It was more than just a gathering for all of the athletes in the Valley Oak Leagues' nine track and field programs. The VOL championships at Sierra High Saturday were the final opportunity for participants to win a league title and to continue their 2010 season for another few weeks.
Stephanie Vanni found herself directly in front of the goalie just seconds into Sierra's Valley Oak League deciding contest with Weston Ranch. Vanni knew exactly what to do, pounding the Timberwolves' first attempt into the net for an instant 1-0 lead and a smooth path to a 5-0 win and the squads second consecutive league championship.
RIPON – Ripon High's Ryan Durrer came to the plate as the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but could not hand the Escalon Cougars their first loss in over a month, striking out and sending Escalon home with a 6-4 Trans Valley League win.
Music lovers will get a chance to enjoy the ambiance of live acoustic music while at the same time benefiting one of the nation's leading children's charities.
Jonathan Davis sheered a 5-0 Oakdale High lead to 5-2 with a towering home run down the right field line in the fourth inning, but the Mustangs would answer with three more and held Sierra quiet in an 8-2 Valley Oak League sweep Friday.
After leading the East Union Lancers to their fourth straight Valley Oak League championship and 10th consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth, head coach Jim Agostini will get to take a curtain call when he guides one of the squads in the 15th Annual Six-County All-Star Game.
Usually after a few seasons of learning the ropes and fine-tuning their games, players hold the possibility of becoming one of the team's low scorers by the time their senior season rolls around. Nothing could be further from the case for Ripon High's Andrew Bonner and East Union's Will Brink, two of the area's standout freshman golfers.
Over the past two months, the Sonora Wildcats have only been beaten twice, but one trip to Manteca and now the Wildcats have lost their grasp on the Valley Oak League's top spot after being swept by the Manteca Buffaloes 5-4 and 13-1 Saturday.
The Manteca Buffaloes answered the first bell when they snatched the lead with a two-run third inning, but a pair of two-out RBI Ceres hits in the fifth provided the difference in a 5-2 Bulldog Valley Oak League win over the Buffaloes Friday at Manteca High.
The Madness in the Mother Lode All-Star Extravaganza will kick off Saturday evening and Sierra High boys basketball head coach Scott Thomason is set to lead one of the large schools all-star teams and seven Valley Oak League standouts.
Scenes from opening day action of the MASL season at Woodward Park.
Less than a month ago, Tyler Goslinga's high school athletic career closed in the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, but Friday Goslinga took the first steps in a new career when he accepted a scholarship to play basketball for the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds.
Things were cruising along like the preface of a close Valley Oak League softball game and then Central Valley decided to get on the board with an inside-the-park homerun. That was seemingly the Hawks' first mistake, as Manteca High would answer with a seven-run third on its way to a 14-3 win over Central Valley.
With two of the three groups lounging alongside the ninth green of Manteca Golf Course, one group strolled up the fairway not knowing its scores would ultimately decide the outcome of Tuesday's highly-anticipated Valley Oak League match between Sierra and East Union highs.
When I saw this photo accompanying my column for the first time it provoked emotions inside of me I haven't tapped into in years. What an amazing sight to see. Seeing one of those once-in-a-while type of players that really gets it. Caleb Young, though. really gets it.