Ceres High’s varsity boys wrestling program successfully defended its team title at the Western Athletic Conference Championships last winter.
The Bulldogs also finished third overall at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament.
“We’re building a strong reputation and that’s what we want,” said coach Steve Festa.
Ceres High’s top returning grapplers for the 2018-19 season are Sonald Lal (Jr., 106 pounds), Elias Saldana (Jr., 285s), Bryan Erenas (Jr., 138s), Ricky Gonzales (So, 126s), Edison Jimenez (Jr., 145s), Fernando Gonzalez (Jr., 160s), Brian Ayala (So., 132s) and Argel Arroyo (Sr., 220s).
The Bulldogs’ top newcomers are Marcus Martinez (Sr., 126s), Angel Figueroa (Jr., 182s), Allen Thy (Jr., 182s) and Josh Dominguez (So., 170s).
Lal placed second in the 106-pound weight class at the WAC finals a year ago.
Saldana (285s) placed third.
Erenas (138s), Gonzales (126s) and Jimenez (132s) all placed fourth.
Gonzalez (152s) placed sixth.
Saldana took fifth at Divisionals.
Lal finished sixth.
“They know how important it is to continue the tradition. We’re going to work hard to accomplish our goals.”Coach Steve Festa
“They know how important it is to continue the tradition,” Festa said. “We’re going to work hard to accomplish our goals.”
Ceres High’s conference dual schedule includes matches against Los Banos, Pacheco, Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Lathrop and Mountain House.
Beyer, Grace Davis and Johansen moved from the Modesto Metro Conference to the WAC as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s realignment plan.
Lathrop and Mountain House competed in the Valley Oak League and Trans Valley League a year ago.
“There are some great programs joining our league,” said Festa, whose team will be vying for its third straight WAC tournament crown this season. “We’re going to have to put extra hard work in. That’s what’s going to separate us from everyone else. The results will come.”