CERES -- There's one on nearly every high school football team.
He's the little guy with strange-colored shoes who never steps on the field except to handle all the placement kicks -- field goals, extra points and kickoffs -- then generally runs off the field to avoid the hit and make sure he's available for soccer duties the next week.
Kyle Cerny is not one of those.
The Ceres High senior stands 6-feet, 2-inches, weighs about 220 pounds and does not avoid contact.
Twice a week, he's the returning all-league goalkeeper for the Bulldogs' soccer team, which in in line for one of the three postseason berths out of the Valley Oak League.
On Friday nights, he's a returning all-league performer (tight end, kicker and punter) for the football team, which is winless and not in line for a postseason bid.
"It's weird in that I come out to play soccer with a team that's playing for a championship, and then go to a football team that right now is playing for pride," Cerny said, adding that the relative competitive level of the teams is not the only difference.
"In soccer, if you're too aggressive and make a mistake at the wrong time, it can give the other team a penalty kick. But in football you have to be aggressive all the time. It's like I have to switch to the other side of my brain when I come out here to play soccer."
By now, Cerny is used to this brain-side switching process, since he does it on almost a daily basis.
He practices with both teams nearly every day. Typically, he attends football practice from 3-4:30 p.m., then goes to soccer practice for two hours. In Wednesday, when the football team has a night practice, he trains with the soccer team from 4:30-6 p.m., then goes to football practice.
Cerny also attends the football film sessions on Saturdays and during Monday's lunch period, and for good measure also plays weekend club soccer with the Stockton Monarcas FC.
"He is very good at getting the academic stuff done," said his father, Randy Cerny. "He's taking two AP (advanced placement) courses and doing well academically with pretty solid grades. He has to budget the time and it's a daily grind."
Before Cerny could attempt this fall season double-dipping, the coaches of the sports had to be on board. In Cerny's case, however, it wasn't a matter of getting the coaches' blessing as much as informing both coaches that he was going to play both sports.
"I approach both sports equally," Cerny said. "I didn't have to convince the coaches. I told them I wanted to do it and had it set in my mind that it's what I wanted to do. Both coaches thought it would be a great idea and neither were against it."
And to their credit, both football coach Brett Johnson and soccer coach Koeurn Phe have been firmly on board with Cerny's ambitious plan.
"I think kids should be allowed to play both sports, but only if they're of the athletic caliber to play both well," Phe said. "I realize he's going to miss some of my practices, but I let him go. We have to share because he has all-league talent in both sports. Sometimes you have to let the kids play."
Cerny has three football games left, while the Bulldogs' soccer season is poised to extend into the postseason. But Cerny is leaving his athletic options open after that. He loves both sports and plans to continue playing one of them -- only one -- in college.
"I'm not sure where I'm going yet," he said. "I'm looking at Stanislaus State but I'm also applying to other colleges. I'm open to playing either sport right now."
Section playoff seeds
The regular season has yet to be completed, and some berths will not be decided until the end of the week, but the Sac-Joaquin Section already has posted a fill-in-the-blanks playoff bracket that allows fans to look ahead at first-round matchups based on final league standings.
With that in mind, here would be the first-round matchups featuring Stanislaus District teams if the playoffs started today.
Division 1 action starts Friday, Nov. 6, while Divisions 4-6 open Tuesday, Nov. 10. Again, many of these seeds have yet to be determined.
Division 1 -- MMC 1 Modesto vs. SJAA 2 Franklin or Tracy; MMC 2 Downey at CCC 1 Merced; CCC 2 Golden Valley at TCAL 1 Tokay.
Division 4 -- VOL 1 Central Valley vs. CVC 3 Foothill; VOL 2 Ceres vs. PVL 2 El Dorado; VOL 3 Sierra at CVC 1 Dixon.
Division 5 -- WAC 1 Patterson vs. TVL 3 Escalon; WAC 2 Hilmar vs. TVL 2 Ripon; WAC 3 Livingston at MLL 1 Bret Harte; TVL 1 Riverbank vs. MLL 2 Linden.
Division 6 -- SL 1 LeGrand vs. GEL 3 Highlands; SL 2 Delhi vs. at CVCL 1 Victory Christian; SL 3 Mariposa at GEL 1 Capital Christian.
Division 7: No district qualifiers.
Rain washed out the season's second MCC triple-header, but the forecast is clear for today's final soccer showcase at Downey High. Beyer and Enochs kick off today's action at 3:30 p.m. and will be followed by Davis and Modesto at 5:30 and Downey vs. Johansen at 7:30.
Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2300.