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CHS grad will play two sports at William Jessup University
Jode Johnson graduated from Ceres High in June.

The school's first three-time Female Athlete of the Year talked with the Mazza sisters before committing to NAIA Division II William Jessup University on July 2.

Heather and Jessica earned scholarships to Bethany University and Fresno Pacific, respectively, after starring in basketball with the Bulldogs.

"I got a lot of information from everybody before I made a decision," Johnson stated. "Jessica and Heather both went to smaller colleges, They said I'd get a lot out of it and wouldn't regret it."

Jode will play two sports for the Lady Warriors.

"That was a big thing," she said. "I like both (basketball and softball) equally. I couldn't choose."

Johnson visited William Jessup three times, including twice for basketball and once for softball.

She also took a recruiting trip to Central Arizona Community College. Former Bulldogs Reshundra Smiley and Keyasha Brothern played for the Vaqueras.

The Lady Warriors posted a 27-20 overall record and finished in third place in the California Pacific Conference during their inaugural season of softball in 2010.

William Jessup finished 11-18 on the year and 7-5 in conference play (third overall) in women's basketball.

"I liked everything they had to offer," Johnson said. "Everyone was friendly."

Jode earned 10 varsity letters at Ceres High, including four in basketball, and three in both softball and volleyball.

She was named to the all-state team in softball during her senior year. The Valley Oak League Offensive Player of the Year hit .506 with three homers, one triple, seven doubles, 18 RBIs, 29 runs, 17 stolen bases and a .696 slugging percentage for Ceres High, which compiled a 17-9-1 overall record and tied for third place in the VOL (11-5). Johnson's position on defense was shortstop.

In basketball, Jode earned first-team, all-league honors while starring at guard-forward. She averaged 17.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game as the Bulldogs finished 12-14 and 8-8 (fifth place).

In volleyball, Johnson led Ceres High to its first playoff appearance since 2004 and a 9-7 mark in VOL play. She received second-team, all-conference honors. Jode tallied 76 kills, 74 serve receptions, 57 digs, 16 aces and 15 blocks.

Johnson and Ceres High enjoyed a tremendous amount of success at the varsity level against crosstown rival Central Valley.

The Bulldogs had a combined record of 19-1 in basketball, softball and volleyball. Ceres High's lone loss came in volleyball during Jode's sophomore year.

Johnson also enjoyed battling VOL rival East Union each season.

"It was always a challenge," she said.

The Bulldogs and Lancers both won three times in softball from 2008-10.

Jode's walk-off, three-run homer rallied Ceres High to an 8-6 victory in 2009.

In basketball, the Bulldogs tallied just one victory in eight meetings versus East Union. Ceres High lost by one point twice and three points once.

Johnson scored 17 points, including the winning basket at the buzzer, as the Bulldogs defeated the Lancers 48-47 her junior year.

Jode and 2009 East Union grad Ashley Rose will team up in basketball at William Jessup.

Johnson left for college on Aug. 11.

Located in Rocklin, William Jessup had an enrollment of 578 last fall.

The school has a cost of attendance of $28,000 per year. That covers tuition, room and board, and other fees.

"I'm just glad someone saw I could play at the college level," said Johnson, who received an 85-percent scholarship. "I know I can be better than what I am right now."

William Jessup is only a two-hour drive from Ceres.

Jode's family, friends and former coaches plan to attend her home games.

"They've always supported me," Johnson said.