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Dawgs excel under Goblirsch’s direction
Football CHS moves on 2021
Ceres High’s football team advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2004 this fall. The Bulldogs compiled a 5-6 overall record and finished in fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference. Ceres High won five of its first seven games of the season..

Ceres High School’s football program has been named the Courier’s Team of the Year for the fall sports season.

Clinton Goblirsch, second-year leader of the Bulldogs, has been selected Coach the Year.

“Credit to our kids and coaching staff,” Goblirsch said. “They worked hard. They wanted to be successful.”

“The coaching staff helped us in so many ways,” Ceres High senior receiver/cornerback Verlis Smith said. “They were huge in making sure we kept our grades up and had good attitudes on campus. The coaches brought the best out of us.”

The Bulldogs advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for the first time since 2004, ending a 16-year drought. 

“It means we’re moving in the right direction,” said Brett Johnson, defensive coordinator for the Ceres High’s 2021 and 2004 teams. “That’s been our goal.”

“Every year, students say we suck because of our history,” Ceres High junior running back Tarrell Lee-Gill stated. “People view us a little different now.”

“We don’t want Ceres to be looked at as a bad program,” Bulldogs’ junior quarterback Landyn Hudson added. “We’re doing everything in our power to change that.”

The Bulldogs amassed a 5-6 overall record and finished in fifth place in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 3-4 mark. 

Ceres High outscored its opponents, 336-224.

The Bulldogs won five of their first seven games. Ceres High topped Johansen twice and West, Beyer and Pacheco once.

Ceres High had six players receive all-league honors, including Hudson, Lee-Gill, Lebron Stallworth, Verlis Smith, Kahmi Smith and Austin Munguia.

Hudson, Stallworth, Verlis Smith and Kahmi Smith were named to the WAC First Team.

Lee-Gill and Munguia both earned second-team, all-conference accolades.

Verlis Smith did a little bit of everything for the Bulldogs.

He caught 36 passes for 775 yards and 14 touchdowns. He rushed for 277 yards and four TDs on 35 carries. He completed 5 of 13 passes for 117 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Verlis Smith totaled 19 tackles, three interceptions and three pass deflections at cornerback. All three of Smith’s interceptions and pass deflections came in a 26-3 win against Pacheco. He returned one of the picks 100 yards for a touchdown.

Hudson passed for 1,389 yards and 18 touchdowns this season.

Lee-Gill gained 1,006 yards and scored 13 touchdowns on 130 carries. He averaged 7.7 yards per attempt. He also caught 12 passes for 212 yards and one TD.

Kahmi Smith, a junior linebacker, collected 64 tackles, four forced fumbles, three pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and half a sack.

Stallworth, a junior defensive end, registered 36 tackles, tallied four sacks, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble.

Munguia, a senior defensive back, had 41 tackles, six pass deflections, three forced fumbles and one interception.

“They have a different mentality,” Johnson said while talking about the 2021 Bulldogs. “They don’t accept mediocrity. They’re their own worst critics. They want to get better. They work hard. They hold each other accountable.”

Goblirsch has a career record of 7-8 since being promoted to head coach in 2020. The Bulldogs totaled just eight wins from 2016-19, finishing 0-10 in 2019 and 1-9 in 2018.

“Coming in freshman year, I was new to the position,” Hudson said. “He (Goblirsch) taught me the mechanics. He’s helped me become a better quarterback and man.”

“We put a lot of hard work in on our own,” Lee-Gill said. “We built a trust as a team. That helped us get to where we did this season.”

Ceres High will have high hopes heading into the 2022 season.

The Bulldogs will vying for their second straight playoff appearance.

“I definitely see us improving,” Hudson said. “It’s up to the older guys to make sure the younger guys are focused.”

“We still have progress to make,” Lee-Gill said. “Moving forward, we want to make it a trend for Ceres High to make it to playoffs. We’ll be pretty good next year.”

“I’m excited to see where this program goes,” Verlis Smith said. “They should have a strong team next year. They have a lot of talent.”