The three high school sophomore football teams in town will have some say in who will be crowned champion of the Valley Oak League later this week.
OAKDALE - The game did not live up to the hype.
Ashley Duenas had never competed in a doubles match over her four-year varsity career at East Union.
Ryan Torres' best competition came from his teammates in Thursday's Trans-Valley League Cross Country Finals at Tuolumne River Regional Park in Modesto.
The Ripon High boys soccer team's impressive second-half run through the Trans-Valley League ended with a 5-2 victory over Orestimba Thursday at Ripon Elementary.
How about this juicy matchup to kick off the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV football playoffs?
Manteca High prevented East Union from snapping out of a near two-decade long drought of Valley Oak League boys soccer championships on the final game of the regular-season last year.
"Somebody's 'O' has got to go."
Minutes before leaving campus for the Valley Oak League Championships Wednesday, Manteca High cross country coach Rick Cuevas had his runners follow him into Winter Gymnasium for a quick history lesson.
RIPON - It didn't take long for the Ripon High boys soccer team to get Trans-Valley League-leading Riverbank's attention Tuesday at Ripon Elementary.
Expectations are so high for East Union High's girls golf team that its 469 score that was plenty good enough to win the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV Tournament at Lockeford Springs Golf Course Monday wasn't good enough for co-head coach Dennis Wells.
Eddie Lopez of the Manteca Cowboys called Saturday's 44-0 shutout of the Weston Ranch Ravens at Guss Schmiedt Field "as close to a perfect game I have ever coached."
East Union did its part.
Sierra High's girls tennis team started out the Valley Oak League season with one win and four losses.
The week off from school and Valley Oak League action may have done East Union's volleyball team more harm than good.
Sierra proved up to the challenge in its Valley Oak League encounter with visiting Weston Ranch on Friday.
Valley Oak League-leading Sierra took Lathrop's best punch and cruised to a 65-59 victory Thursday night.
RIPON - Riverbank survived a second-half charge from Ripon and escaped with a 43-39 overtime win in a pivotal duel between the Trans-Valley League's first-place teams.
STOCKTON - East Union came prepared for a track meet but left the sprint spikes at home.
Emery Sipe's conventional 3-point play with 1.4 seconds to go lifted host Oakdale to a dramatic 39-37 win over Lathrop on Wednesday.
In a first-place battle of teams with similar strengths, experience and Hunter Johnson proved to be the difference for reigning Valley Oak League champion Sierra.
Jourdy Richter drained five 3s and scored a season-high 22 points, and the Ripon girls basketball team had its best offensive game of the season in a 66-26 thrashing of visiting Hilmar on Tuesday.
Ripon Christian boys basketball coach Ron Vander Molen employed various zone defenses with hopes of neutralizing visiting Riverbank's speed advantage in their Trans-Valley League contest Tuesday.
No one will ever accuse a Scott Thomason-led team of looking past anybody.
RIPON - Mario Roach considers Ripon an "up-and-down" team that forces a frenetic pace with defensive pressure and constant movement on offense.
Olivia Vezaldenos broke out of a recent scoring slump Friday and led East Union to a 46-38 win over visiting Lathrop at Dalben Center.
Marcus Montano and the Manteca boys basketball team couldn't make a shot in the first quarter.
Sierra can now center its focus on the big games to come after steamrolling Kimball 59-38 on Thursday.
Ripon coach George Contente tested his team with a rugged schedule in the first month of the season, and it paid off in the Indians' Trans-Valley League opener Thursday.
Jessica Pablo missed East Union's final six pre-league contests after rolling an ankle in a game at Sonora.