Before there was Savage Elite Fitness there was personal sacrifice and a desperate, soul-searching struggle.
The compliments have come rushing in for the Sierra High football team and its defensive leader, Trevon McCray. He's been called "the best player on the field" by Ripon coach Chris Johnson following the Timberwolves' season-opening 54-7 victory. Teammates often refer to the middle linebacker as an "animal" for his tenacious play on Friday evenings.
It's being billed as an "epic" football game, an "instant classic" between two perennial powers.
MODESTO – Dakarai Charles stood near the 40-yard line, watching Central Catholic chew up the fourth quarter clock.
Ray Gonzalez's dream of personal training was always bigger than a garage gym.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Ask Manteca coach Eric Reis what impresses him most about Central Catholic and the answer stretches on and on.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.
MODESTO – Two high school football programs looking to change their stars collided on Friday evening at Modesto Junior College.
Travis Vander Molen found the back of the net twice as the Ripon Christian boys soccer team nearly erased a three-goal deficit in a 5-3 loss to visiting Delhi on Thursday.
Bulldogs don't belong in a catbird seat, so East Union defensive coordinator Jason Stock's decision to leave the press box should come as no surprise.
East Union coach Willie Herrera put the future of the football program on the shoulders of a sophomore quarterback.
The Holly Rochelle Dance Company will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Sunday with a twist only a dancer could pull off.
Jack Miller recently retired from Manteca High, where the History teacher spent more than 30 years as an assistant coach with the football team. Miller was a part of four Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams and was twice voted Best of Manteca's Best Local Coach. Now City of Manteca Hall of Famer pays close attention to his yards, his golf game and granddaughter.
Chris Teevan turned the game into a chess match, just as he had promised, sending five fast-action guards at the reigning Valley Oak League champions.
In his fifth season, coach Alex Nuanez has the Sierra High wrestling program trending in the right direction.
ESCALON – Aaron Paschini scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, fueling Ripon's late surge in a 53-49 victory on Friday night.
OAKDALE – It was about this time last year that Olivia Vezaldenos and the East Union girls basketball team began their playoff push.
HUGHSON – Ripon Christian kept its perfect Trans-Valley League record intact but may have lost a key player in the process.
LATHROP – Jaelen Ragsdale had his best performance in weeks on a night when Lathrop star Isaiah Ellis struggled just to stay on the court.
RIPON – Sean Broker burrowed down in the post, a tree standing tall above the Tribe. Austin Alger danced around the perimeter.
The Sierra High girls basketball team turned to its defense to snap a five-game losing streak.
RIPON – Physically, Ed Mulder knew Ellen Blankers would be fine following knee surgery in the spring.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian girls basketball team hasn't had much success this decade against its across-the-street neighbor.
RIPON – Rod Wright and his staff are in charge of the official book, access to the locker rooms and providing a game ball.
A controversial penalty kick may have kept the Lathrop United from a Jim Frazier Tournament championship, but it hardly diminished a banner inaugural season for the boys soccer club.
East Union celebrated the return of its music man, Jose Baron, this past weekend.
Janice Ward anxiously awaits her day in court with disabled-access advocate and litigious attorney Scott Johnson.
Manteca's Loretta Kakala could feel the anxiety building before the start of Friday's game.