Ceres Youth Soccer Organization ushered in the 2015 season with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday morning at Ceres River Bluff Regional Park on Hatch Road.
The $2.3-million expansion project included adding more soccer fields, additional parking and other amenities.
The scope of Phase-II work involved removing one soccer field and adding two championship fields and three youth fields, doubling the size of the existing parking lot, adding a roundabout entrance, fencing off the existing well site, building an arbor structure, landscaping and other improvements.
"We worked hard to get the soccer complex built," longtime CYSO Board Member Randy Cerny said. "I really got to hand it to (former Ceres Mayor) Anthony Cannella and (past CYSO President) Lou Toste. It's a top-of-the-line facility. We're very proud of it. It's a dream come true for a lot of people in this community."
Toste has been affiliated with CYSO since its inception in 1983.
"It was a good day," Toste said. "I'm happy with everything. I always had this dream it would happen. I want to thank the city of Ceres. We have a beautiful complex. We'll have an opportunity to host State Cup games because of the additional field."
Councilmembers Bret Durossette and Linda Ryno attended the grand opening of the second phase of Ceres River Bluff Regional Park.
"It was about time we finished those things," Durossette said. "I think it's great. There are a lot of happy people. I'm excited about it. Lou Toste is a phenomenal guy. We're lucky to have community members like that."
"We're really proud of the partnership with the city of Ceres," Cerny said. "The $2.3 million is money worth spent. Everybody was commenting on how beautiful the complex turned out. It's a benefit for the entire city. We'll be able to attract State Cup tournaments because we doubled the size of our competitive fields."
"You don't see these complexes built in cities our size," Toste said. "I'm proud of the city. I just want to thank everyone. It means a lot to me."
About 1,200 boys and girls, aged 5-14, signed up to play in CYSO's 2015 recreational league.
The organization can now accommodate more players thanks to the complex expansion.
"We have 300 more kids this year," Toste said.
Courier Managing Editor Jeff Benziger contributed to this report.