, you’re gonna beat them,’” Ruvalcaba said. “And that’s what happened. We dominated the game.”

It took a little while for that dominance to reveal itself. In the early going, Colton found themselves slow to the ball in the midfield, and struggling to communicate. Communication issues between goaltender Ulises Castillo and his teammates led to the first goal as he found himself out of position when one of his teammates tried kicking the ball back to him. Before Castillo could get to the ball, it trickled into the net, giving Jurupa their first goal.

That changed Colton’s entire attitude. After that, they became more aggressive, and even though they did not score on their final two attacks of the first half, they looked like the superior team.

When they came back from halftime, they picked up where they left off, putting pressure on Jurupa Hills’ defense. A foul was called on the Spartans with 21 minutes remaining in the game, setting up a penalty kick for Miguel Marcelo, who wasted no time putting the ball past the Spartan goaltender.

“I knew the goalie was going to dive to the left,” Marcelo said. “I was locked in. I knew it was going to go in.”

The Spartans fought back after that, but Colton held strong on defense. Then with 8:54 remaining, Yahir Rodriguez got the ball on a breakaway. Jurupa’s goaltender came out to meet him, and Rodriguez chipped the ball in over the goalie’s head to put the Yellowjackets up 2-1.

This victory is a sweet one for the team. It is coach Ruvalcaba’s first in three years as head coach. And for the seniors, this is a special moment to cap their high school experience.

“I feel amazing,” senior captain Julio Soberanes said. “Since freshman year we didn’t win nothing, but we finally got our heart out. I’m just happy for the boys. We deserve it.”

This is also a special win because of challenges the team experienced last year. “Last season we didn’t win a game,” coach Ruvalcaba said. “And now this, without knowing what was going to happen, we take league . . . I don’t know. I don’t know what to say.”

Now, the team looks forward to an appearance in the CIF playoffs. Taking first place in the San Andreas league gives them an automatic bid. After the wild card round on February 7, round one matchups will be released.

In the meantime, the team will relish this victory as they prepare for what’s next.

Yahir Rodriguez said it best. “First I gotta celebrate with the boys, then CIF here we come.”



Girls soccer traveled to Eisenhower High to play for third place in the San Andreas League. Eisenhower won on a controversial goal late in the game to defeat the Yellowjackets 1-0. Colton believed the goal was scored while the Eagles were offsides, which would have negated the goal. Officials did not agree and let the goal stand. Colton finishes the season 7-10-3 with a 2-5-1 record in league play.