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Bulldogs eye first season-opening win in over a decade
On Friday night, Ceres High School's varsity football team opens the 2010 campaign at home against Ripon.

The Bulldogs will try to end 12 years of futility. Ceres High's last season-opening win came against Sonora in 1997.

The Bulldogs dropped eight straight contests to Manteca before compiling an 0-4 record against Grace Davis.

"A win would jump start our season, get that monkey off our backs," Ceres High head coach Brett Johnson said. "It's very important."

The Bulldogs will unveil their new offense under the direction of first-year coordinator John Bussard. Ceres High will play with a double-tight end set as its base formation.

"This offense gives us a whole bunch of flexibility," Bussard said.

George Borden (QB), Nick Welsh (UTL), Hadon Lopez (RB), Brent Ward (RB), Zach Naylor (RB), Jr. Moniz (RB/WR), Matt Cardelli (WR), Jeremy Cagle (TE), Ivan Raya (TE) and Anthony Amirfar (FB/TE) will share the load.

"We're going to be rotating kids in and out," Bussard said. "We're going to share the wealth."

Welsh could be used at running back, receiver and quarterback. He was promoted to varsity as a sophomore last season.

"Nick's one of our better athletes," Bussard said. "We'll show him in a variety of ways."

Borden, Ceres High's starting quarterback for Week 1, memorized his playbook in two days.

"I don't know if I've coached a kid who does as much homework as him," Bussard said. "He's a very good leader. He's polite, respectable and coachable. You couldn't ask for a better student-athlete."

Borden has the utmost confidence in his offensive line, which averages 240 pounds. Jake Williams, Chris Husong, Steven Smith, Dashawn Mena, Shannon Dinsdale and Jesse Hidahl are all expected to contribute.

Mena earned VOL second-team honors in 2009.

Friday's season opener will get underway at 7:30 p.m.

"I can't believe how fast it's come," Borden said. "Everyone's excited. We've seen their film. We're game planning. We'll be ready."

The Bulldogs want to start a new tradition.

Ceres High hasn't had a winning season or made the playoffs since 2004. The Bulldogs lost 28 of 30 games from 2007-09.

"All of us have worked incredibly hard to do the right things to change the program around," Bussard said. "The biggest obstacle is how do you get the kids to maintain a sense of belief."