For three years, Billy Sharmoug and Isaac McClain were the big men on the Manteca High campus.
It looks like the Manteca High football team will have its big stars for the big game.
Angelica Dean was, by all accounts, caring, selfless and hardworking, and the longtime Manteca resident used those traits to build a career in assisting the elderly.
MERCED – The lobby at Coffee Bandits froths with conversation of all flavors, and it's not uncommon to find those on divergent paths sharing creamers.
Jeff Harbison pointed to the scoreboard hanging over the crowd at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, inviting everyone to take one last look.
LE GRAND – Billy Marr never saw the rush.
And on this side of town, shaped by a lifetime of hard lessons, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.
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.
Larry Albers saunters out of his home along Woodward Avenue like some dusty old cowboy. His hands tucked into his jeans, a hard day's work painted across his face.
Down to their final play, Dakarai Charles threw toward the corner of the end zone with confidence.
A year ago, Manteca put an emphatic stamp on its fourth Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a runaway victory over a first-time finalist.
Sophomores have long been a part of Sierra's winning formula this season, but when Brandon Arreola burst around the corner and into the end zone this was something new.
He calls out the play, standing tall in his stance, signaling each member of his team with smooth arm strokes.
Behind the goal posts, shagging footballs blasted through the uprights during warm-ups, Sierra's Marissa LaQuaglia makes no illusions about her role on Friday nights.
Former Weston Ranch point guard Eric Duncan left the city of Stockton with big aspirations. He packed his bag, grabbed his basketball and held tight to his Division I dreams.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article first appeared in the Nov. 8, 2013 edition of the Manteca Bulletin. It has been modified to accommodate Sunday's second annual Heller E. Lipsett Memorial.
Brooke Riley stood over a nasty 4-foot putt with a clear understanding of what it meant.
All season long, they've carried themselves like MVPs, making the tough calls and taking the tough shots.
McParland Principal Dale Borgeson came up with the vision for his school's next health and fitness project.
Confetti wafted in the air above the home bleachers and players were met with hugs and high-fives at every turn.
By now, the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoff brackets have been dissected and analyzed by anyone with a rooting interest or a job to do.
ROCKLIN – The morning commute couldn't have gone much worse for the Ripon High boys water polo team.
The Ripon Christian boys soccer program has waited nearly 20 years for an opportunity to win another Sac-Joaquin Section championship.