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CHS girls team moving forward with young roster
Ceres Highs varsity girls wrestling team will compete with a five-person roster this year. Front row: Azucena Rodriguez (pictured left) and Briahnna Canales. Back row: Hillary Ortega, Kyahnah Garcia and Marissa Acebedo. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Ceres High girls wrestling program's roster features just five grapplers.

"Wrestling is tough," coach Steve Festa said. "It's physically and mentally challenging. It's not for everybody."

Senior Hillary Ortega (150 pounds), sophomores Marissa Acebedo (160s) and Kyahnah Garcia (140s), and freshmen Azucena Rodriguez (160s) and Briahnna Canales (120s) will be competing at the high-school level for the first time.

Acebedo wrestled at Mae Hensley Jr. High for two years.

"We have a young team," Festa said. "I want them to have fun, learn about the sport and understand why they have to work so hard. We have high standards."

The Bulldogs will compete against Los Banos, Pacheco, Patterson, Livingston and Central Valley during the Western Athletic Conference dual-meet season. The WAC Championships will be staged on Jan. 27 in Los Banos.

"We're going to go out there and do our best," Festa said. "We're going to get better."

Ceres High will field larger teams down the road.

"We have a lot of girls in our Ceres Pups Youth Program," Festa said. "I'm really excited for the future."