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Bulldogs remain positive without injured soccer coach
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On Monday, the Turlock High girls soccer team was without an integral member of the program in the past decade.
Dennis Bishop had resigned.
The longtime Turlock coach decided to leave the Bulldogs on Friday due to health reasons, according to interim coach Doug Sperry — also the school’s boys soccer coach — citing Bishop’s shoulder injury that kept him in a sling for much of the season. Despite the circumstances, the Bulldogs still dominated and beat Golden Valley High 3-1 to put them at 7-0-1 in the Central California Conference, and 14-0-1 overall.
Turlock resumes play with a game today against Merced High at Turlock Sports Complex at 4 p.m.
Sperry, the interim coach, said the team’s mind-set remains the same for a Bulldogs team that has Sac-Joaquin Section championship aspirations. Bishop — who was in his ninth year this season — guided Turlock to the last four CCC championships, as well as an appearance in the Section’s title game two years ago before being knocked off in the second round in 2009.
“It’s a tough situation for everyone involved,” Sperry said. “Dennis has done an amazing job with the girls program. Everything it is, is because of what he did.”
Sperry added that the girls have remained positive during the unexpected transition. Bishop will miss the remainder of the season, Sperry said.
The Bulldogs are in position to once again capture the league title.
Their only blemish this season is an 1-1 tie with Merced, today’s opponent.
“I can’t stress enough that this is a great group of girls and they haven’t stopped working hard and won’t change their expectations,” Sperry said.