The Ceres Jr. Bulldogs kicked off the 2018 season against the Merced Jr. Gauchos on the road this past weekend.
The sixth-year youth football and cheer organization was founded by Joe Estrada in 2013.
Enrollment figures have been steady since year one.
A total of 130 football players and 29 cheerleaders, aged 5-14, signed up for the Jr. Bulldogs this season.
"When parents see all that we do for their kids, they like that. They feel safe and comfortable coming back to the program."Joe Estrada
“Our numbers have always been good,” Estrada said. “We’re a family-based organization. When parents see all that we do for their kids, they like that. They feel safe and comfortable coming back to the program.”
Ceres spent an additional $5,000 on Riddell helmets for the 2018 campaign.
Estrada (varsity), Richard Andrade (junior varsity), Alfred Garcia (rookies), Jim Vaz (starts) and Augie Serpa (future) will serve as head football coaches.
Imelda Solis (varsity), La’nisha Garerrete (junior varsity), Melissa Pavlacky (rookies), Ashley Beaman (starts) and Naomi Galvan (future) will lead the cheer squads.
Ceres competes in the Central Valley Gridiron Youth Football & Cheer League.
The league features seven teams, including the Jr. Bulldogs, Jr. Gauchos, Ceres Seahawks, Central Valley Lions, Turlock Hornets, Salida Steeler-Jags and Lodi Flames.
“Our league is very competitive,” said Estrada, CVGYFC founder and commissioner. “All teams have talent.”
Estrada established CVGYFC in 2016.
“It’s not my way or the highway,” he said. “We all vote on everything. We’re a true, president run organization.”
The Central Valley Gridiron Youth Football & Cheer Super Bowl will be staged at Ceres High School.
“I drew our name out of a hat,” Estrada said. “It would be awesome to see our team or the Ceres Seahawks there.”