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Ceres High varsity boys squad hungry for more success
Bulldogs striving for seventh straight trip to postseason
The Bulldogs return a host of talent from last years team, including leading scorer Cristopher Torres. Torres collected 13 goals and four assists a season ago. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team plans to uphold its tradition of excellence in 2014.

The Bulldogs will be vying for their seventh straight trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.

New head coach Miguel Saldate has the utmost confidence in this year's group.

"I'm expecting us to do well again because we have a lot of players returning from last year," said Saldate, who spent the past two seasons coaching the JV Bulldogs' soccer squad.

Coach Saldate finalized his roster on Aug. 20.

Approximately 22 players claimed roster spots, including Cristopher Torres (Sr.), Cristian Cabrales (Sr.), Adrian Espinoza (So.), Rene Cortes (Sr.), Cesar Espinoza (Sr.), Alexis Hernandez (Sr.), Juan Jimenez (Sr.), Miguel Ortega (Sr.), Brian Quintanilla (Sr.), Michael Quintanilla (Sr.), David Reyes (Sr.), Emmanuel Toledo (Sr.), Andres Velasquez (So.), Jose Benitez (Sr.), Osvaldo Carrillo (Jr.), Juan Castillo (Jr.), Adrian Covarrubias (Fr.), Ulises Diaz (Jr.), Brandon Garcia (Jr.), Christian Garcia (Jr.), Martin Reyes (Jr.) and Cristian Sotero (Sr.).

"We just finished tryouts," Saldate said. "It's difficult making cuts. I had some of these boys with me last year."

Cristopher, Cristian, Adrian, Rene, Cesar, Alexis, Juan, Miguel, Brian, Michael, David, Emmanuel and Andres are varsity returners.

Torres was selected to the Western Athletic Conference First Team his junior year.

Cristopher led the Bulldogs with 13 goals and four assists.

Cabrales earned second-team all-conference honors. Cristian had seven goals and six assists.

Benitez, Carrillo, Castillo, Covarrubias, Diaz, Reyes, Sotero, Brandon Garcia and Christian Garcia are new additions to the team.

Ceres High won two of three games en route to a top-four finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoff tournament last year.

The Bulldogs lost 3-1 to eventual-champion Christian Brothers in the semifinals.

Ceres High compiled a 13-6-1 overall record and placed second in the WAC standings (8-3-1) behind crosstown-rival/Division-III playoff finalist Central Valley.

Ceres High and Central Valley will face off twice in conference play this season.

The Bulldogs lost 2-1 and 5-1 to the Hawks in 2013.

"The games are going to be competitive," Saldate said. "Central Valley lost more key players than we did."

Ceres High finished first in the Division-IV playoffs in 2009.

The Bulldogs' combined record in the playoffs since 2008 is 7-5.

"I'm expecting us to do better than last year," Saldate said. "We want to win another section title."