Turlock High boys water polo coach Steve Feaver didn't know what to expect from his players this season.
His team had three seniors and was loaded with underclassmen, sometimes a formula for a sporadic and inconsistent team.
The group grew up pretty quick.
The Bulldogs are the Central California Conference's top team heading into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Boys Water Polo Tournament that starts Saturday at Johansen High.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Merced Sun-Star
Turlock (16-10, 9-3 CCC) will take on Oakdale High at 10 a.m.
"You don't know if they're going to be a success (going into the season)," Feaver said of his team.
"For them to win the CCC was really impressive. Our conference had a lot of parity in it, too. I think each of our conference wins were very close."
The Bulldogs battled Golden Valley -- the No. 2 seed from the CCC that plays Davis-Yolo at 1 p.m. Saturday -- in overtime in the CCC playoffs to earn the conference's top spot.
Turlock battled Merced, which didn't make the playoffs, to three one-point wins and two came in overtime.
The Bulldogs are led offensively by juniors Zac Young, Taylor Sellers and Eric Bonander. Young is a first-team all-CCC player and Sellers and Bonander were named to the second team.
"There isn't one real player that's our secret guy," Feaver said. "Everyone contributes. We gel together pretty well. We've got good chemistry."
Feaver was quick to point out that just because he doesn't have a player who scores in double figures every game doesn't mean his players are not talented.
"Obviously you can't win games if you don't have good players," he said.
Turlock will take on an Oakdale (10-4 MMC) team that finished third in the Modesto Metro Conference behind Modesto High and first-place Johansen High.
Other local teams in the tournament include Sonora High, the No. 1 seed from the Tri-City Athletic League, and Pitman, which finished third in the CCC.
All games Saturday will be played at Johansen High.
Bee staff writer Scott Oxarart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.