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Seahawks to kick off 11th season of competition
Sunny Khabra and other members of the Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organizastarted preparing for the 2017 season this past week. Khabra will contribute at the varsity level this year. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organization completed its first week of practice for the 2017 season this past Friday at Central Valley High School.

Practice sessions were staged, from 6-8 p.m., July 31 to Aug. 4.

Temperatures climbed into the 100s during the first three days.

"Keeping them hydrated was the most important part," said Willie Solorio, fifth-year president. "With this weather, it's hot just getting out there and walking around."

The Seahawks' membership consists of 92 football players and 50 cheerleaders, ages 7-14.

"Most of our kids are returners," he said. "That's what keeps us going."

Enrollment numbers have dropped 15 percent over last three years according to Solorio.

"A lot of teams in the league are short on kids," Solorio said. "The movie "Concussion" came out and made parents leery. When the game is taught properly, there should be no problems. Parents need to be aware we look out for the safety of the kids. The state law mandates that if a kid has a concussion, they're out for 10 days. It's starts from the time they see their doctor."

Joe Borba (varsity), Robert Castillo (junior varsity) and Junior Schaefer (pee wee and rookies) will serve as head coaches of Ceres' football teams.

Cheer coaches are Nikki Solorio (varsity), Shawnan Robinson (junior varsity), Cassie and Maria Profeta (pee wee) and Yexenia Porras (rookies).

The Seahawks will face 10 teams during the Central California Junior Football League's regular season, including the Merced Bears (Aug. 26) Oakdale Stampede (Sept. 2), Manteca Jaguars (Sept. 9), Merced Cougars (Sept. 16), Los Banos Wildcats (Sept. 23), Manteca Buffaloes (Sept. 30), Livingston Wolves (Oct. 7), Buhach Thunder (Oct. 14), Turlock Bulldogs (Oct. 21) and Central Valley 49ers (Oct. 28).
"Cen-Cal has a long history of competitive football," Solorio said.

The Seahawks, Buffaloes, Wolves, 49ers and Modesto Broncos will compete during a five-team round-robin scrimmage on Aug. 19 at Modesto Christian.

The Seahawks program was founded by Javier Fregoso in 2007. "I knew once it got up and started it would be a successful organization," Solorio said. "Everything we do is for the kids. It's a lot of work."