Lebron Stallworth and Abigayil Prado have been named Ceres High School’s Bulldog Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, for 2022-23.
Stallworth starred in football, basketball and track and field.
Prado excelled in volleyball, soccer and track and field.
“It wasn’t really a goal I set for myself,” Prado said. “I wasn’t really aware of the award. It feels good to be recognized for how hard I worked in my sports.”
“I am not surprised,” said Hannah Menk, Prado’s soccer coach since sophomore year. “She became very focused over the last three seasons. She didn’t mess around. She’s very competitive. She’s selfless. She always puts the team first before herself.”
“I’m very appreciative,” Stallworth said. “It’s an honor to receive the award. I felt like I deserved it. I worked hard in both sports and school. I credit my coaches, teammates and teachers.”
Stallworth earned seven varsity letters during his prep athletic career with the Bulldogs, including three in basketball, and two in both football and track and field.
“I wanted to achieve as much as I could,” he said. “I built a pretty nice resume. I was able to keep a good balance. My IQ and my athletic ability are my strengths.”
Stallworth and Ceres High made program history in football this past fall.
“If you grow up around here, that’s all you want,” said Stallworth, a 6-foot-4 defensive end/tight end. “It motivates the next players to keep working hard and playing great.”
The Bulldogs amassed an 8-3 overall record, finished second in the Western Athletic Conference standings (5-2) and qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-III playoffs.
Just three teams from Ceres High have won eight or more games in the past 37 years.
The Bulldogs went 9-4 and 8-4 in 1985 and 1988, respectively.
Ceres High annexed its first winning season since 2003.
The Bulldogs snapped a seven-year losing streak versus the crosstown-rival Hawks. Ceres High claimed the Ceres Classic perpetual trophy with a thrilling 21-20 win over Central Valley.
The Bulldogs lost to WAC-champion Los Banos and runner-up Lathrop by a combined four points.
Stallworth earned first-team, all-WAC honors.
He had 33 tackles, two sacks, five quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and four pass deflections in 11 games.
He caught 15 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns.
“To see all of our hard work translate on the field was a great feeling,” Stallworth said. “We got a lot of love and support from the community.”
Stallworth managed to earn first-team, all-WAC honors in basketball this winter despite being slowed early in the season by shoulder and wrist injuries sustained during football.
The senior power forward/center averaged 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the fifth-place Bulldogs (7-7).
He also logged playing time at point guard.
“We could have played a little better,” he said. “I would have liked to make the playoffs.”
Stallworth was selected to the WAC Second Team as a sophomore.
He averaged 11.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
“I matured more,” he said. “I developed my game.”
Stallworth helped lead Ceres High to a third-place finish at the WAC Track & Field Championships.
He set a personal record while taking first in the high jump at the league finals.
Stallworth cleared six feet.
He also ran a leg on the Bulldogs’ fourth-place 4x100 relay team.
Stallworth had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7.
He had a 3.5 GPA during his final semester.
“I’ve always been a really good student,” he said. “At an early age, my mom stressed education was important.”
Stallworth plans to play three sports at Modesto Junior College.
He’ll major in business management.
“I want to see where each sport takes me and how far I can go,” Stallworth said.
Prado earned seven varsity letters, including three in both volleyball and soccer, and one in track and field.
“I grew a lot throughout high school,” she said. “I met a lot of my expectations. But I expected more for myself.”
Prado was voted Defensive Most Valuable Player during the WAC girls soccer season.
“Other coaches recognized how hard I was working,” she said. “I pushed myself to play through injuries. I was driven to do my best.”
Prado filled a major role while leading Ceres High to an 11-6-1 overall record, second-place finish in the WAC standings (10-3-1) and back-to-back Sac-Joaquin Section playoff appearances.
She was team captain the past two seasons.
“My love for soccer grew from sophomore to senior year,” Prado said. “I really enjoyed helping my teammates. One of the biggest things was trying to lead in a more positive way. It came a little easier my second year.”
An outside hitter, Prado had the added responsibility of serving as a co-captain during her final season of volleyball with the Bulldogs.
She was also a WAC honorable-mention selection for the second year in a row.
She rarely left the court for the much-improved Bulldogs, who took sixth in the WAC standings with a 5-9 mark. Ceres High won just two of 11 matches en route to a last-place showing in league play last fall.
“Soccer is her favorite sport,” Bulldogs’ head coach Kelly Heese said. “But she was passionate about volleyball. She was an all-round player. The amount of improvement she made was amazing.”
Added Prado: “It was a fun experience.”
A newcomer to track and field, Prado showed improvement while competing in long jump, 100 and 4x100 relay.
“I decided to do track and field to see what I was capable of,” she said. “For my first year, I think I did well. If I started earlier, I could have excelled more.”
Prado had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.7.
She had a 4.0 GPA during her final semester.
“I pushed myself,” said Prado, who will continue her education at Sacramento State and is considering trying out for the women’s soccer team. “I didn’t do the bare minimum. It got hard at some points. I stayed up late or got up early to finish assignments.”