Ceres High’s boys tennis program exceeded head coach Brandon Moring’s expectations this spring.
The Bulldogs posted a 7-5 record en route to a fourth-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
Ceres High didn’t field a team in 2021 due to a lack of interest. The Bulldogs won two of four conference matches before the 2020 spring sports season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We were by far the most improved team in league,” Moring said. “The kids started to have fun when they started having success.”
The Bulldogs topped the Grace Davis Spartans, Johansen Vikings and Lathrop Spartans twice during the WAC season. Ceres High split with the third-place Los Banos Tigers. The Bulldogs avenged a 9-0 loss with a 5-4 victory.
“For us to finish the way we did was a positive,” Moring said. “This team improved a lot.”
Ceres High competed shorthanded at the beginning of the season because of a lack of numbers.
The Bulldogs forfeited No. 3 doubles the entire year.
“Our very first match we forfeited No. 1, 2 and 3 doubles,” Moring said.
Ceres High had just one player on its roster the first week of practice.
“Me and Manuel Calderon practiced five days in a row by ourselves,” Moring said. “Then soccer ended and we got the rest of the guys.”
Ceres High’s revamped roster featured 11 players, including Calderon, Eduardo Ramirez, Noah Zamora, Isaiah Gudino, Serjio Gonzalez, Ian Saldana, Daniel Gonzales, Nicholas Diaz, Nathan Barajas, Gilbert Zamora III and Fabian Torres.
Ramirez, Gonzalez, Noah Zamora and Gilbert Zamora III helped lead Ceres High’s boys soccer team to a 16-6-1 overall record, first-place finish in the WAC and berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs this past winter.
Calderon, Ramirez, Gudino, Gonzalez, Noah Zamora and Gilbert Zamora III contributed at singles.
Barajas, Gonzales, Saldana and Torres logged playing time at doubles.
“I’m proud of this group. I can’t be any happier. It was a season of improvement.”Coach Brandon Moring
“I’m proud of this group,” Moring said. “I can’t be any happier. It was a season of improvement.”
Ceres High will lose nine players to graduation, including Barajas, Calderon, Diaz, Gudino, Ramirez, Saldana, Daniel Gonzalez, Serjio Gonzalez and Noah Zamora.
Torres and Gilbert Zamora III could return to the team next season.
“I’m trying to get kids excited about tennis at Ceres High,” said Moring, who also doubles as the girls coach at his alma mater. “I want them to come out and give it a chance. They’ll have fun and make themselves better.”