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The Ceres Seahawks varsity youth football team won the Cen-Cal NFC regular season title, fell one victory shy of the Super Bowl and posted a 10-5 record in 2007.

Expectations are high for the 2008 squad, which will be competing with a revamped roster. Ceres graduated 23 players, including 10 starters on both sides of the ball.

"We're rebuilding because of the amount of players we lost, but I really believe there's enough talent here to be as successful as last season," head coach Joe Borba said.

The Seahawks will be led by Greg Hoover, Abraham Navarro, Nick Renteria, Tony Black, Adam Welsh, Chance Shaw, Damien Underwood, Miguel Valdapena, Richard Hillman and Lance Goblirsch Jr.

Valdapena (tight end, linebacker), Hillman (offensive and defensive lineman) and Goblirsch (OL/DL) are returners. Miguel started.

Renteria (running back, defensive back), Black (RB/DB), Welsh (RB/DB), Shaw (OL/DL) and Underwood (OL/DL) are first-year varsity players. They competed at the JV level last season.

"We have a really good group of kids," Borba said. "There's no attitudes. Everyone's positive. They're starting to gel pretty quickly."

The Seahawks have a trio of capable quarterbacks in Navarro, George Arroyo and Lucas Avila.

"I'm comfortable having either one of the three under center," Borba said. "The main thing is getting our line situated and running."

Navarro has been annointed the starter. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder will direct Ceres' wing-T offense.

"For a guy that's never taken a snap before, he's picked it up really fast," Borba said.

Abraham hasn't played football in over three years.

"I was a lineman for the Ceres Falcons novice football team the year JV won the Super Bowl," he said.

Navarro will also play defensive end and linebacker.

Hoover, a 5-foot-8, 170-pounder, will do just about everything for the Seahawks.

The former Ceres Cowboys standout will start at fullback and linebacker. He will contribute on the offensive and defensive lines as well.

"He's a special talent," Borba said. "We're lucky to have him on our team."

The top six teams in the Cen-Cal NFC Division standings qualify for the playoffs. Home-field advantage will be awarded to the first- and second-place squads.

"To be honest with you, I really think we'll be one of the top teams in our conference because we have quite a bit of talent," Borba said. "But it's up to the kids to produce on the field. The coaches also have to put them in the right positions to succeed."

Ceres opens its season against the defending Super Bowl champion Turlock Vikings on Aug. 30 at Central Valley High School. The contest will get underway at 3 p.m.

"It's going to be one of our toughest games of the year," Borba said.c