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New year brings hope
Ian Couture could prove to be a valuable addition to Ceres High School's varsity boys golf program.

The left-handed freshman will fill the No. 2 spot in the Bulldogs' lineup this season.

Couture gained valuable experience playing in junior tournaments over the years.

"From what I've seen, he does everything well," Ceres High head coach Scott Smith said. "By the time he's a senior, I look for him to be one of the top players in the Stanislaus District. I wish I had 20 of him. It would make my job easier."

Smith first caught a glimpse of Couture's talents at the River Oaks driving range.

"It really shocked me," Scott said. "I had no idea. It made me giggle."

Carter Silviera (Sr.), Vince Tomao (Jr.), David Brazil (Jr.), Tyler Story (Jr.), Blake Hurst (Fr.) and Vincent DeAnda (Jr.) will also start for the Bulldogs.

Silveira, Ceres High's top player, will try to advance past the 2010 Valley Oak League tournament for the first time. The fourth-year starter missed out by several points the past three seasons.

"I'm hoping he shoots well enough so he can go to divisionals," Smith said.

Tomao and Story are returners.

Brazil, Hurst and DeAnda are newcomers, along with Kevin Gill (Sr.), Kenny Carroll (Jr.), Derek Frederick (Jr.), Zak Hailey (So.), Trevor Hunt (So.) and Javier Sanchez (So.).

Gill, DeAnda, Carroll, Frederick, Hailey, Hunt and Sanchez are expected to compete for playing time in the fifth, sixth and seventh spots.

Ceres High posted a 4-10 record and placed sixth at the Valley Oak League championships in 2009.

The Bulldogs should finish ahead of Manteca, Weston Ranch, Central Valley and Lathrop this year.

East Union, Oakdale, Sierra and Sonora have the top four teams in league.

"The record doesn't matter," Smith said. "If the kids improve over the course of the season, then I did my job. I'm hoping we can give the top four teams a run."