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CHS players bond during Bulldog Olympics
Red team takes first with 97 total points
Jacob Martinez (right), Oscar Galindo and Nick Alcala helped lead the Gray team to a second-place finish during the Bullog Olympics. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The members of Ceres High's varsity and junior-varsity football teams wrapped up their summer schedule with four days of fun and competition on Aug. 4.

Brett Johnson, varsity defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, divided players into three teams for the Bulldog Olympics.

"It was really fun," Ceres High senior all-purpose player Seth Gibson said. "I enjoyed how tough the games were and how we all had to work together. Bonding more is going to help us trust each other on the field."

Red, Gray and White totaled 97, 81 and 80 points, respectively, while finishing first, second and third in the overall standings.

"It was a tight race going into the last event," Johnson said. "We had two lead changes."

The Red team had a 10-point lead prior to winning the obstacle course in dominant fashion. Gibson, Conner Johnson, Johnni Smith-Willis and Daniel McElwain completed the race in 9 minutes, 56 seconds.

Gray and White posted times of 14:26 and 14:54, respectively.

"The obstacle course at the end was the funnest because it was the toughest," Gibson said. "We were the last team that went. We had guys that were fast and strong. That gave us an edge."

A total of 11 different events were staged during the Bulldog Olympics, held on Aug. 4 and 3 and July 30 and 29.

Points were earned based on where and when teams finished.

The Red team took first seven times.

The White team placed first three times.

The Gray team won one event.

Gibson, Johnson, Smith-Willis and McElwain teamed up with Louie Thomas, Donovan Guiriba, Juan Palafox, Austin Crain, Christian Vazquez, Cody Beard, Arturo Barajas, Alberto Carranza, Robert Castleman, Andrew Gibson and Cody Carpenter.

Chris Lubinsky, Aaron Black, Alex Torres, Isaac Leon, Armani Rivera, David Montufar, Wyatt Ogden, Francisco Mondragon, Jorge Valenzuela, Aiden Moore, Ryan Hood, Nick Jones and Brian Becerra were on the White team.

The Gray team featured Marcellus Boykins, Oscar Galindo, Nick Alcala, Gabriel Heredia, Arnulfo Torres, Ryan Wolf, Austin Stiles, Gabe Jimenez, Clayton Elness, Alejandro Rios, Zach Baker, Austin Herrera, Eric Espinosa, Jacob Martinez, Christian Palafox, Clay Wright and Stephen Taylor.

Ceres High staged the Bulldog Olympics for the first time under Johnson's leadership in 2006.

"I did it the five years I was head coach," Johnson said. "He (current Bulldogs leader Bret Durossette) brought it back. It helps with team building, bonding and conditioning. Each event, the kids are given time to strategize. It's a beneficial thing. It's a lot of fun, too."

Ceres High finished 3-7 on the year and tied for fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with Central Valley (5-5, 2-4) during the 2014-15 school year.

The Bulldogs ended a seven-year losing streak against the Hawks with a 24-7 upset victory on the final day of the regular season.

The win eliminated Central Valley from playoff consideration.

Ceres High will open the 2015 campaign against host Modesto High on Aug. 28. The game will be held at Johansen High School.

"There's a lot of excitement right now," Johnson said.