High School Sports

Ceres boys soccer coach: ‘To lead these guys in something like this is amazing’

Ceres’ Andres Madriz carries the ball past Golden Valley’s Cristian Gaona during the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinal game in Ceres, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.
Ceres’ Andres Madriz carries the ball past Golden Valley’s Cristian Gaona during the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinal game in Ceres, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. aalfaro@modbee.com

Ceres High senior Saul Ruiz scored in the 76th minute as the Bulldogs beat East Union, 2-1 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championship at Ripon Christian High School on Thursday.

“The celebration is just so exciting,” Bulldogs coach Danny Barragan said. “I never had the opportunity to play any sports growing up so to be able to lead these guys in something like this is amazing.”

It’s the first title for the Bulldogs (20-1-4) since 2009 when they beat Central Valley, 2-0 in the D4 title.

“This is just a great feeling. I’m really happy for the team and what they’ve accomplished this season,” Barragan said. “I am not sure about others but to me this is what every coach is after in high school.”

East Union took the lead in the 33rd minute after senior Giovanni Padilla scored from the right side of the net. Junior forward Pablo Duran scored a few minutes later for the Bulldogs on a deflection in the box.

“The toughest part tonight I think would have to be that it took us a bit longer than usual to start playing our game,” Barragan said.
“Getting scored on wasn’t so bad because that’s what seems to activate this team to play better.”


Including Thursday’s game, the Bulldogs have allowed only four goals in their last nine games.

Ceres will find out its CIF State NorCal Regional Championship fate on Sunday.

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Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.


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