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Athletic Director/Varsity Football Head Coach Joseph Estrada exchanges a high-five with a summer clinic participant. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The Ceres Jr. Bulldogs were founded in 2013.

The youth football and cheerleading organization kicked off its second season this past weekend.

"There's a lot of excitement," said Joseph Estrada, athletic director/varsity football head coach.

Ceres' membership consists of 115 football players and 50 cheerleaders, aged 5-14.

"Before you build a house, you got to have a foundation," Estrada said. "We're not cutting corners. We're doing everything right. We got a lot of parent involvement. We run it like a high-school program. My goal is to keep the kids in Ceres."

Ceres' lower-level football teams will be coached by Jesus Montes (junior varsity), Travis Taylor (rookies) and Shaun Johnson (starts).

Elvia Guerrero (varsity), Jasmine Estrada (junior varsity), Jacinda Estrada (rookies), Jazmine Zuniga (starts) and Lenda Rucker (mascots) are the Jr. Bulldogs' head cheer coaches.

Members of the Bay Valley Gridiron Youth Football and Cheer Conference, the Jr. Bulldogs will compete against the Central Valley Jets (Sept. 6), Daly City Stars (Sept. 13), Mid Peninsula Athletic Assocation Mastodons (Sept. 20), San Jose Niners (Sept. 27), Weston Ranch Ravens (Oct. 4), Hayward Earthquakes (Oct. 11), Central Valley Raiders (Oct. 25) and Travis Vikings (Nov. 1).

Estrada has been coaching youth football in Ceres for nine years. Joseph was affiliated with the Cowboys and disbanded Cardinals in the past.

"This is where I belong," Estrada said. "I really want to give back to the youth. I relate to these kids like no other. Our kids need role models."

All of Ceres' home games will be played at Cesar Chavez Jr. High.

The Jr. Bulldogs have no ties with Ceres High or Central Valley.

"Our goal is to be affiliated with the high schools," Estrada said.