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Bonsu Elite Athletics celebrates its grand opening at new location
Owner moves business from Modesto to Ceres
Eleven-year-old Brhyer Ramsdell trains at the Bonsu Elite Athletics facility. Originally located in Modesto, BEA moved to Ceres earlier this month. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Les Bonsu moved his business from Modesto to Ceres earlier this month.

Bonsu Elite Athletics (BEA) celebrated its grand opening, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., on April 5.

More than 100 people were in attendance.

Located at 3427 Railroad Avenue, BEA offers a wide range of sports performance and fitness training.

"Before we made this move, we talked to every single one of our clients," said Bonsu, founder, owner and trainer. "I wanted to get their input. The only thing that is different is the location. I always wanted to be closer to Highway 99. It makes it an easier drive for everybody. Everyone has access to it. Our training is going to be the same. Nothing is going to change."

Bonsu Elite Athletics relocated to a 7,000-plus-square-foot facility.

BEA's old center was a 2,500-square-foot building at 401 Bangs Avenue in Modesto.

Bonsu and his staff train up to 180 people per week.

Sessions are offered Monday through Saturday.

BEA's clients range in age from 8 to 60.

"Every 90 minutes, we start a different class," Bonsu said. "We have kids that work out here that don't play sports. It helps with their confidence. The majority of our clientele trains for football. You see all different walks of life here."

BEA operated out of a 900-square-foot studio at 3025 McHenry Avenue in Modesto during its first two years of existence.

"We've grown slowly," Bonsu said. "We started out with a small studio in Modesto. It's a lot of work. But it's definitely rewarding. Seeing our clients achieve their goals is awesome."

Bonsu has had 17 athletes earn full scholarships to college the last four years.

John Mundt, a 2013 Central Catholic High School graduate, played tight end for the University of Oregon as a true freshman.

He caught 16 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games for the Ducks this past season.

Turlock High senior Patrick Green committed to play football at Division-I Northern Arizona University. The 6-foot-4 238-pounder was rated the 45th best tight end in the nation by ESPN prior to his final season with the Bulldogs. Patrick gained 38 pounds between his junior and senior year.

"He (Green) was underweight," Bonsu said. "He wasn't fast. He wasn't coordinated. He had a great work ethic. Our training helped him."

Erica Goynes, a 2013 Enochs High School grad, attends Cal Poly on a track and field scholarship.

Deshon Benton and Donovan Perez are a part of Bonsu's training staff.

Deshon, 27, has known Les for six years.

"He actually trained me when I was going to play football at University of Mary before the start of my senior year," said Benton, a Downey High School graduate. "I got league defensive MVP and first-team all-league. He does a lot of creative stuff. I didn't see anything like this until I was 18. This would have changed my world completely. I love being a part of it now."

Perez played football for UC Davis (1989-91), Modesto Junior College (1987-89) and Central Catholic High School (1983-87).

Donovan ranked in the top 10 in California for interceptions while starring at defensive back during his sophomore and freshman years at Modesto JC. He was a two-time all-conference selection with CC.

Perez was wide receivers/defensive backs coach for Cameron Park’s Ponderosa High School in 2012.

Ceres High sophomore Austin Stiles, and former Ceres Seahawks youth football players Coleby Garrett, Isaac Vizcaino and Kaleb Porter, attended the BEA grand-opening ceremony, along with a host of other athletes and community members.

Austin stopped by prior to playing in a hoops tournament.

Stiles, a member of the Bulldogs' varsity boys basketball and track and field teams, has trained on and off with Bonsu since the eighth grade.

"It's nice because it's right around the corner from my house," Stiles said. "It's a lot bigger, too. I'm going to try to come here as much as possible. He (Bonsu) really focuses on us. He does whatever it takes to get us to the next level. It's not about him."

Garrett, an eighth-grade student at Whitmore Charter School, has trained with Bonsu for four years.

Coleby plans to attend Central Catholic High School.

"He's helped me with my strength, speed and agility," Garrett said. "I've gotten so much skinnier and so much more muscular."

Vizcaino and Porter will both play for the Central Saints varsity youth football team this fall.

Isaac, a Mae Hensley Jr. High seventh-grader, started training at BEA three months ago.

"The fastest way to get fit is Bonsu," Vizcaino said. "Everybody goes here. He's helping me get my legs stronger for the track and the upcoming football season."

Kaleb, a seventh-grader at Roosevelt Jr. High School, met Les two years ago.

"Bonsu is like family to everybody," said Porter, a former Ceres resident. "He's going to help everyone here achieve their goal. He's that type of person. We've all seen the transformation in each other. I used to be chubby. I used to be intimidated. Now, I'm the intimidator. He's helped me gain confidence in everything."

"We have athletes that train for all sports," Bonsu said. "We're getting more popular. Our revenue's coming from everywhere. We're different. We offer longer training sessions. The goal is to try to get as much results as possible. I've always wanted to do this. It's very rewarding."

For more information about Bonsu Elite Athletics, call 247-2695.