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Seahawks, Cowboys establish crosstown rivalry
The leaders from the Ceres Seahawks and Ceres Cowboys youth football and cheer organizations held a joint meeting at the Ceres Community Center on Oct. 19.

"We worked out the details," Seahawks President Javier Fregoso said. "It's going to be a positive experience for everybody."

The Seahawks' and Cowboys' varsity, junior-varsity, novice and junior-novice teams will battle for Ceres City Youth Football Championships this Saturday at Ceres High School.

The members of the Seahawks' varsity squad are itching to get back on the field because of their disappointing finish in Cen-Cal Jr. Football League play. Ceres (5-5) fell one win shy of a playoff berth thanks to its second-half collapse against the Merced Cougars.

"They can't wait," head coach Joe Borba said. "I think it's going to be close because it's a rivalry game. We're going to do whatever we can to get the win."

The Seahawks will rely heavily upon running back Ja'Quan Gardner.

Borba coached a similar type of player with the Ceres Falcons' JV team in 2005.

"Ja'Quan reminds me so much of Vince Lopez because of his demeanor on the field," Joe said. "He doesn't talk a lot. He just goes out and does his job. It's nice to be able to watch that kid play football."

Lopez, a standout on Central Valley High School's varsity football team the past three years, amassed 2,086 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns during his final season at the youth level.

Gardner has been just as productive, tallying 1,201 yards and 19 touchdowns on 152 carries. He's also thrown two TD passes, ran back a kickoff for a score and returned an interception to the end zone.

"It's no secret," Borba said. "We're going to give him (Ja'Quan) the ball."

Gardner rumbled for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the Seahawks' 52-14 loss to the undefeated Modesto Broncos on Oct. 31.

"They hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher all year," Borba said.

Head coach Shane Trousdale and his varsity Cowboys players are ready for the challenge.

"Ever since the Seahawks' inception, there's been talk about who has the better teams," Trousdale said. "Now, we get to find out."

Trousdale's team lost to the top-seeded Modesto 49ers in the opening round of the Delta Youth Football League South Division playoffs this past weekend.

The Cowboys (6-6) will be led by Angelo Bermudez (running back, free safety), Raymond Camacho (running back/linebacker), Travis Love (running back/cornerback), Domingo Bermudez (quarterback/linebacker/cornerback), Eric Perez (defensive line) and Fidel Gist (defensive line).

"If we control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, we'll win," Trousdale said.

The varsity, junior-varsity, novice and junior-novice contests will be played at 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Perpetual trophies and individual medals will be awarded at the end of each game.

"People are excited," Fregoso said. "It's going to be big. The kids are going to have fun."

Added Trousdale: "It's not for the coaches. It's bragging rights for the kids."