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CHS boys place fourth in WAC play
•Bulldogs drop final match
Oscar Barajas
Head coach Stephen Dias recognized Oscar Barajas, Ceres High’s lone senior play, during last Thursday’s final home game. - photo by Dale Butler

Ceres High’s varsity boys water polo team showed improvement during its rematch with Grace Davis this past week.

The fourth-place Bulldogs closed out the 2019 campaign with a 10-6 loss against the second-place Spartans on Senior Day last Thursday in Ceres.

Grace Davis routed Ceres High 16-3 on Oct. 1 in Modesto.

“That’s probably one of the best games we’ve played all year. They slaughtered us the first time.”
Coach Stephen Dias

“That’s probably one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Bulldogs’ first-year coach Stephen Dias said. “They slaughtered us the first time.”

Ceres High (7-7) finished in a two-way tie for fourth place with Los Banos in the WAC standings.

Mountain House, Pacheco and Lathrop placed fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

The top three teams in league qualified for the playoffs, including Beyer, Grace Davis and Johansen.

“There was a lot of improvment,” Dias said. “They learned a lot. They’re already talking about next year.”

Diaz recognized Oscar Barajas, Ceres High’s lone senior, before the WAC finale. “This is his first year playing,” Dias said. “He was a band student. He decided to try something new. He could barely swim this summer. By the first game, he was a starter. I had a lot of confidence in him. He was a hard worker. He listened. Everybody could see the growth he had in one year.”

Barajas scored once versus Grace Davis.

Cruz Fee had two goals.

Luis Alvarez, Brian Ayala and Nicholas Campbell all contributed one goal.

The Bulldogs trailed 5-0 at halftime. Ceres High outscored Grace Davis 6-5 after intermission.

“If you take away the first quarter, we didn’t do so bad,” Dias said. “We actually played as a team. We had fun. The kids did a fantastic job.”

Ceres High will lose just one player to graduation. Fee, Alvarez, Ayala, Campbell, Jeremy Kier, Ryan Baranski, Kenneth Arroyo, Noah Avalos, Daniel Guel, Cayden Jantz, Bryan Nunez and Nathaniel Pethyon could return to the Bulldogs.

“We should have a pretty strong team,” Dias said.