Ceres High School's varsity boys golf team edged out crosstown-rival Central Valley for the Western Athletic Conference's third and final berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament last spring.
"It was almost dead-even," Hawks head coach Mike Holliday said.
Ceres High will be striving for its fourth straight trip to Divisionals in 2014.
Central Valley will be seeking its first-ever postseason appearance as a team.
"I'd like to see both teams do well every year," Holliday said.
"Hopefully, we keep that streak alive," Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith said. "I expect us to finish in the top three. I know it will be a battle when we play Los Banos and Central Valley."
The Bulldogs lost two four-year players to graduation in Ian Couture and Blake Hurst.
Ceres High will be led by returnees Dominic Durossette (Sr.), Andre Torres (Sr.), Justin Moore (Sr.) and Matthew Thornberry (Sr.).
James Cervantez (Fr.), Zach Smith (Fr.), Ethan Campbell (Sr.), Mitchell Husong (Sr.) and Hector Valadez (Jr.) will contribute, too.
Jose Solis (Jr.), Anthony Vasquez (Sr.), Zachary Chapman (Fr.), Blake Bruton (Fr.) and Jacob Langan (Fr.) are also on the team.
"James and Zach (Smith) are the future of our program," Scott Smith said.
Central Valley has the top returning player in league.
Senior Anthony Bonales fell short in his bid to win a third consecutive WAC individual title, tournament championship and Most Valuable Player award as a junior.
Bonales placed second in the conference points standings behind 2013 Central Catholic grad Andrew Bonner. Anthony was named to the WAC First Team.
Bonales has qualified for Masters once and Divisionals three times during his prep career.
He's being recruited by UC Riverside.
"It's the kind of kid you dream about getting," Holliday said. "He helps everybody else on the team. I expect him to be the favorite to win league. It won't be easy. Central Catholic has a lot of good golfers."
"I want to win every match and both league tournaments," Bonales said. "My main goal is to make it to NorCals.
Hawk teammates Jacob Craig (Sr.), Cameron Ahart (Sr.), Carlos Alfonso (Sr.), Diego Martinez (Fr.), Teven Willey (Jr.) and Oliver Tizoc (Sr.) will be counted upon as well.
Craig, Ahart and Alfonso are returners.
Martinez, Tizoc and Willey are newcomers
Jacob was selected to the WAC Second Team as a junior.
Ceres High finished ahead of Central Valley at the 2013 WAC year-end tournament. The Bulldogs (462) and Hawks (537) placed second and fourth, respectively.
Central Valley edged Ceres High 496-500 at the WAC mid-season tourney.
The Bulldogs have never lost to the Hawks during head-to-head competition. Ceres High has won all 14 meetings since 2007.
Ceres High topped Central Valley twice (209-212, 211-212) a year ago.
The Bulldogs and Hawks compiled records of 8-4 and 6-6, respectively, in 2013.
The top three teams in the WAC advance to Divisionals.
"It's going to come down to Los Banos, Ceres High and us battling for two spots," Holliday said. "Central Catholic will win the league again. If they only played their freshmen, they'd still take first. They're loaded with kids that have played golf their whole lives. It's not going to bother me seeing them leave to the VOL next season. It will even out the playing field."
"Hopefully, we can get our whole team there," Bonales added.