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209 Elite gearing up for season
Isaiah Hidalgo old file
Central Valley High School senior Isaiah Hidalgo will suit up for the Ceres-based 209 Elite Varsity Football Club this spring. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Willie Solorio ordered uniforms for the 209 Elite Varsity Football Club on Friday.

Players were required to purchase their own equipment, including helmets, shoulder pads and padded practice pants.

The inaugural travel season is slated to kick off next month.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity,” said Isaiah Hidalgo, a senior at Central Valley High School. “Honestly, it’s a blessing. It’s a positive thing. I’m looking forward to getting on the field and playing again. Hopefully, it doesn’t get canceled.”

Hidalgo and his 209 Elite teammates practiced for the first time last week at Don Pedro Park.

They conditioned, from 6-8 p.m., under portable tower lights on Tuesday.

Saturday’s practice was staged from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“Football has been gone forever,” said Hidalgo, who will contribute at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back with 209 Elite. “I enjoyed being out there with the guys. It was all smiles and laughs. The chemistry was there. A lot of that comes from living here and growing up around each other.”

“Everyone is serious about playing football,” he added. “It’s more competitive. In high school, you have some kids that are just playing it for fun.”

Elite will kick off the 2021 season on the road against the North Bay Natives on March 13.

The 209 Seahawks Football Club is fielding a total of four teams during its inaugural season, including 10-and-under, 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 17-and-under.

The 17-and-under squad changed its team name to Elite.

Solorio founded the Ceres-based 209 Seahawks after youth football leagues in California canceled their seasons due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. High school sports, including football, also remain in limbo because of COVID-19.

“It’s independent from the Ceres Seahawks organization,” Solorio said. “There’s been a lot of interest. I’m not surprised at all. I could probably field 10 rosters because so many kids want to play. We’re not recruiting players.”

Solorio is looking to add more players to his team rosters. For more information, call 622-8195.