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CHS has a new leader in Bussard

CHS has a new leader in Bussard

Junior Brad Bussard will start at quarterback for the Bulldogs’ varsity football team this season.

POSTED August 29, 2013 10:14 a.m.

The son of a coach, multi-sport athlete Brad Bussard has played with a chip on his shoulder for most of his life.

Bussard will face the ultimate challenge this fall when he makes his debut at quarterback for Ceres High School's football team.

"My dad's a coach," said Brad, a 6-foot-tall junior. "I'm always underestimated. I want to prove people wrong and show them I'm good enough to play at the varsity level. I worked hard to get this spot."
John Bussard, Brad's father, has 25 years of coaching experience. He's filled positions at Ceres High, Gustine, Orestimba, Dos Palos and Hilmar.

He's been a coach with the Bulldogs' football and baseball programs since the 2008-09 school year.

John will call offensive plays for the varsity football team this season.
He'll return for his third year as varsity baseball head coach during the springtime.

"If I had a different dad, I don't think I'd be the same," Brad said. "We talk about things at school and home. He pushes me to be a better athlete and student. It's great."

Converted from receiver to quarterback after graduating from Mae Hensley Jr. High, Bussard directed the Bulldogs' freshman squad to a 3-5-1 mark (2-2-1 WAC).

Bussard passed for 1,398 yards and 15 touchdowns with 10 interceptions while leading Ceres High's junior-varsity football squad to a 4-6 overall record in 2012.

"We only got blown out once," he said. "We were in every game. Our varsity team is looking better this year. We got a lot more skilled-position players. We're all excited."

Ceres High hasn't had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2004. The Bulldogs posted a 2-8 overall record and finished last in the WAC standings (0-6) last year.

Brad had a busy summer filled with hours of AP English and U.S. History homework, weight-lifting and conditioning sessions, and 7-on-7 passing contests.

He organized voluntary passing meetings with 2013 Bulldog teammates Dylan Canatsy, Jimmy Bates, Harman Chung, Juan Anderson and twin brother Brent Bussard.

Brad also went to football camps at San Diego State and Washington State. "I'm pretty confident," Bussard said. "We could be a winning team this year. We have enough talent to beat anyone. We just have to catch them on the right day."

A standout pitcher in baseball at the varsity level as a sophomore, Brad compiled an 8-2 record with a 1.62 ERA, 54 strikeouts, 18 walks, four complete games and two shutouts as Ceres High continued its run of success. Bussard batted .350 with one triple, six doubles, seven stolen bases, 18 RBIs and 29 runs for the Bulldogs, who went 20-7-1, advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the third year in a row and finished second in the WAC (10-2). Brad earned second-team, all-conference honors.

"I want to help turn our football program around," Bussard said. "We have people who are dedicated and want to win. It would be nice to see our hard work pay off."



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