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Dawgs open season against Manteca
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The Ceres High football team hasn't had much success against Manteca. The Buffalos have compiled a 12-1 record against the Bulldogs since 1989, winning 10 straight.

Ceres wants to end the streak this season. The Buffalos play host to the Bulldogs in a non-conference contest on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

"We're going to be prepared," said Ceres High defensive coordinator Brett Johnson. "And we're going to beat them."

Ceres' coaching staff visited the Manteca campus last week.

"We went out there and watched them on Friday night," Johnson said. "They have some talented kids like they usually do."

Ceres graduated 13 starters from the 7-4 squad from 2003, which was one of the best teams in the school's history. The Bulldogs finished third in league and secured a berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Playoffs for the first time.

"There's some big shoes to fill," Johnson said.

Ceres' top returners are Derrick Goblirsch (quarterback), Cruz Flores (receiver), Brian Borges (safety, running back, receiver), Nick Eudy (defensive tackle), Ryan Leazer (cornerback, tailback, return specialist), Rafael Valencia (receiver), Daniel Smith (cornerback), Matt Merenda (offensive line) James Gmachowski (offensive line), A.J. Ball (offensive line) and Brandon Gresham (kicker/safety).

Goblirsch, Flores, Borges, Eudy, Leazer, Valencia, Smith, Ball and Greshman started last season. Merenda, Gmachowski logged a significant amount of playing time.

Goblirsch, who is being recruited by a host of Division I colleges, passed for 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Flores earned first-team, all-CCC honors as a receiver. He caught 51 passes for 616 yards and four touchdowns.

Borges and Eudy earned second-team, all-league honors on defense.

Borges had 85 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery.

Eudy had 46 tackles, 21/2 sacks and one fumble recovery.

"It's nice to have those guys with that experience," Johnson said.

Ceres' top newcomers are Charlie Cunha (receiver), Jeff Warn (receiver), Ray Robles (running back, linebacker), Luis Malagon (linebacker), Jake Loveland (linebacker) and Dingko Luangchai (running back, defensive back).

Cunha and Warn didn't play football last year.

Robles played in several games at the varsity level before transferring to Hughson. Robles decided to return to Ceres High after several weeks.

Malagon, Loveland and Luangchai were members of the JV football team.

The Bulldogs will be competing in a different league this season.

Ceres and the five Modesto high schools, including Beyer, Davis, Downey, Johansen and Modesto, departed from the CCC and formed the Modesto Metro League (MML).

The top two teams make the playoffs.

"Without a doubt, we're going to be right in the thick of it," Johnson said.

Ceres' 10-game schedule includes five exhibition and five conference games.

The Bulldogs play Manteca, Weston Ranch, Pitman, Golden Valley and Atwater (homecoming) during the preseason.

The MML schedule begins on Oct. 15 as the Bulldogs play host to the Modesto High Panthers at 7:30 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier