Head coach John Bussard handed over the reins to Ceres High’s summer-league baseball team to junior-varsity leaders Joe Carrillo and Bill Campbell.
“We’re not focused on the win-loss column,” Carrillo said. “This is a great opportunity for potential players to hone their skills.”
The Bulldogs will play more than a dozen games this summer.
Ceres High’s record dropped to 2-7-1 after collecting no wins, three losses and one tie at the June 22-24 Ron Vermeulen Tournament in Modesto.
The Bulldogs lost 6-4 to Downey on June 24 and 12-3 to Escalon on June 23.
Ceres High tied Beyer 5-5 and lost 11-7 to Enochs on June 22.
“The whole purpose of the summer program is to give the JV kids from last year a more competitive experience,” Carrillo said. “From what I’m seeing, we’re staying close to most of the teams we’re playing.”
The Bulldogs have a 14-person roster: Ricky Lopez, Kyle Mooney, Damion Reyes, Zachary Kommavong, Adrian Lujan, Adrian Magdaleno, Tyler McCue, Darius Meas, Austin Schmidt, Joe Valenzuela, Nicholas Webb, Caleb Cannella, Vincent Guerrero and Ramsey Dobashi.
Lopez, Mooney and Reyes were members of Ceres High’s varsity squad during the 2014-15 school year.
Kommavong, Lujan, Magdaleno, McCue, Meas, Schmidt, Valenzuela and Webb contributed at the JV level a season ago.
Cannella, Guerrero and Dobashi are newcomers.
“We’ve been coaching a lot of these kids since Little League,” Carrillo said. “We know these players. We’re encouraging them to get bigger, stronger and faster. As a new team, we need to focus on communication. It will enhance our ability to score runs and do better defensively.”
Ceres High’s varsity and junior-varsity baseball teams both won Western Athletic Conference titles this past spring.
The Bulldogs will face a rebuilding year at the varsity level in 2016 as key players Brad Bussard, Drew Stahl, Brett Conway, Izaiah Hernandez, Merrik Price and Brent Bussard were lost to graduation. “Anytime you have a winning program, it makes everybody more competitive and the expectations are going to be high,” Carrillo said. “I do believe we will be competitive next year. We’ll be successful.”