Ceres High’s youth-laden girls golf program turned in a surprising performance while competing at the Western Athletic Conference Championships last week.
The Bulldogs posted a team score of 597 en route to a fourth-place finish on Oct. 19 at Manteca Park.
Ceres High almost qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.
The top 3 teams in league advanced.
“They exceeded every expectation I had for them,” head coach Ron Edwards said. “I didn’t think they’d shoot that well at all. They came in confident. They were scoring well at practice rounds at St. Stanislaus.”
Mountain House (533) won the WAC tourney title, followed by Beyer (580), Lathrop (594) and Ceres High.
The Bulldogs topped the Pacheco Panthers (654), Los Banos Tigers (670), Johansen Vikings (703) and Grace Davis Spartans (no team score).
Lathrop edged out Ceres High by three strokes for the third-and-final team playoff spot.
“They’ve never played on that course before,” Edwards said. “They did a great job. I’m proud of the girls.”
Junior Alysabeth Marquez led the Bulldogs with a 27-over-par 99.
Freshmen Brooke Trio and Allison Lewis both shot 117.
Freshmen Hailey Tsurui (124) and Briana Tsurui (140) rounded out Ceres High’s scorecard.
Marquez, Trio and Lewis earned individual berths to the Division-IV Tournament.
“That’s the first time they (Brooke, Allison, Hailey and Briana) have played 18 holes,” Edwards said. “They gave everything they got. They played hard.”
The Bulldogs were awarded 12 points for taking fourth at the WAC Championships.
Ceres High placed fifth in the WAC’s overall standings, which combined results from cluster and tournament competition. The Bulldogs compiled a 6-8 record during the league’s regular season. Ceres High earned a total of 24 points.
Mountain House (14-0, 49 points), Beyer (12-2, 42 points), Lathrop (10-4, 35 points) and Pacheco (8-6, 25 points) placed first, second, third and fourth, respectively.
Los Banos (4-10, 14 points), Johansen (0-14, 3 points) and Grace Davis (0-14, 0 points) placed sixth, seventh and eighth.
Ceres High didn’t post team scores during its final two conference matches due to a thin lineup.
“From where they started, to where they’re at now, I’m completely satisfied,” Edwards said. “Everyone improved. The girls should be proud of themselves.”
The Bulldogs could return as many as six starters next season, including Marquez, Trio, Lewis, Hailey Tsurui, Briana Tsurui and Cassydi Wright.
“I see us finishing in the top three if I get everybody back,” Edwards said.
Ceres High’s girls water polo team dropped out of the race for the Western Athletic Conference’s third-and-final playoff berth this past week.
The Los Banos Tigers took over sole possession of third place with a 15-5 win over the Bulldogs on Oct. 20 in Ceres.
“They won,” Ceres High head coach Stephen Dias said. “That’s the bottom line.”
Ceres High (7-5) fell to fourth place in the WAC standings.
Los Banos improved to 8-5.
The conference’s two top teams are Beyer (12-0) and Grace Davis (10-2).
“If we won, we would have been totally excited to go to playoffs,” Dias said. “But the girls are ready for the season to be over at this point. They’re tired. I can’t say I’m disappointed. They tried their best.”
The Bulldogs lost 18-6 to the Tigers earlier this season.
Ceres High put up a fight during the first half of last week’s meeting.
The Bulldogs trailed 6-4 heading into the third period.
Andrea Contreras scored a team-high two goals in defeat.
Karen Bernal, Lillian Blevins and Elise Cannella all had one goal.
“It was an off-day for the girls,” Dias said. “Their heads weren’t 100 percent there. That happens. It is what it is. Los Banos played extremely aggressive.”
Ceres High bested visiting Pacheco 11-3 on Oct. 18.
Cannella led the Bulldogs with eight goals.
Blevins added three goals.
Ceres High’s boys water polo team moved into a tie for sixth place in the WAC standings with Pacheco last week.
The Bulldogs snapped a two-game losing streak with a 24-14 win over the Panthers on Oct.18 in Ceres.
The two teams split this season as Pacheco topped Ceres High 23-12 on Sept. 22.
“It feels pretty good to get a win,” Dias said.
Nicholas Campbell poured in a game-high nine goals.
Cayden Jantz and Mackay Cannella both tallied five goals.
Jaden Joy added four goals.
Blake Barr had one goal.
Ceres High dropped to 3-9 in conference play following its 24-11 loss to visiting Los Banos on Oct. 20.
“The effort was there at the beginning,” Dias said. “We had a great start. As we got tired, there was nothing we could do. We don’t have subs.”
Campbell led the Bulldogs with seven goals.
Jantz totaled three goals.
Barr had one goal.