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Bulldogs driven to excel on gridiron
CHS players working hard
Ceres High defensive back Dominic Durossette jams Central Valley tight end Christian Romo at the line of scrimmage while facing off at the Modesto Junior College 7-on-7 passing tournament. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity football program enjoyed a productive summer thanks to its increased dedication.

Bulldog players split time in the weight room and on the practice field.

Ceres High won four of five games en route to a second-place finish in its pool behind crosstown-rival Central Valley at the Modest Junior College 7-on-7 passing tournament on July 13.

The Bulldogs also had passing contacts with the Hawks, Hughson Huskies and Modesto High Panthers on Wednesdays at Ceres High.

"Our commitment has amplified," head coach Bret Durossette said. "Things are changing. Change is good. I'm totally excited. We're going to have great effort from our kids."

Brad Bussard (QB, Jr.), Brent Bussard (RB/LB, Jr.), Tyree Williams (RB/LB, So.) and Juan Anderson (WR/DB, Jr.) will fill key roles at the varsity level this fall.

Brad, Brent, Tyree and Juan helped lead the JV Bulldogs to a 4-6 overall record in 2012.

Brad Bussard passed for 1,398 yards and 15 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

Brent Bussard caught 21 passes for 406 yards and six TDs. He also rushed for 295 yards and three scores.

Williams ran for a team-leading 640 yards and four touchdowns.

Anderson hauled in 30 passes for 468 yards and three TDs.

Dylan Canatsy (WR, Sr.) will be Ceres High's top receiving threat.

Canatsy was the Bulldogs' second-best pass catcher (37-399-5) as a junior.

"I truly believe our quarterback (Brad) is going to turn heads," Durossette said. "He's going to be really good. I've been saying that since his freshman year. He (Tyree) was one of the best athletes at the Downey camp. Our offensive line is better. We're more ready than we have been in the last couple of years. We're going to be dialed in."

Ceres High and Central Valley will co-host a six-team scrimmage for all three levels of football at Bulldog Stadium on Aug. 24.

Modesto High, East Union, Weston Ranch and West accepted invitations.

"We could have had more teams," Durossette said. "We had a great response. It's going to be a great day for Ceres."

Ceres High last participated in the playoffs and compiled a non-losing record in 2004. The Bulldogs went 14-66 from 2005-12.

Central Valley, which field its first-ever varsity football team in 2006, has never qualified for the postseason or posted a winning record.

The Hawks fell one victory shy of making history last year.

"Football is an important sport for the school and community," Durossette said. "We have two schools in this town. Both need to be competitive."