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Ripon seeks 1st TVL title; RC has high hopes in SL

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Ripon High's Justin Cardoza (left) and Alec Vitale mix it up during one-on-one exercises in the Indians soccer practice Tuesday at Ripon High.


POSTED August 19, 2010 1:51 a.m.
RIPON – The Ripon Indians simply feel it’s time to hang a Trans Valley League banner in their gym. Ripon Christian has every reason in the world to feel its first season in the Southern League can result in a championship.

Both programs are attempting to lay the foundation to conquering their goals as they kick off the 2010 season in TVL and Southern League action, respectively. After sharing space in a crowded TVL, the Indians will exchange three-times-a-year battles with Ripon Christian for tangles with Hilmar and Orestimba.

The Indians will not have to wait long to see what they’re up against, opening league play with a visit from Hilmar. Escalon falls on the schedule after Hilmar, followed by a visit from Hughson and a trip to Modesto Christian.

“When you add Hilmar to our league it makes things more interesting,” Ripon head coach Jamie DeBruyn said. “They are a top-notch team in our section and every team will notice that they have come in.”

The Indians were the No. 3 seed out of the TVL in last season’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs Offensively, Ripon looks to be able to put the ball in the back of the net, but keeping its opponents off the scoreboard will pose the biggest challenge.

“If we score the amount of goals that we did last year, I think we’ll be OK,” DeBruyn said. “Defense will be our question. We only gave up around 25 goals last year, which is not bad, but we graduated three seniors on our defensive back line.

“But we also return Tim (Combley) in the goal, so that will help a lot.”

Combley will be thrust into the Indians’ leadership role, taking on an area left void with the graduation of last year’s senior starters Matt Ratto, Caleb Christian and Matty Gay.

“I don’t want to leave high school without getting a TVL title on the board,” Combley said. “This school has never won one, so we really want to put that banner up in the gym. We have a pretty good group that’s been working hard.

“We are all doing what we need to do to win.”

The Knights will be the new kids on the block in the Southern League, meeting up with Waterford, Mariposa County, Delhi, Gustine, Le Grand, Denair and Turlock Christian. Ripon Christian has to be thrilled to avoid Riverbank, Escalon and Ripon during its league schedule, giving the squad a legitimate opportunity at a 2010 postseason.

“I think we are definitely looking to make the playoffs,” Ripon Christian head coach Keith Terpsma said. “With that said, we are unsure of what the Southern League is all about.

“So it will take us a little bit to get inside of there and figure out who they are as a league.”

Ripon Christian will host its annual tournament, upgrading the talent with defending TVL champion Riverbank committing to its preseason finale. The Knights will also have to open league play without the services of senior leader Dylan Van Vliet , who is out of commission with an injury.

“We have some good skill level from our seniors, and also some vocal leaders,” Terpsma said. “One of our main guys (Van Vliet) injured himself this summer, so he’ll be out through August and part of September.”

Senior Scott Faure will be pushed to the forefront for the Knights, taking his importance for the Ripon Christian program to immeasurable heights.

“We are all very excited because we have been going against some pretty tough opponents,” Faure said. “It will be good to be against some schools the same size as us and hopefully we’ll do a little better.

“We have been practicing really hard and we have some quality young guys with some skill.”

The Knights will open up their season Aug. 30 against Ripon High, while the Indians will get their season underway with a home match against Modesto Christian Aug. 27.
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