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Bulldog goalie Cerny earns scholarship to CSUS
Kyle Cerny has decided to stay close to home to play college soccer.

The Ceres High senior goalkeeper committed to Cal State Stanislaus on his 17th birthday. Cerny signed a national letter of intent with the Warriors on Friday, Feb. 5 inside Phil de la Porte Gymnasium. Kyle had an ear-to-ear smile on his face as he posed for pictures with parents Randy and Kelly, brother Ryan, principal Linda Stubbs and athletic director Glenn Driskell.

The Bulldogs have sent talented athletes to Stanislaus over the years, including softball players Omaira Estremera, Meghan Franksen and Jennifer Arnold, and girls basketball standout Shannon Donnelly.

"It's got all the things a big-time school has," Kyle said. "They'll be moving to Division I in the future."

Stanislaus plays all of its home games at Warrior Stadium. The new 2,100-seat facility opened last year as part of a $16.1 million Student Recreation Complex project. The Warriors averaged 888 fans per game.

"It's almost like a professional-sized field," said Cerny, who toured the campus in December. "They have a jumbo-tron. Even the President of the university has a luxury box."

Cerny will join a soccer program that reached record heights in 2009.

Stanislaus compiled an 11-6-2 overall record, including a program-best 8-6-2 mark in the California Collegiate Athletic Association North Division (second place). The Warriors went 8-1-1 at home under first-year head coach Dana Taylor's guidance.

Stanislaus will return several key players in 2010, including All-American forward Victor Regalado, CCAA second-team midfielder Edgar Santana and CCAA honorable-mention goalkeeper Javier Rosales.

Rosales tallied 59 saves and four shutouts during his sophomore year, moving his career totals in both categories to top three for the Warriors during the CCAA era. Javier ranks second in shutouts (seven) and third in saves (140).

"It will be good for me," Cerny said while talking about the possibility of red-shirting during his freshman year. "That will be someone I can learn from."

Kyle played a major role in Ceres High's turnaround.

A three-year varsity starter, Cerny led the Bulldogs to a section crown, a 38-16-7 overall record and two playoff berths.

Ceres High improved each season with Kyle in goal, culminating with a 2-0 win over crosstown rival Central Valley in the 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title game. The Bulldogs ended an eight-game winless streak against the Hawks.

Ceres High also exercised the demons of the previous season's 5-4 penalty-kick shootout loss to River City in the section finals.

"It was special," said Cerny, who tallied 65 saves, posted five shutouts and allowed just 14 goals on the year en route to earning VOL second-team honors. "I didn't think we'd even make playoffs because we lost so many seniors."

Kyle experienced the same joy his brother felt as a member of Riverbank High School's varsity boys soccer team. Ryan scored twice in the Bruins' 3-0 victory over Colfax for the Division III section championship in 2000.

"I went to that game with my dad," Kyle said. "I remember the crowd and lights."

Kyle played for Ryan as a sophomore. Ceres High place fourth in the VOL at 5-7-2.

"He (Kyle) became a fantastic soccer player because of hard work and dedication," Ryan said. "He's still got a lot of work to do."

Kyle's debut with the Warriors should be a memorable one.

Family members will be rooting from the stands at Warrior Stadium.

"They've been watching my games all of my life," Cerny said. "That's pretty important."

Kyle's parents also made sure he exhibited the same work ethic in the classroom.

Cerny has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.4.

He'll major in history or social science at Stanislaus.

"You're a student first and athlete second," Cerny said. "That's what I've done in high school."