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Ceres soccer teams have a new place to call home
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The Ceres High varsity and JV boys soccer teams played all of their home games at Walter White School in Ceres last season to accommodate several other athletic programs.

"When they redid the tennis courts (at Ceres High), they expanded that into the soccer area," said Ceres High varsity coach Joe Byrne. "There really wasn't enough room left for a full-sized soccer field. They also needed more space for football."

This year's home games are being held at the Ceres River Bluff Regional Park's soccer-field complex, located next to River Oaks Golf Course on Hatch Road.

"I started lobbying for us to get a chance to play out here," Byrne said.

Lou Toste, Ceres Youth Soccer Organization vice president, and Phil de la Porte, Ceres High athletic director, assisted. They spoke with Doug Lemcke, Ceres Parks, Recreation & Facilities director.

"I heard they wanted to use it so I gave him (Phil) a call and worked out a schedule for him," Lemcke said.

The use of the facility is being provided free of charge to the Bulldogs.

That decision was made before Lemcke met with Scott Siegel, assistant superintendent of Business Services Division for CUSD, on Oct. 11 to figure out a payment plan for next year.

"We decided that in the future, we're going to need to charge them the regular, non-profit rate, which is half the normal rate," Lemcke said.

Cost is $10 per hour, which amounts to $20 per game.

The soccer field at the Ceres park measures 75 yards wide by 125 yards long.

"This is the nicest field I have ever seen from Merced to Sacramento," Byrne said. "It's gorgeous."

The new field is level, longer and wider.

"It's a lot better," said Marques Castrejon, co-team captain and starting defensive midfielder. "We have a lot more space to work with. There's no holes."

A portion of the field at Walter White School is filled with clumps of grass and dirt.

The Ceres High girls soccer team should benefit from playing on the brand-new field this Spring.

"It's a large field," said Ceres coach Randy Cerny. "I think it's going to be good for our team because we have a lot of speed." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier