The 2017 prep football season is fast approaching.
Ceres High's varsity program will look to end years of frustration this fall.
The Bulldogs have endured 12 straight losing seasons.
"We have a high chance at doing that this year," senior running back Andrew Gibson said when asked if the 2017 squad would post a winning record and qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. "We're all pretty confident."
Ceres High moved last week's practices to the mornings to combat hot weather.
"The heat wasn't too bad," Gibson said. "It really didn't bother anybody. We had a couple guys throw up. That's normal."
Gibson and his Bulldog teammates practiced from 8-10 a.m. last Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and from 6-8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.
"I like waking up early and getting stuff done," Andrew said. "Then I feel energized for the rest of the day. I'm pretty happy with how the team did. Communication was good. We're extremely excited for the season to start. I think we'll be great."
Ceres High showed marked improvement from 2015's two-win season by compiling a 4-6 record and placing fourth in the WAC standings (2-3) last fall.
The Bulldogs fell two victories shy of qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
A standout running back, Gibson totaled a team-leading 576 yards and eight touchdowns his junior year. Andrew also caught 30 passes for 241 yards and a pair of TDs. He earned WAC honorable-mention recognition.
Quarterback Chris Lubinsky, wide receiver Marcellus Boykins and tight end Conner Johnson, three key offensive starters, were lost to graduation.
Lubinsky, Boykins and Johnson all filled key roles as Ceres High averaged 28.6 points and 378.5 yards per game in 2016.
The Bulldogs' defense surrendered 40.2 points per game.
"Hopefully, we have a positive record," Gibson said. "It's going to take a lot of heart and hard work."