Ceres High School’s girls wrestling program will vie for individual and team success this winter.
“Our No. 1 goal is to be competitive,” head coach Curtis Hulstine said.
The Buldogs have a roster size of 23.
Ceres High had just six grapplers on last year’s team.
“It goes to show type of environment (boys head coach) Casey Paulino and I have created,” Hulstine said. “We’ve done a lot of hard work when it comes to recruiting. We help a lot of the sports at the school and that’s got our name out there.”
The Bulldogs return four grapplers from a year ago, including Jazmyne Arendt (Sr.), Makynzie Hale (Jr.), Kaylie Clindaniel (So.) and Madeline Schultz (So.).
Ceres High has 19 newcomers in Jayda Bryant (Sr.), Kaleia Allen (Jr.), Arleth Sanchez (Jr.), Ava Frausto (So.), Alanize Moreno (So.), Isabella Nungaray (So.), Eva Onsurez-Lopez (So.), Camila Orellana (So.), Jaden Stahl (So.), Dayanna Alvarez (Fr.), Elizabeth Boyd (Fr.), Kassandra Chavez-Ceja (Fr.), Evanah Gallardo (Fr.), Alexis Garza (Fr.), Jadasa Haro (Fr.), Emily Ivey (Fr.), Bhrooke Pittman (Fr.), Paula Robles (Fr.) and Hannah Saunders (Fr.).
“We have a young team,” Hulstine said. “A lot of the girls are first-year wrestlers. They all seem to enjoy it. I’m hoping they stick around forever long they have left in high school.”
Schultz claimed a sixth-place medal at Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Championships with a 2-3 mark and won one of three matches at the Masters Tournament in the 170-pound weight class.
Hale placed third at the Western Athletic Conference Championships and posted an 0-3 record at the Sac-Joaquin Section South Regional Tournament at 160 pounds.
Arendt finished third at 150 pounds at the WAC finals. Clindaniel was fourth at 126 pounds.
“The sky’s the limit for them (Schultz, Hale, Arendt and Clindaniel),” Hulstine said. “They got a lot of potential and a lot to learn.”
Hale and Schultz were both named team captains in a vote by their peers.
“The other girls look up to them,” Hulstine said. “They set a good example of what a leader should be.”
Ceres High’s WAC dual schedule features matches against Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Los Banos, Pacheco, Lathrop and Mountain House.
The league finals will be staged on Feb, 4 at Pacheco High School.
Ceres High had eight individuals place in the top 4 en route to finishing in fifth place at the WAC Championships a year ago.
The Bulldogs totaled 46 points.
Los Banos (154), Mountain House (128), Pacheco (115), Lathrop (65), Beyer (42), Grace Davis (22) and Johansen (17) took first, second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
“We have a really good shot at placing in the top 3 in league this season,” Hulstine said. “The biggest thing is filling our lineup and being competitive.”
“Our ultimate goal is to be a powerhouse (in the state),” he added. “We want champions.”