Quarterbacks Phoenix Jackson and Beau Green zipped passes to their Ceres Seahawks varsity youth football teammates during practice on Aug. 10 at Central Valley High School.
The members of the Seahawks' junior-varsity, pee-wee and rookie squads also started preparing for the organization's 10th season of competition.
"There's a lot of excitement," said Willie Solorio, president. "We do pretty well for a little organization in Ceres."
Ceres' membership consists of approximately 105 football players and 41 cheerleaders, aged 7-14.
"Our numbers are down," Solorio said. "We had a lot of parents that watched the movie "Concussion" and they're leery. There's always a risk playing football or any sport. With proper coaching, the kids should be fine. Even though our registration is lower, we have a lot of returners. That's a positive."
Joe Borba (varsity), Anthony Lopez (junior varsity), Junior Schaefer (pee wee) and Joe Carl (rookies) will serve as head coaches of the football teams.
Nikki Solorio (varsity), Tammie Nester (junior varsity), Cassie Profeta (rookie/pee wee) and Maria Profeta (rookie/pee wee) will coach the cheer squads.
The Seahawks will play a total of 10 games as members of the Central California Junior Football League.
Ceres will compete against the Turlock Pride, Turlock Bulldogs, Modesto Broncos, Oakdale Stampede, Livingston Wolves, Atwater Falcons, Manteca Buffaloes, Buhach Colony Thunder, Merced Cougars and Central Valley 49ers.
"We have a lot of good teams in Cen-Cal," Solorio said. "It's very competitive. Most of the teams are affiliates of the local high schools. We don't have to travel two to three hours to play. That's what I love about Cen-Cal."
Ceres hosted a round-robin scrimmage on Aug. 20.
The Seahawks, Central Valley 49ers, Livingston Wolves and Manteca Buffaloes battled at CVHS.
Ceres will open the 2016 campaign at home this Saturday.
The Seahawks will compete against the Turlock Pride at Central Valley.
The varsity, junior-varsity, pee-wee and rookie games will get underway at 3 p.m., 1 p.m., 11 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively.
Ceres will unveil its new uniforms.
The varsity team will wear neon-colored jerseys. The lower-level squads will don gray jerseys.
"This year, we're doing home and away jerseys," Solorio said. "We did change our colors. And the kids get to keep them at the end of the season. That's part of the registration fee."