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Central Valley High, Ceres High football programs kick off season Friday
Tarrell Lee-Gill and Landyn Hudson
Tarrell Lee-Gill, Landyn Hudson and Ceres High School’s football team will travel to Tracy on Friday for its season-opening game versus West. Kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High School’s football program has a favorable schedule this fall according third-year Bulldog standouts Landyn Hudson and Tarrell Lee-Gill.

Central Valley High School head coach Derrick Goblirsch pointed out the Hawks have a grueling schedule of games this season as five of their opponents advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs a year ago.

“This team’s hungry,” said Hudson, a senior quarterback. “We got guys that have been putting in work non-stop. We’re out here with a purpose. I want us to be dominant all season. We just got to stay focused.”

“Overall, our schedule is going to be a grind,” said Goblirsch, third-year leader of Central Valley. “League-wise, we know what we’re up against. The Central California Conference is different. The biggest difference is the physicality. There are also some special athletes.”

The Bulldogs and Hawks will both play a total of 10 games during the 2022 regular season.

Ceres High will face West of Tracy (8/19), Amador of Sutter Creek (8/26) and crosstown-rival Central Valley (9/2) in the preseason.

The Bulldogs will compete against Lathrop (9/16), Beyer (9/23), Johansen (9/30), Pacheco (10/7), Los Banos (10/14), Mountain House (10/21) and Grace Davis (10/28) in Western Athletic Conference play.

“We’ve taken a lot of hard losses the last couple years,” stated Lee-Gill, a senior running back. “I just want better for our team. Everyone is buying into the type of team we’re going to be. We got a lot of strengths. We have a lot of pieces that favor our style of play.”

“Our approach never changes,” added Clinton Goblirsch, third-year leader of the Bulldogs. “Our expectation is to go out and play our best every Friday night. That’s always the goal.”

Ceres High collected wins versus West (49-0), Beyer (56-8), Johansen (42-16, 40-6) and Pacheco (26-3) in 2021. The Bulldogs lost to Central Valley (20-18), Lathrop (23-6), Los Banos (55-42), Mountain House (21-20), Grace Davis (33-24) and Ripon (39-13).

Grace Davis (10-1, 7-0), Los Banos (6-5, 6-1), Mountain House (5-5, 5-2) and Lathrop (6-4, 4-3) and Ceres High (5-6, 3-4) placed first, second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 2021 WAC standings. Pacheco (2-5, 3-7) and Johansen (3-7, 2-5) tied for sixth. Beyer (0-10, 0-7) was winless.

Grace Davis and Los Banos earned playoff berths.

Ceres High amassed a 5-6 overall record and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time in 16 years last season.

The 13th-seeded Bulldogs lost 39-13 to the No. 5 Ripon Indians (8-5, 4-2) in the opening round of the Division-V postseason tournament.

Ceres High dropped its final four games after enjoying a 5-2 start to the 2022 campaign. The Bulldogs outscored their first five opponents, 237-76. Ceres High’s much-improved defense allowed just 10.9 points per game during that span.

“Every year, students say we suck because of our history,” Lee-Gill said. “People view us a little different now.”

“We’re turning it around slowly,” Hudson added. “Making it to playoffs is cool. But that’s not our goal. We want to win league and make a deep run in playoffs.”

Central Valley will battle Pitman (8/19), Pacheco (8/26), Ceres High (9/2) and Enochs (9/9) in non-league play.

The Hawks’ conference schedule features games against Buhach Colony (9/23), Golden Valley (9/30), Patterson (10/7), Atwater (10/14), Merced (10/21) and El Capitan (10/27).

“We always have high expectations,” Derrick Goblirsch said. “We think we can do well. It all starts with the first game.”

“Pitman got better as the year went on last season,” he added. “Pacheco is always physical. It’s going to be a battle in the trenches. The game against Ceres High is always highlighted on both schedules. It’s a big game for both programs.”

Central Valley topped Pitman (33-14), Pacheco (10-6), Ceres High (20-18) and El Capitan (48-12) last season. The Hawks lost to Enochs (31-12), Buhach Colony (20-14), Golden Valley (48-27), Patterson (35-7), Atwater (19-14) and Merced (54-16).

Patterson (10-3, 6-0), Merced (9-4, 5-1), Golden Valley (4-6, 3-2), Atwater (3-7, 3-3), Buhach Colony (2-7, 2-3), Central Valley (4-6, 1-5) and El Capitan (0-10, 0-6) placed first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and last, respectively, in the 2021 CCC standings.

Patterson, Merced, Golden Valley, Enochs and Ceres High participated in the playoffs.

The Hawks dropped six of their final seven games following a 3-0 start.

Buhach Colony and Atwater beat Central Valley by a combined 11 points. Central Valley lost in overtime to Buhach Colony.

“We could have been 6-4 last year,” Derrick Goblirsch said. 

Diego Delahoya and Mario Gonzalez Hawks
Diego Delahoya, Mario Gonzalez and Central Valley High School’s football team will open the 2022 season this Friday. The Hawks will play host to the Pitman Pride at CUSD Stadium. The game will begin at 7 p.m. - photo by Dale Butler