Prospective and returning members of Ceres High School's football program competed against the visiting Pitman Pride on Tuesday, June 10.
The seven-on-seven passing league scrimmage was staged at Bulldog Stadium.
"We did exactly what we wanted to do," Ceres High head coach Bret Durossette said. "We competed. Pitman is very talented. They got a lot of athletes. They're well-coached."
Sophomore Chris Lubinsky filled in for 2013 varsity starting quarterback Brad Bussard.
Brad and his twin brother Brent were busy attending a football camp at the University of Montana.
Brad had a productive first season with the Bulldogs. He threw for 2,853 yards and 25 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Bussard had three 400-yard passing games. He totaled a program-record 437 yards and six TDs in his debut versus Modesto High. Brad earned second-team, all-Western Athletic Conference honors.
Brent Bussard tallied a team-leading 394 rushing yards and three touchdowns for Ceres High as a junior. He had 38 tackles, 11/2 sacks and one forced fumble at linebacker.
"He (Lubinsky) was nervous at first," Durossette said. "He improved dramatically. He did exactly what I thought he was capable of doing. He's got good arm strength. The more practice he gets, the better he'll be. He's going to be a great quarterback. He's like a mini Peyton Manning."
Lubinsky, and varsity returnees Caleb McDade (OL/DL/TE), Izaiah Hernandez (WR/RB/DB/LB), Adrian Torres (OL/LB) and Juan Anderson (WR/DB), and newcomers Seth Gibson (RB/WR/DB/LB) and Erik Collins (WR/DB/LB) were among the players who competed against Pitman.
McDade was selected to the WAC Second Team as a junior.
He racked up 53 tackles.
Hernandez had 51 tackles, one interception and one pass deflection his junior year.
Torres chipped in with 23 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Anderson caught 22 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns.
Lubinsky was the starting QB for Ceres High's 2-8 junior-varsity football squad as a freshman.
"We did okay considering we had only one day of practice and were missing Brad and Brent," Ceres High defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Brett Johnson said while talking about the Bulldogs' performance versus the Pride.
Ceres High players practice, 5-7 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
They dedicate time to lifting weights, conditioning, and learning offensive and defensive plays.
"We're working hard every day so we can get stronger," said Ceres High senior lineman Luis Calderon, who along with Oscar Galindo, Alvin Zarco and Armani Rivera, completed ladder, rope and jump exercises outside the weight room just after 6 p.m. on Thursday.
"Our main goal is to help our backs get more rushing yards."
The Bulldogs compiled a 1-5 record at the Stagg High School 7-on-7 passing tournament on June 27 in Stockton.
"We had 19 kids show up," Durossette said. "We're just young and inexperienced. As the day progressed, we got better."
Ceres High will participate in the Downey Contact Camp, July 7-10.
The Bulldogs will compete at Modesto Junior College on July 12.
Ceres High lost 8 of 10 games and placed sixth in the WAC standings (1-5) last fall.
"We have a lot of kids that want to play this year," Durossette said. "But they don't have a lot of experience. This gives us an opportunity to practice. The excitement is better than it has ever been. We're going to do our best to compete."