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CHS remains upbeat after big losses
josh gonzalez
Josh Gonzalez and Ceres High’s varsity football team will travel to Tracy this Friday to compete against West. - photo by Dale Butler

The losses were lopsided, but don’t count Ceres High’s varsity football team out just yet.

“Nobody likes to lose,” Bulldogs’ senior quarterback/linebacker Felipe Martinez said. “We’re motivated. We’re all hungry. We still have eight games left. We have a lot of room to improve.”

Ceres High headed into the bye week with an 0-2 record after losing 36-0 to visiting Lodi on Aug. 24.

“We’re trying to find out what we’re good at. There are things we see at practice that work.”
Coach Matt Chachere

“Coming off two bad losses, we needed a bye week to get back to the basics,” said Matt Chachere, first-year head coach of the Bulldogs.  “We’re trying to find out what we’re good at. There are things we see at practice that work.”

“The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time, especially after what happened to us the last two games,” Martinez added. “The intensity is a little higher. There’s more communication. We have talent on the team. We just have to work as one. Once that happens, we’ll be fine.”

The Bulldogs were outscored 71-0 through their first two games.

“That’s unacceptable,” Ceres High junior lineman Elias Saldana said. “I won’t be satisfied until we score and win a game. Everybody has to do their part. It’s the team’s job to execute on the field.”

“The coaches are there to coach,” Martinez said. “They can’t put the pads on. The players have to step up.”

The Bulldogs are averaging just 118.5 yards of total offense per game, including 62.5 rushing and 56.0 passing.

“It’s not for lack of ability or effort,” Chachere said. “The  guys play hard. It’s missed assignments. We can fix those things.”

The Bulldogs are still trying to find an identity.

Martinez was supposed to start at running back this year.

Felipe switched positions after starting quarterback Clayton Taylor suffered a season-ending injury in the first quarter of Ceres High’s 35-0 loss to the crosstown-rival Central Valley Hawks on Aug. 17.

 “I’m not going to lie,” Martinez said. “It’s a big challenge thrown at me. When you’re captain on both sides of the ball, you don’t have time to be tired.”

“It’s a lot on his shoulders,” Chachere stated. “We’re proud of how he’s handled the situation and how the other guys have rallied around him.”

“I can do better,” Martinez added.

Ceres High will try to break into the scoring column for the first time this season on Friday.

Winless at home in 2018, the Bulldogs will face 1-2 West in Tracy.

Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

“I watched a little film,” Martinez said. “They have a good football team. If we do all of our assignments right, we should be able to put some points on the board.”

“We’re not focused on the past,” Saldana said. “We have eight games ahead of us. We can still improve.”

“We’re all looking forward to getting back out there,” Chachere said. “Maybe a different venue will help us turn the tide.”