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Seahawks compete in Fresno
Chance Cowell
Chance Cowell and the 209 Ceres Seahawks 13-and-under youth football team won one of two games at the Turkey Bowl this past week in Fresno.

Unable to compete in Nevada and Utah due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Ceres Seahawks played in a tournament in California this past weekend.

“We were running out of options,” said Willie Solorio, president of the youth football and cheer organization. “Fresno was the last resort.”

The 13-and-under Seahawks 209 squad compiled a 1-1 record at the Turkey Bowl , staged Nov. 28-29, at Granite Park in Fresno.

Ceres edged the Santa Maria Rebels, 14-12, on Sunday.

The Seahawks lost 14-8 to the South Bay Cougars on Saturday.

Ceres’ 22-person roster featured players from Ceres, Hughson, Turlock, Patterson and Modesto.

“We have some really talented kids. We got more football coming up. We’ll be playing in spring tournaments.”
Willie Solorio

“We have some really talented kids,” Solorio said. “We got more football coming up. We’ll be playing in spring tournaments.”

The Seahawks practiced for five weeks at Don Pedro Park leading up to the Fresno event.

“Every parent had to sign a waiver for their kid to play in the tournament,” Solorio said. “If they felt it wasn’t safe, they had the choice not to participate. We followed all (COVID-19) safety protocols. We sanitized. Everybody had their temperatures taken. Hopefully, nobody comes back COVID positive.”

The Seahawks planned to take four teams to the Fresno tournament but didn’t due to safety concerns related to COVID-19.

Stanislaus County was moved back into the Purple Tier under the state’s color-coded coronavirus reopening system on Nov. 13.

“Once it hit purple, we lost 50-55 percent of our players,” Solorio said. “Parents aren’t ignoring it. They have apps on their phones to get updates. I have concerns for the all kids, whether it’s health or mental. They’re going to resort to drugs and suicide because they’re being restricted.”

Andrew Alvarez
Andrew Alvarez avoids being tackled during the Ceres Seahawks’ 14-8 loss to the South Bay Cougars on Saturday.