In June, sun-baked vineyards in Northern California waited ... and waited ... and waited for Mother Nature to shower their crops.
A is for Abeyta. Former Ripon High football coach Manuel Abeyta passed away on Aug. 4. Though he never coached Chris Johnson, he was instrumental in welcoming the Indians' current head coach to the community in 1983.
Billy Sharmoug is one of the strongest linemen to ever play for Manteca High coach Eric Reis.
On a sticky summer afternoon, the familiar sights and sounds of football season return to this Central Valley stadium.
RIPON – When Chris Johnson says he's worked closely with Ripon quarterback Nick Price, he's not fudging.
They've toiled in the shadows of others. They've struggled with injury and doubt and distractions, and have left their pain on the weight-room floor. Through it all, they've kept their focus on fall's Friday night lights, emerging as captains and leaders and MVP types. This is their time now – everyone's sure of it – so remember the names. Introducing 2013's breakout performers:
RIPON – Andrew Brown will be the focal point of opposing defenses this season.
WESTON RANCH – Seth Davis wants to build a legacy on a South Stockton campus accustomed to uneven results and change.
RIPON - There is a confidence among those with the Ripon Christian boys soccer program that hasn't existed in nearly a decade.
What do you do when you're overwhelmed with offensive talent?
For about an hour, Tom Hoskins forgot he was at a book signing.
Lisa Oliva watched her son board a plane to San Diego on Tuesday, confident his future would be shaped by the men in his past.
Though the restaurant from her youth has been closed for years, the principles thrive in Downtown Manteca.
Arik Anaya was the Trans-Valley League's co-Most Valuable Player, a four-year talent as sure as the sun rises.
RIPON – For months, Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison and offensive coordinator Jeff Abrew have been inside the laboratory, retooling one of the area's most explosive offenses.
The Ripon and Sierra football teams will rekindle their rivalry in the marquee Zero Week game tonight.
BERKELEY - The San Francisco Fire burst onto the National Pro Grid League scene on Thursday night, defeating the road weary Philadelphia Founders.
LATHROP – Alfredo Reynaga hasn't wasted any time putting his stamp on the Lathrop High boys soccer program.
Alice Schlote wrapped her arms around the towering Italian cypress in her front yard, pulling her body close to its brush.
Victor Polanco stood on the sidelines, a sun hat pulled low on his brow.
The homeless are survivors by nature, so they're nothing if not crafty and resourceful. But is Manteca's homeless problem out of control?
The stakes just keep getting higher and higher for the football programs at Manteca and Oakdale high schools.
Kevin Mendiola wheeled back with his right foot and took the ball off a bounce, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
Big League Dreams Manteca is losing one of its superstars.
One of the most popular movies of 1973 was filmed, at least in part, at one of the most popular spots near Ripon and Manteca.
It seems nothing can slow down the Dash these days.
The Manteca Futbol Club Flash under-12 girls soccer team might not have a flashy Northern California ranking, but that could soon change.
It appears Ernie's Food & Spirits may soon be without an important ingredient.
The last day to purchase tickets for the Manteca High football team's rooters' buses is Wednesday, Aug. 20.