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Hawks fare well at Ceres-Central Valley Jamboree
Jonathan Barragan helped lead Central Valley past Ceres High, Modesto High and Hughson on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School's football team will have a crowded backfield this fall.

Third-year varsity player Jonathan Barragan will begin the season as the Hawks' starting running back.

Barragan split carries with younger brother Estevan Barragan, Cory Cantaloube and Gabe Campos during the Ceres-Central Valley Jamboree on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

Carlos Rodriguez was sidelined with an injury.

"Jonathan did a great job," Hawks head coach Scott Edwards said. "He's just more comfortable this year. He put a huge amount of pressure on himself last season and that impacted his execution. He was so deadset on trying to show he was the better Barragan. He's accepted the fact his brother (Estevan) is good. It's not an issue anymore. He's turned it into a positive and it's paying off."

"Their relationship is really strong," Central Valley senior lineman Erik Mejia added. "They're workout partners. They push each other. They try to make each other better. They both want to do great things for the team. He (Jonathan) wants to prove himself. I have confidence in him. He's a good player."

Central Valley posted a perfect 3-0 record at the scrimmage.

The Hawks collected wins against Ceres High (3-1), Modesto High (1-0) and Hughson (3-1).

"Overall, I felt positive about the day," Edwards said. "We had a great showing. There were a lot of positives. I don't think anybody played below ability. We had a solid defense and we were able to run the football. We got a lot of kids in at the scrimmage. That's always good."

Central Valley tallied three touchdowns against Ceres High.

"We did pretty well against them, defensively," Mejia said. "They did score one time."

Added Edwards: "We set the tone, defensively."

Jonathan Barragan's first TD came on a short run during Central Valley's 3-1 victory over Hughson.

"He's definitely hungry," Edwards said. "He's one of our more vocal guys. He's trying to lead the team."

Willie Soriano and Miguel Jimenez both logged playing time at quarterback.

"Willie's our starter," Edwards said. "But Miguel can run our offense as well."
Central Valley's experience-laden defense surrendered just two touchdowns.

The Hawks return eight of 11 starters from a year ago.

"It was fun to watch," Edwards said. "Nobody could run on us all day."

"I'm pretty happy with how we did," Mejia stated. "We made a statement. Even when we had our second group in, we played at a high level."

Central Valley will open the 2016 season at Atwater this Friday.

Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

The Hawks lost 34-20 to the Falcons in 2015.

"The team is pretty excited," Mejia said. "We watched them at Livingston's scrimmage. We're hungry to get payback."