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Bulldogs open 2015 campaign on the road
Ceres High, Modesto High to battle tonight at Johansen High School
Johnni Smith-Willis (pictured left), Marcellus Boykins and the Bulldogs' varsity football team are looking forward to the start of the 2015 season. Ceres High will travel to Johansen High School tonight to face Modesto High at 7:30 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier



Chris Lubinsky will make his varsity debut at quarterback with Ceres High tonight.

Lubinsky and the Bulldogs will travel to Johansen High School to face host Modesto High at 7:30 p.m.

“He’s going to be a great quarterback,” Ceres High junior receiver Marcellus Boykins said. “He’s smart. He’s very accurate. He’s really confident.”

 “There are a lot of people that look up to him, especially me,” Bulldogs senior running back Johnni Smith-Willis added.

Ceres High hasn’t enjoyed a winning season or made the playoffs in varsity football since 2004.

The Bulldogs compiled a 3-7 overall record and tied for fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (2-4) with Central Valley and Livingston last year.

“We’re pretty excited,” Boykins said. “We got a lot to prove. We’re looking forward to having a great year.”

Lubinsky will have plenty of weapons at his disposal as the Bulldogs have talent and depth at receiver.

Chris’ main targets will be Boykins, Austin Stiles and tight end Conner Johnson.

Austin Crain, Seth Gibson and Wyatt Ogden could also be factors in Ceres High’s passing attack.

Smith-Willis will give the Bulldogs balance on offense.

Boykins was named to the WAC First Team his sophomore year.

He caught 29 passes for 464 yards and three touchdowns.

Smith-Willis earned second-team, all-WAC honors.

He rushed for 825 yards and nine touchdowns with no fumbles on 132 carries. Johnni averaged 6.3 yards per attempt.

“We’re going to light the scoreboard up this year,” Marcellus said. “Nobody can guard all of us.”

Ceres High opened the 2014 season with a 40-13 loss to Modesto High. The Bulldogs fell behind 40-0 before tallying two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The Panthers piled up 466 yards of total offense.

“They’re a tough team,” Boykins said. “I think we’ll be able to push them and be competitive. I feel we can beat them if we play four quarters of football. It’s going to be a battle.”

“Everybody’s really excited for the first game,” Smith-Willis said. “We’ve been working hard. If we play our hardest, and stay focused, we’ll have a chance to beat them. Everybody’s really confident now.”