Ceres High’s junior-varsity football team had a positive end to its 2023 season.
The Bulldogs topped the host Grace Davis Spartans 19-8 on Nov. 27 at Gregori High School.
“For us to end the season with a W was huge for us,” head coach Angel Garcia said. “It was bittersweet. A lot of sophomores are going to move up to varsity.”
Ceres amassed a 5-4-1 overall record and finished in fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-3-1 mark.
The Bulldogs notched wins against Grace Davis, Johansen (33-0), Beyer (27-0), Central Valley (14-0) and Delhi (forfeit).
Ceres High tied Mountain House (20-20).
“We didn’t have a full team of superstars,” Garcia said. “They grinded. Their IQ of the game really expanded. It was an awesome group to work with. They bought into the program. They believed in the coaches and themselves. They displayed dedication, resiliency, brotherhood and sportsmanship throughout the season. I learned a lot. They learned a lot.”
The Bulldogs suffered losses while battling Los Banos (32-21), Pacheco (22-20), Lathrop (13-12) and Hughson (7-6) this year.
Ceres High lost to Pacheco, Lathrop and Hughson by a combined four points.
“We were in position to win every game except Los Banos,” Garcia said. “They’ve been our kryptonite. It’s fun going against them.”
Ceres High quarterback Parker Borges completed 5 of 11 passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions versus Grace Davis.
Eric DeLozada caught two passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Jaiden Boss caught two passes for 43 yards.
RJ Walderrama rushed for 25 yards on nine carries.
Adrian Huesca gained 23 yards on six carries.
JoseLuis Arreola ran for 21 yards on four carries.
Walderrama had five tackles and one sack on defense.
Borges and Huesca both had five tackles.
Adrian Garcia had four tackles and one fumble recovery.
Samuel Nieto had four tackles and one interception.
Arreola, DeLozada and Nicholas Gudino all had three tackles.
Boss had one tackle.
Ceres High allowed just eight total points and posted three shutouts during its four victories.
Arreola had 44 tackles on the season with 81/2 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
“He found himself from being a role player last year to being our main contributor on the defensive line this year,” said Coach Garcia. “Hard work truly pays off. I’m excited for his future.”
Adrian Garcia had 44 tackles, three interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass deflection and half a sack.
Huesca had 38 tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks and one pass deflection.
Gudino had 37 tackles and one sack.
Nieto had 36 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception.
DeLozada had 35 tackles, two pass deflections, one interception and one fumble recovery.
Adrian Carrillo had 31 tackles, two interceptions, two pass deflections and two forced fumbles.
Walderrama had 29 tackles and 11/2 sacks.
Aaron Kennedy had 27 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.
Elias Phillips had 26 tackles and one interception.
Abijah Bratton had 23 tackles and two fumble recoveries.
Jayden Carrillo had 20 tackles, one sack and one interception.
Borges had 14 tackles and one sack.
Denairo Osorio had 10 tackles, one fumble recovery and one interception.
David Rodriguez Ochoa had 10 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Bo Moring had nine tackles, one sack and one interception.
Mauricio Leon had eight tackles and one fumble recovery.
“The game plan was to bring pressure every week,” said Angel Garcia. “The kids really answered the bell. Shout out to my defensive coordinator (Alexis Lopez).”
The Bulldogs had a host of contributors on offense during the course of the season.
Borges passed for 856 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions in nine games.
He also had three rushing scores.
Borges was a backup QB at the JV level in the ninth grade.
“He knew this year the expectations were bigger,” Garcia said. “Mentally, he grew from freshmen year. His decision making got better. I’m excited for him and what he does in the future. His ceiling is really high.”
RJ Walderamma gained 307 yards and scored three touchdowns on 61 carries.
Jayden Carrillo carried the ball 53 times for 272 yards and three TDs.
Eric DeLozada caught 18 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns.
“His role expanded over the season as he was a dual threat on the field playing offense and defense,” Garcia said. “His versatility allowed flexibility but his grit added a layer of determination that elevated the team.”
Adrian Carrillo grabbed 16 passes for 184 yards and four TDs.
Jaiden Boss totaled 220 yards and three touchdowns on 13 receptions.
Ceres High’s offensive line paved the way as Angelo Estrada, Elijah Herrera, Angel Neang, Mauricio Leon, Tavias Ellis and Samuel Nieto all contributed.
“The line was really important,” said Coach Garcia. “That’s how you win games. They did extraordinary this year.”
The Bulldogs will compete in the revamped WAC next fall. The new-look conference will feature Ceres High, Central Valley, Livingston, Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Pacheco.
Los Banos and Mountain House will relocate to the Central California Conference and Valley Oak League, respectively, as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s realignment plan.
Ceres High will look to continue its run of success against Grace Davis, Johansen and Beyer.
“We didn’t lose to a Modesto school the last two years,” coach Garcia said.