Ceres High’s youth-laden varsity boys water polo program will strive for improvement in 2018.
“The kids know what we’re facing this season,” head coach Bill Campbell said. “We’re very young. We only have two seniors on the team. It’s definitely a rebuilding year for us. If we’re competitive, I’ll be happy.”
The Bulldogs are moving forward without 2017 all-Western Athletic Conference honorees David Johnson, Caleb Cannella and Ethan Letras. Johnson and Letras were lost to graduation. Cannella opted not to play this year.
Ceres High’s top returners are Elliott Lewis (Sr.), Adam Rantz (Sr.), Ryan Baranski (So.), Brian Ayala (So.), Kenneth Arroyo (So.) and Cruz Fee (So.).
The Bulldogs’ top newcomers are Jeremy Kier (Fr.) and Mackay Cannella (Fr.).
Nathaniel Pethyon (So.), Dean Windom (So.) and Luis Alvarez (Fr.) round out the Bulldogs’ 11-player roster.
Lewis and Rantz were named co-captains.
“It’s their senior year,” Campbell said. “They got to be the team leaders. They have the most experience.”
Elliott earned second-team all-league honors last fall.
He scored 22 of his 35 goals against conference opponents.
Kier will start at goalkeeper.
Ceres High compiled an 11-8 overall record, placed second in the WAC standings (6-3) and returned to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs following a two-year absence last season.
The Bulldogs will compete in the new-look WAC this fall, along with Los Banos, Pacheco, Patterson, Beyer, Johansen, Grace Davis and Mountain House.
Beyer, Johansen, Grace Davis and Mountain House joined the league as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s conference realignment plan.
Beyer, Johansen and Grace Davis left the Modesto Metro Conference.
“It’s a big change for us because there are tougher teams in the league. We’re going to try to win as many games as we can.”Coach Bill Campbell
Mountain House will field its first-ever varsity boys water polo team.
“It’s a big change for us because there are tougher teams in the league,” Campbell said. “We’re going to try to win as many games as we can. It will be fun.”