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Cowboys gearing up for 31st season of competition
The Ceres Cowboys launched their new web site last month.

"It's up and running," said Madeline Patterson, president of the youth football and cheerleading organization. "We've been in the community for 31 years. The core of the program is what keeps it going. We've been very consistent."

The Cowboys signed up more than 190 football players and cheerleaders for the 2011 season.

"We have a lot of returners," Patterson said. "That makes a big difference."

Shane Trousdale (varsity), John Thompson (junior-varsity), Orlando Deleon (novice) and Ricky Valenzuela (junior novice) volunteered to be head coaches for Ceres' football teams.

The Cowboys play a nine-game season, beginning on Aug. 27.

Ceres' Delta Youth Football League schedule includes games against the North Stockton Bengals, Tracy Jr. Bulldogs, Modesto Titans, Manteca Chargers, Modesto/Empire Vikings, Stockton Bears, Dublin Falcons, Tracy Cougars and Delta Rebels.

The Cowboys staged their first practices on July 16, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at Mae Hensley Jr. High School.

Patterson has been affiliated with the Cowboys since the 1990s. Her two sons James and Michael are former football players. Her daughter Stephanie was a cheerleader. Her husband Jim was a longtime coach with the organization. Madeline was named president in 2006.

"I'm just a previous parent who believes in the program," Patterson said. "That's why I do it. I'll be a part of the organization until I'm voted out or my dream ends."

For additional information about the youth football and cheer organization, visit