Ceres High's varsity boys water polo team showed a tremendous amount of poise during its Western Athletic Conference season-opening match against Pacheco last week.
The Bulldogs erased a three-goal deficit en route to posting a thrilling 8-7 win over the Panthers on Wednesday in Ceres.
"We stayed focused," Ceres High first-year head coach Bill Campbell said. "We never put our heads down when we were behind. We battled and battled. Our preseason got us ready for the WAC."
Seven different players scored for the Bulldogs.
Tristan Freitas-Scott led the way with two goals.
Caleb Bishop, Logan Kier, Noah Rantz, David Johnson, Ethan Letras and Nicholas Webb all chipped in with one goal each.
"We got a lot of guys that can put the ball on goal," Campbell said. "They can't double team one guy. That's been our advantage this year."
Bulldog first-year goalkeeper Jacob Black totaled nine blocks.
"We're happy with his performance so far," Campbell said. "He's doing a great job."
Down 6-3 midway through the third period, Ceres High outscored Pacheco 5-1 the rest of the game.
The Bulldogs rallied after Campbell called a timeout.
"They weren't focusing on everything it takes to win a water polo game," Campbell said. "We regrouped and got back to work. Pacheco has a good team. They're very aggressive. We had to shut down their hole set. We limited No. 19 to just two goals."
The Bulldogs improved to 4-4 on the year and 1-0 in the WAC under Campbell's guidance.
Ceres High placed fourth at the McNair Tournament this past weekend.
"Being a new coach, I didn't know what to expect," Campbell said. "All of the kids have bought into the program and are working hard. I'm happy with the way the team is playing. Our substitutes are just as good as our starters. I can't complain about anything."
Ceres High will compete at Livingston today at 5 p.m.
"Our goal is to make playoffs and win at least one game," Campbell said. "I think we have a great chance at doing that."