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Soccer victory caps Cerny's coaching days
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Randy Cerny completed his seventh and final season as head coach of Ceres High's varsity girls soccer program with a victory on May 1.

Caitlin Cerny, Randy's daughter and a fourth-year starter, scored in the closing 10 minutes to lead the Bulldogs past host Central Valley, 4-3, in Valley Oak League play.

"Before I took over the program, we never won a league game," said 52-year-old Cerny. "We had a bunch of old hand-me-down uniforms. We didn't have a place to play. We had nothing. We're competitive now."

The Bulldogs didn't win any league titles, secure any playoff berths or notch any winning seasons under Cerny's guidance.

Ceres High did show a tremendous amount of improvement. The Bulldogs played with a purpose.

Randy's teams posted a combined record of 36-91-9 (22-84-6 conference).

Ceres High set program records for total wins with 11 and conference victories (5) in 2008.

The Bulldogs finished 1-22, including 0-18 in league, during Cerny's first year at the helm in 2002.

Ceres High snapped a 113-game losing streak in league and amassed a 5-17-2 record the following season.

The Bulldogs beat Grace Davis for the first-time ever in 2006, ending a 19-game skid to the Spartans that spanned nine years.

"I have no regrets," Cerny said. "I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. We gained some respect."

Ceres High's advancement can be directly linked to Ceres Youth Soccer Organization's expansion.

"That was a catalyst for building the high school team," Randy said. "That's one of things I'm proud of."

Ceres High standouts Caitlin Cerny, Cynthia Gonzalez, Erica Olide, Lizzy Flores and Marisela Torres played multiple seasons together with the Ceres Earthquakes competitive year-round program.

They teamed up with Central Valley High School's Veronica Nides, Alejandro Murillo, Stephanie Martinez and Carla Martinez.

"I've always had the utmost confidence in the girls that came over from the Ceres Earthquakes," Randy said. "They had the capability to play at the varsity level as freshmen."

The Bulldogs played all of their home games on Walter White School's grass and dirt field prior to the opening of Ceres River Bluff Regional Park in 2006. Ceres High hosted games at Bulldog Stadium this past season following a two-year stint at the new complex.

"We had some pretty nice-sized crowds this year," Cerny said.

Randy decided to retire for several reasons.

Caitlin plans to play soccer at Modesto Junior College next fall. He's also increasing his workload.

"I wouldn't have the opportunity to see her play if I continued to coach," Cerny said. "My job is changing too. I'm going to teach four periods of criminal justice at Ceres High and two at Central Valley."

Close to 150 of Randy's students have entered the profession since 1993-94.

"I want to focus entirely on teaching next year, Cerny said. "I want to make sure it works right."

Ryan Cerny, Randy's son and co-coach, stepped down to focus on a career in law enforcement. He was recently hired by the Tracy Police Department. Ryan starts the Academy in August.

Ceres High won't have to look far to find a suitable replacement for Randy.

Koeurn Phe, Brittany Randle and Trace Hollis have all expressed interest.

Phe, a 1992 Ceres High graduate, coached frosh-soph boys and girls soccer at his alma mater this past season. He'll direct the varsity boys squad next fall in place of Ryan Cerny.

Brittany assisted Randy in 2008. The 2005 Ceres High grad started at the varsity level for four seasons. Diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia her senior year, Randle received a bone-marrow transplant in September 2006 and has since made a full recovery. She played in several games for the Modesto JC Pirates last fall prior to suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Hollis, a former United Soccer League Division III professional goalkeeper, teaches math at Mae Hensley.

"We need someone who can bring in a fresh prospective," Cerny said.

Randy plans to return to the sidelines as a spectator when he has free time.

"It will be kind of nice being a fan instead of a coach," Cerny said. "I'll be able to watch a girls soccer game at Ceres High or Central Valley for the enjoyment."