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Coaches recognize Bulldogs, Hawk
Mia Rodriguez and Celeste Leon
Ceres High girls basketball standouts Mia Rodriguez and Celeste Leon both earned Western Athletic Conference honors for their stellar play this season. - photo by Dale Butler

Celeste Leon and Mia Rodriguez earned roster spots on Ceres High’s girls basketball team as freshmen during the 2018-19 season.

The senior guards wrapped up their playing careers with the Bulldogs last month.

Leon and Rodriguez both earned all-Western Athletic Conference honors as voted on by the league’s head coaches on Feb. 28 in Modesto.

“They definitely deserve it,” said Michael Estrada Jr., who coached Leon and Rodriguez the past four seasons. “They always gave it their all. They were two really, good players and leaders that every coach would love to have.”

Leon was named to the WAC First Team.

She averaged 15.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 steals and 1.2 assists per game.

“Celeste was a lot better player this year compared to last year,” Estrada said. “She took on a bigger leadership role. She helped the younger players learn the offense.”

Leon improved her 3-point shooting this season. She buried 32 treys.

“She only made three total her first three years,” Estrada said. “It shows how much hard work she put in during the offseason.”

Leon was selected to the WAC South First Team as a junior.

She averaged 12.0 points, 5.3 steals, 4.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

A first-team all-WAC pick as a sophomore, Leon averaged 7.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game.

“I’m not surprised with how much she improved because of her work ethic,” Estrada said. “She worked on certain skills to take her game to the next level.”

Rodriguez was named to the WAC Second Team.

She averaged 13.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.4 assists per game.

Rodriguez missed Ceres High’s final four games with an ankle injury.

“Mia would have had a chance at First Team if she played a full season,” Estrada said. 

Rodriguez garnered first-team all-WAC South recognition as a junior.

She averaged 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 1.4 assists per game.

Rodriguez was an honorable-mention selection in the ninth grade.

She averaged 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 assists per game.

“Her basketball skills have always been there,” Estrada said. “Her leadership has gotten a lot better.”

“I could always count on her,” he added. “She was productive on both sides of the floor.”

Ceres High posted a 7-20 overall record and finished in sixth place in the WAC standings with a 4-10 mark this winter.

Leon and Rodriguez helped the Bulldogs snap their streak of six straight losing seasons in 2019-20. 

They’ll be lost to graduation in June.

“With those two leaving, Ceres basketball is starting over,” Estrada said. “They made a big impact. They progressed as players, leaders and students.”

Central Valley senior guard Alyssa Rojo was named to the Central California Conference Second Team. 

“I was happy to see Rojo earn that,” Hawks’ head coach Ryan Donnelly said. “She deserved it. She always played her hardest in every game.”

Rojo averaged 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game for the Hawks, who finished last in the Central California Conference standings (1-11).

“She’ll be missed a lot next season,” Donnelly said. “She played a big part for our team. She did have an impact on our younger players.”

Alyssa Rojo
Hawk senior guard Alyssa Rojo was named to the CCC Second Team. - photo by Dale Butler