Ceres High School’s girls tennis program has a new leader.
Brandon Moring volunteered to serve as head coach again after Michelle Casey stepped down following the 2020 season.
“John Bussard (Ceres High athletic director) approached me last spring and asked if I would help him out,” Moring said. “I told him I would. There was a need. I’m always happy to help athletes that have positive attitudes and want to get better.”
Moring inherits a program that struggled to compete as a team last season due to a lack of numbers.
“Right now, my number one priority is to gets girls at Ceres High interested in the sport,” he said. “I want to create a buzz around campus. That’s where it starts. I have confidence in myself in developing players. I’ve done it for a long time.”
The Bulldogs had a total of 17 players on their roster as of Tuesday, including Gurmannet Bahia (Sr.), Victoria Ochoa (Sr.), Lilia Barragan (Sr.), Kensey Gallardo (Sr.), Valerie Raya (Sr.), Isabella Gutierrez (So.), Helen Amaya (Jr.), Jelanie Esguerra (Jr.), Jasmeenjot Kaur (Jr.), Payton Ogden (Jr.), Alexa Sandoval (Jr.), Leilah Elsumeri (So.), Jocelin Lopez (So.),Yasmin Pinedo (So.), Gurleen Kaur (Fr.), Camila Orellana (Fr.) and Anastasia Ursua (Fr.).
Bahia, Ochoa, Barragan, Gallardo, Raya and Gutierrez are returners.
“It’s a young group,” Moring said. “I’m looking forward to helping the girls develop as players. They seem motivated. They have positive attitudes. They’re working hard.”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play 14 league matches this fall.
Ceres High will face Beyer, Grace Davis, Johansen, Los Banos, Pacheco, Lathrop and Mountain House.
“I’m not concerned with wins and losses,” Moring said. “I’m concerned with improving every day. I’m working on skill development where I can get the girls in a position to compete.”
Ceres High placed last year with an 0-9-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference South Division standings. The WAC was split into two divisions for travel and public health reasons related to the coronavirus pandemic. Playoffs were canceled in an effort to allow student-athletes as much time as possible to play some matches during the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season.
The Bulldogs experienced success during Casey’s first year as head coach in 2019. Ceres High took third in the WAC (9-5) and secured its second consecutive playoff berth.
Ceres High had the second-best team in the WAC (11-3) and advanced to the playoffs under Moring’s guidance in 2018.
“Once we get our numbers back up, the results will eventually come,” Moring said. “We’ll be back to where we were competing for league championships.”