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CHS' water polo team has high hopes for 2008 campaign
Ceres High's varsity boys water polo program has a new coach.

Former Bulldog goalie Tim Reyes inherits a team that lost five of seven starters to graduation, including leading scorers Kevin Fliflet and Chris Rossi. They combined to score 110 goals.

Shane Nunes and the 2008 Bulldogs haven't lowered their expectations an ounce.

"I don't think it's going to effect us because the rest of the league lost players too," said Nunes, a third-year player. "We still have a chance to go to playoffs."

This year's team will be led by returners Nunes (senior), Aaron Torres (senior), Zachary Brooke (senior) and Raul Massie (junior).

"The four of us work great together," Shane said.

Nick Steeley (senior), Bastiaan Weststeyn (junior), Aaron Cunningham (junior) and Christian Moore (junior) are also back for another season.

The Bulldogs have two newcomers in Michael Rodriguez (senior) and James Chesney (senior).

"We don't have super-great players this year," Nunes said. "We do have a lot of strong swimmers."

Added Reyes: "If we utilize that on counterattacks, that's where will get our scoring from."

Stated Massie: "We have the talent but we all need to pitch in."

The top three placers in the eight-team Modesto Metro Conference qualify for the playoffs. Ceres High finished fourth at 7-7 in the 2007 standings. Johansen, Modesto High and Oakdale took first, second and third, respectively.

"It's been our goal since day one, to make sections," Massie said. "If we work together, we can get it done."

"I see us at least in the top four if not better," Nunes added.

Coach Reyes graduated from Ceres High in 2004. He starred at goalkeeper for three years, leading the Bulldogs to the playoffs as a senior and sophomore.

"It's nice to come back to a school where I spent time in the pool," Tim said. "As long as the kids are out there having fun, learning and trying their best, that's a good season to me."

Said Nunes: "He (coach Reyes) lets us be us. We don't have to be fake."