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CHS boys vying for playoff spot
Andrott Alvarez will try to help lead Ceres Highs varsity boys soccer program to its second straight postseason berth this winter. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's varsity boys soccer team has qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs eight out of the past nine years.

The Bulldogs returned to the postseason in 2015 following a one-year absence.

Ceres High will be vying for its second straight playoff berth this winter.

"Every year is different," said Danny Barragan, new leader of the Bulldogs. "There's talent. I know what they can do. I'm going to try to bring the best out of them and keep them motivated."

For the second year in a row, Ceres High will compete with a revamped roster.

The Bulldogs' top returnees are Andrott Alvarez (Sr.), Max Lopez (Sr.), Osvaldo Padilla (Sr.) and Enrique Montalvo (Sr.).

Ceres High's top newcomers are Ediber Velasquez (Sr.), Juan Chavez (Jr.), Jay Gomes (Jr.) and Jesus Ruiz (Jr.).

The Bulldogs will have just three substitutes.

"They have good attitudes," Barragan said. "They work hard. There's enough talent to have a good team. To be successful, we have to make playoffs. It's going to be very challenging."

Ceres High (6-6-0) edged out crosstown-rival Central Valley (5-7-0) for the WAC's fourth and final postseason berth in 2015.

The 11th-seeded Bulldogs lost 2-1 to sixth-seeded East Union Lancers in the first round of the Division-III playoffs.

Ceres High compiled a 13-8-2 overall record.

"We want to win league and make playoffs," Barragan said. "That's the goal. I don't think there are going to be any bad teams in the WAC. To me, every game and every win is important. I want to beat every team. We have to keep working hard."

The 2016 campaign hasn't started off well for Ceres High.

The Bulldogs struggled to a 2-6 record in non-conference play.

"Our league will be different from our preseason," Barragan said. "I'll have all of my players. Some were on vacation and hurt. I'm not giving up. I still think we can make it far."

Barragan was an assistant coach at the varsity level with the Bulldogs in 2015, 2013 and 2012.

He was head coach of Ceres High's junior-varsity team in 2014.