By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ceres High, Central Valley kick off 2011 season this Friday
Central Valley High School's varsity football team has a favorable preseason schedule according to third-year quarterback Abraham Navarro.

"If we can go undefeated, that will give us a lot of confidence," he said.

The Hawks will face four Modesto Metro Conference schools, including Gregori, Downey, Johansen and Grace Davis.

Downey, Johansen and Grace Davis posted a combined record of 8-22 last year.

Central Valley routed Grace Davis 42-24 in 2010. The Hawks lost 14-7 to Downey and 21-7 to Johansen.

Gregori will field its first-ever varsity team this season.

Central Valley and Gregori open the 2011 season Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"They're not going to roll over because they don't have seniors," Navarro said.

Central Valley posted a 2-8 record and finished in fifth place (1-4) in the Western Athletic Conference last year.

Navarro, Cristian Chavez, Greg Tripp and Ja'Quan Gardner will try to lead Central Valley to record heights this fall.

"I have a feeling we're going to do really good," Abraham said. "The mentality of the team has changed so much. We just got to keep working hard. We can't get overconfident if we start having success."

Crosstown-rival Ceres High's non-conference schedule includes games against Ripon, Hilmar, Downey and East Union.

"There's no reason we can't be competitive," Bulldogs head coach Bret Durossette said. "We have some talented kids."

Ceres High will be led by quarterback Blake Hurst, all-purpose player Nick Welsh and linebacker/running back Ivan Raya.

Welsh racked up 948 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns a season ago. He totaled 20 tackles and seven pass deflections on defense.

Raya chipped in with 62 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Hurst played quarterback and safety at the JV level.

The Bulldogs will miss senior linebacker/running back Zach Naylor's presence.

Naylor will be sidelined because of health-related issues. Zach still hasn't made a full recovery from internal-organ injuries sustained against Central Catholic his junior year.

Naylor rushed for a team-leading 446 yards and four TDs in seven games last season. He registered 50 tackles, tallied three sacks, and forced and recovered one fumble.

The Bulldogs finished 1-9 overall and last in the WAC standings (0-5) in 2010.

Ceres High collected its lone win during the first week of the season. The Bulldogs held on for a 22-15 victory over Ripon.

Ceres High lost 21-20 to Hilmar, 22-8 to Downey and 21-7 to East Union.

"It's going to be important to have a good preseason," Durossette said. "Our focus right now is Ripon."