Founded in 2007, the Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organization had to cancel its 14th season this past fall due to safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Outdoor youth sports were cleared to return in February under new guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health.
The Seahawks’ 2021 season kicked off on Aug. 21.
“The kids and parents are excited,” President Willie Solorio said. “There are still concerns with COVID re-emerging with the Delta Variant. But there aren’t restrictions at this time. We do try to keep the kids separated. With football, that’s hard. We also keep an eye on the kids and make sure they don’t come to practice if they’re sick.”
A total of 100 football players, aged 6-14, signed up for the 2021 campaign.
Cost was $350 per player.
Registration covers the cost of new helmets, shoulder pads, game jerseys, game pants and bags.
Players keep everything.
“Not having early registration hurt us,” Solorio said. “We were waiting for the state and our school district to open everything up. We turned a lot of kids down. They found other organizations to play in because they thought we weren’t going to have a season. We have zero cheerleaders due to the late start.”
Jonovan Solorio (varsity), Junior Schaefer (junior varsity and junior novice) and Marcus Camargo (novice) are the Seahawks’ head football coaches.
Practices are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 6-8 p.m., at Don Pedro Elementary School.
Each player was required to complete 10 hours of conditioning before making contact.
Ceres will compete in the Trans Valley Youth Football League.
The Seahawks relocated from the Central Valley Gridiron Youth Football & Cheer League to the TVYFL in 2019.
Ceres competed in the CenCal Jr. Football League during its first 11 years of existence.
The Seahawks will face the Modesto Christian Kingsmen, Tri City Bulldogs, Patterson Ravens, Central Saints, Modesto Rams, Gustine Redskins, Central Valley Outlaws, Ripon Knights and Turlock Hornets.
Ceres, Modesto Christian, Tri City, Patterson, Central, Modesto, Central Valley and Ripon are members of the Atlantic Division.
The Redskins, Hornets, Hughson Oilers, Westside 49ers, Denair Lions, Mariposa Bears, Big Valley Sabres, Hilmar Packers and Merced Wolverines make up the Pacific Division.
“It’s a very competitive league,” Willie Solorio said.
Playoffs will be staged on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.
Super Bowl contests will be played on Nov. 13 and 14.
“Win, lose or draw, we don’t care,” Willie Solorio said. “We just want to have fun this year. That’s the main goal.”