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CHS soccer squad competes at Pitman tourney
Ceres High School's new-look varsity boys soccer team finished in third place in Pool D at the Pitman tournament last week.

The Bulldogs compiled a 1-2 record at the 16-team event.

"Overall, I think the team we have is pretty strong," Ceres High head coach Koeurn Phe said. "We just need to tighten up our defense."

Ramon Corona, the lone returning starter from last year's Sac-Joaquin Section championship squad, totaled five goals in three games.

"We do have a threat up top," Phe said. "That's a bright spot."

The Bulldogs opened the tournament Friday afternoon with a 3-1 loss to the Merced Bears.

Corona collected Ceres High's goal.

Ramon scored three times while leading the Bulldogs to a 4-1 win over Monterey Trail later in the day.

Cesar Hurtado tallied one goal.

Francisco Martinez had an assist.

Ceres High lost 3-1 to Buhach Colony Saturday morning.

Corona scored for the Bulldogs.

"A lot of my players are new," Phe said. "It was a challenge to get them to understand how we play."

Hawks 5, Mustangs 2

Head coach Omar Leon made multiple adjustments and substitutions during the Central Valley High School varsity boys soccer team's scrimmage at Oakdale on Tuesday, Aug. 24.

"The first 15-20 minutes, we didn't look like a team," he said. "We have so many new players. I think they were nervous."

The Hawks lost multiple starters to graduation, including Antonio Cabrera, Billy Chanthavong and Bobby Chanthavong.

Jose Ramirez, one of Central Valley's top returning five players, watched from the the bench against Oakdale. He was sidelined with a right ankle injury, possibly a stress fracture.

"My senior year and this is happening," Ramirez said. "It's very frustrating. Hopefully, I'll get better soon and I can start during league. I want to play every single game."

Veterans Gerardo Cazares (Sr.), Larry Hernandez ( Sr.), Daniel Ochoa (Jr.) and Hugo Contreras (Jr.) stepped up in Ramirez's absence.

"We're going to miss him but the team has to learn to adjust when people can't play," Hernandez said.

Ochoa scored three goals in leading Central Valley to a 5-2 victory over Oakdale.

Cazares tallied one goal and one assist.

Hernandez picked up one assist.

Newcomer Luis Rivas collected one goal and one assist against Oakdale.

The scrimmage, which consisted of four 20-minute halves, was played in 100-degree weather. Players from both sides made frequent trips to the water station.

Central Valley and Ceres High will compete at the Gregori tournament this Friday and Saturday. The Hawks' and Bulldogs' opening games will be played at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.