Ceres High transfer Dalton Durossette has been cleared to play varsity football and basketball next year at Central Catholic High School, a perennial section and state contender in each sport.
Durossette will also have limited eligibility in baseball this spring, according to a ruling released Friday by the Sac-Joaquin Section.
The section won't comment on individual transfer cases, but the ruling was confirmed by Central Catholic athletic director Billy Hylla.
A versatile talent, Durossette enrolled in classes at Central Catholic on Feb. 13. The 16-year-old sophomore decided to leave Ceres High, where his parents, Bret and Angela, have more than 40 years of teaching experience "to see what he's capable of" on a campus with lofty academic and athletic standards, Bret said.
"He's flying in his own direction," Bret told The Bee in February.
While he has acclimated quickly to his new school and classmates, sitting on the bench in street clothes for the basketball team's run to a third straight section title and CIF State Northern California Division III finals appearance, Bret said his son agonized over how the section would rule on his eligibility.
"It's been a tough go, you know, especially for Dalton," Bret said. "Will he have to sit out part of the season for football and basketball? What will baseball look like this year? I think he's at peace" with his decision to transfer, "but he didn't want to play JV baseball. That's the (section's) ruling and we didn't want to petition it. He's going to have to go down there and treat it like it's spring training."
Durossette isn't eligible to play varsity baseball this spring at Central Catholic, where his club coach -- NorCal Valley's Danny Ayala -- is also the Raiders' skipper.
Instead, Durossette, an all-Western Athletic Conference first-team selection as a freshman, will play JV.
Durossette was a force for the Bulldogs' varsity program last spring, both at the plate and in the field. He hit .410 with with 34 hits, 22 runs, and 22 RBI. He also stole 11 bases.
On the mound, Durossette blossomed quickly into one of the Stanislaus District's top young arms. He was 7-4 with a 2.53 ERA, three complete games, and a no-hitter, a 94-pitch effort against Livingston.
Durossette is expected to make his debut for the Raiders' JV team on Tuesday at home against Sierra.
"He's going to have to rise above it, if he's that good and has that skill set, which we know he does," Bret said. "He's going to have to really shine and not any regression or take things easy."
Durossette won't have to sit out the first 30 days of the 2018-19 football and basketball seasons, which sets up another interesting plot line for the school's football program.
The Raiders are tasked with the toughest schedule in school history with dates with Clovis West, De La Salle, St. Mary's and Lincoln in the first four weeks. Central Catholic also opens Valley Oak League play with Manteca, a two-time section champion and NorCal Bowl finalist.
On top of all that worry and concern, now there's a full-fledged quarterback battle.
Junior-to-be Kyle Jackson is the incumbent. He started seven games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a last-minute loss to Oakdale in Week 10. Jackson, a dual-threat with a punishing running style, was 6-1 as a starter.
Cleared by the section, Durossette will challenge Jackson without any restrictions.
Durossette was an all-WAC second-team selection last fall after throwing for 1,709 yards and 16 touchdowns.
"When baseball is over, he can't go to the playoffs, so it will be football time," Bret said. "He's excited to have an opportunity to play quarterback or whatever position Coach (Roger) Canepa sees fit for him.
"The fire pit is going to be rolling and it's up to him to have himself prepared, whether that's in the weight room, or reading keys and hitting targets."