The highly-anticipated fall sports season got underway this past week with practices and/or tryouts.
Ceres High will field football, cross country, water polo, cheerleading, girls volleyball, girls tennis and girls golf teams this fall.
Crosstown-rival Central Valley will compete in six of the above-mentioned seven sports, excluding water polo.
Boys soccer was moved to the winter sports season.
"I'm very pleased with the turnout," Bulldogs varsity girls water polo head coach Stephen Dias. "We got over 20 girls out here. A lot of them are new to the sport."
Julia Pata, Camryn Elness, Kaitlyn Foster and their Ceres High water polo teammates practiced Monday through Friday from 3-5 p.m.
Each player was required to swim a third of a mile for warmups on Thursday.
"I don't want to go easy on them," Dias said. "They'll survive. They'll have the weekend to rest."
Emphasis was also placed on shooting, passing and treading water.
"Repetition. Repetition. Repetition," Dias said.
Jack Lackey, new head coach of Ceres High's varsity girls tennis team, held practices on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
He took roll call prior to having his players complete a series of conditioning drills during Thursday's 3-5 p.m. training session.
Dominique Koeurn, Andria Esho, Azia Brewster, Yasmine Cordova and Gurmen Bahia were among the 20-plus participants.
"It's a wonderful group of young ladies," Lackey said. "They seem eager to learn. They're getting better. I'm not going to cut anybody."
Claudia Martinez, Lupe Becerra and other members of Central Valley's new-look varsity girls tennis team practiced under the direction of head coach Mike Rodriguez on Friday.
"We only had eight girls out here the first three days," he said. "Now, we have 23. Word got around campus we were having tryouts. There are so many new girls out here. I'm just trying to get them to do one thing right."
Ceres High's numbers are up for varsity football as a total of 58 students attended the Bulldogs' first week of practice.
"I'd like to think it has something to do with what they saw us do last year," said Chris Lubinsky, second-year quarterback. "We did a lot of exciting things. We scored a lot of points."
Lubinsky, Marcellus Boykins, Nick Jones, Wyatt Ogden, Zyier Harrision and their Bulldog teammates ran 40-yard dashes just before the conclusion of Tuesday's 3-5:45 p.m. training session.
"One of my favorite parts of practice was the end when we had conditioning drills," Chris said. "Everybody was going 100 percent and pushing. Everybody was motivated to finish practice strong."
Central Valley football players worked with their position coaches before dedicating time to team offense and defense at Wednesday's practice.
"It was fun putting on helmets, pads and equipment again," said Estevan Barragan, junior strong safety/running back. "Defensively, we looked smooth. Offensively, we're going to improve."
A total of 25 students attended Central Valley's first week of practice for cross country.
"We're still trying to build our team," Hawks head coach Veronica Moreno said. "We had a video announcement. We put an announcement in the school bulletin. The goal is to have 60 runners. I teach P.E. here. We're running the mile next week. I'll pull the fastest kids aside and have them join cross country."