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Impact players: Griffin & Griffith
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Seniors Lauren Griffin and Katie Griffith earned league honors for leading the Ceres High varsity girls water polo team to a fourth-place finish.

Griffin, a second-team honoree, and Griffith, a third-teamer, are repeat selections.

“I was really happy that they did make all-league,” Ceres coach Lesley Willems said. “I would have been really disappointed if they weren't on there.”

The duo helped turn around Ceres' program.

The past two seasons, Ceres High finished one game shy of making the playoffs.

The Bulldogs compiled a 6-6 record this year.

In 2004, Ceres placed fourth in the league standings at 6-9. Griffin and Griffith earned first- and second-team honors.

Griffin and Griffith played together as freshman at the JV level. They were promoted to varsity their sophomore years. The Bulldogs took fifth (4-12).

Ceres totaled four wins in 2002 and two in 2001.

“I don't think we would have gone this far without them,” Willems said.

“Every year they got better and better. They were strong leaders. They tried to help the other girls as much as they could.”

Griffin was Ceres' top offensive threat. She led the team in scoring with 72 goals.

“Lauren always had her work cut out for her,” Willems said. “She was always double teamed.”

Griffith was a defensive standout. She averaged more than two steals per game. Griffith also ranked second in scoring with 46 goals.

“Every game, Katie had five or six steals,” Willems said. “On the other end, Lauren had five or six goals. That worked really well for us.”

Lauren and Katie also played together with the Modesto-Stanislaus Water Polo Club during the summer time.

“I don't really have anyone else that is dedicated like they are,” Willems said.

Griffin plans to play for the Modesto Junior College women's water polo team next year. She's trying to convince Griffith to join her.

“Both of them are really good, smart players,” Willems said. “It's going to be tough to replace them.” - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier