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Fall sports in full swing as season approaches
• New coach Heese assembles Ceres High’s girls volleyball roster
Kelly Heese
Kelly Heese will coach Ceres High’s girls volleyball team this fall. Heese held tryouts last week. - photo by Dale Butler

Student-athletes from Ceres High and Central Valley attended practices and/or tryouts last week.

The fall sports lineup will include football, water polo, cross country, girls volleyball, girls golf and girls tennis.

“Everybody has been amazing welcoming me with open arms,” said Kelly Heese, first-year head coach of the Bulldogs’ volleyball program. “I’m excited for the season to start.”

After school at Ceres High on Friday, Heese assembled her team roster following three tryout sessions.

“From Wednesday to today, there was a huge difference,” she said. “The girls weren’t as nervous. Everything fell into place. Me being new, I don’t have the capability of being biased. The girls that made the team put in the work. We’re young. We only have two seniors.”

Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s football programs both had scrimmages in the evening.

The Bulldogs hosted the Hughson Huskies.

“We started off a little slow,” said Matt Chachere, second-year head coach of Ceres High. “We definitely played better as the night went on. The offensive line blocked pretty well. They were aggressive. Some of our running backs made some nice cuts and showed some speed. Our quarterbacks made some good reads and decent throws.”

The Hawks traveled to Downey of Modesto to compete against the Knights, Beyer Patriots, Enochs Eagles and Modesto High Panthers.

“The best part of the night, aside from executing well, was we found out we have some depth,” Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. 

Practice schedules for outside sports teams were also changed last week due to the triple-digit weather.

Central Valley’s cross country program canceled practice on both Thursday and Friday.

Ceres High’s cross country athletes trained in the morning on Friday to avoid the afternoon heat.

Central Valley’s girls tennis team held a fundraiser meeting indoors on Friday.

Ceres High girls tennis players spent time inside the weight room on Thursday.

“Of course we need to practice,” Central Valley Athletic Director Greg Magni said. “But that’s secondary to taking care of our student-athletes. We put their health and safety above everything else. We’ve been very cautious.”

“Everyone has been very mindful of it,” Ceres High Athletic Director John Bussard said. “We haven’t had any issues. Football did a lot of indoor walk-through stuff. They limited what they did outside.”