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Bulldogs looking to bounce back in boys soccer
Ulises Diaz and Ceres High Schools varsity boys soccer team have high hopes for the 2015 season. Diaz and the Bulldogs just missed qualifying for the playoffs last season. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High varsity boys soccer head coach Miguel Saldate has a good feeling about this year's team.

The Bulldogs are moving forward with a revamped roster as 10 players were lost to graduation, including starters Cristopher Torres, Cristian Cabrales, Emmanuel Toledo and Jose Benitez.

"We got the talent," Saldate said. "But we got to perform on the field."

Ceres High's top returners are Ulises Diaz (Sr.), Brandon Garcia (Sr.), Juan Castillo (Sr.), Martin Reyes (Sr.), Adrian Espinoza (Jr.) and Adrian Covarrubias (So.).

Diaz tallied four goals and seven assists his junior year.

The Bulldogs' top newcomers are Max Lopez (Jr.), Andrott Alvarez (Jr.), Osvaldo Padilla (Jr.) and Aaron Victoria (So.).

Lopez did not play last year.

Alvarez, Padilla and Victoria competed at the junior-varsity level in 2014.

"We depend on all of our players," Saldate said. "Everybody makes a difference."

Ceres High just missed securing its seventh straight playoff berth last fall.

The Bulldogs compiled an 11-5-2 overall record and placed fourth in the Western Athletic Conference standings (6-3-3).

Ceres High tied crosstown-rival/second-place Central Valley (7-0-5) twice.

"Playoffs are our main goal," Saldate said. "It's going to be a good challenge. If the kids play as a group, and not as individuals, it will make a big difference."