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Will Nunes coach at CHS next year?
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Shawna Nunes wants to continue to coach at Ceres High School. But might have to look for work elsewhere if the state budget has an impact on her department. Nunes teaches web design, software applications and desktop publishing.

"At this point in time, I plan to stay here," Nunes said. "But it all depends if there's a paying job."

Under Nunes' guidance, the varsity girls basketball team has compiled a 273-88 record in 12 seasons. Ceres has never missed the playoffs or had a losing record. The Bulldogs have captured one section championship, claimed five league titles, won at least 20 games nine times and surpassed the 30-win mark twice.

Ceres made history this year. It won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II crown at Arco Arena. The Bulldogs also hosted a NorCal playoff game for the first-time ever.

Nunes took over the girls basketball program in 1993-94. She replaced Pierce Butler, who led the Bulldogs to six league titles in 13 years.

If Nunes returns next season, she'll guide a young but experienced team.

Ceres is losing five players to graduation, including four starters, Heather Mazza, Krystle Brown, Meghan Franksen and Kelsey Sayad, and one key reserve, Donna Zaragoza. Mazza, Brown, Franksen and Sayad played varsity all four years.

"It's not necessarily a rebuilding year," Nunes said. "It's another year."

A host of players are expected to return to the team in 2005-06, including Jennifer Arnold, Jessica Mazza, Kristen McClure and Heather Jones.

Arnold started this season. She was a third-team, all-MMC selection. Mazza, McClure and Jones received a lot of playing time and excelled in the playoffs.

The addition of several players from the JV girls championship squad will help bolster Ceres' roster. Several incoming freshmen could also get promoted.

"We're not looking bad," Nunes said.

If Nunes' job is cut at Ceres High, she shouldn't have any trouble finding another employer (high school or college). She has an impressive resume.

Nunes has won numerous coaching awards.

On Thursday, she was named Modesto Metro Conference Coach of the Year. In April, she'll receive the Sac-Joaquin Section Model Coach of the Year award.

Nunes has also been rewarded for her effort in the classroom. In 2001-02, she claimed the Ceres High teacher of the year award.

Nunes graduated from Ceres High School in 1981. The nine varsity sport letter winner competed in volleyball, basketball and track. She was voted outstanding athlete during her senior year. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier