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Retreat on tap for CHS
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Ceres High varsity head football coach Brett Johnson is doing everything possible to make sure that the 2007 Bulldogs are a tight-knit group.

More than 30 seniors graduated from last year's squad, which finished in fifth place in the Valley Oak League (3-4) and posted a 4-6 overall record.

"The main thing is just bonding, getting to know each other," Johnson said. "It's not just about football. That's when the fun comes into it."

Approximately 40 players will be attending an overnight retreat in Livingston this week.

Those same seniors and juniors bonded in the weight room and on the gridiron during the summertime.

"It's a whole difference experience for them," Brett said.

Johnson and Co. will leave at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and return at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

They're staying at Ceres High varsity boys basketball coach Jason Martin's ranch.

They'll sleep on tarps outside under the stars.

Friday's schedule includes free time for horseshoes and volleyball, a barbecue dinner, and team and position meetings.

Saturday's itinerary includes running, breakfast, walk-through practice, Bulldog Olympics and lunch.

Players will complete a 2-mile jog around orchards following a 7 a.m. wakeup call.

"We got a course laid out," Johnson said.

Johnson will divide players into teams for the Bulldog Olympics.

They'll compete in five different events, including goofy relay races (wheelbarrow, piggyback and leapfrog), horseshoes, sock wrestling and strategic problem solving.

They earn points based on where and when they finish.

"It's a fun, competitive kind of deal," Johnson said.

Lunch will be served afterwards followed by a 21-mile drive back to Ceres.

With only nine returners back from a season ago, Ceres High enters the 2007 season with plenty of question marks. Competing in the VOL will be a daunting task.

"It's all about creating memories for a lifetime," Johnson said. "This is one you look back on