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.
Back in August, as teams across the Central Valley prepared for tournaments and non-league games, Victor Polanco kept his team at home.
The Manteca-Sierra football rivalry smolders and smokes throughout the spring and summer months, before bursting into flames each autumn.
East Union plans to throw it back to the 1970s, when losses were hard to come by and names like Herrera and Taylor were still at the forefront of the football program.
SALIDA - The football field at Modesto Christian on Friday night was covered with players that fit the "big, strong and physical" mold.
SALIDA – Ripon defensive backs Mario Roach and Nick Price arrived late to their mark, crashing into one another at the goal line.
Sierra cross country coach Mike Rosendin has been named the Valley Oak League Model Coach of the Year for 2014-15.
When Manteca coach Eric Reis sat Dakarai Charles for the first half against Lathrop, he hoped to rest his quarterback's banged-up knee.
Oakdale refused to let Hunter Johnson, a preseason all-Sac-Joaquin Section selection at wide receiver, beat them through the air.
RIPON – When Ryan Fugit looks at film of Modesto Christian, the Ripon star sees flashes of monsters past.
RIPON – The air of confidence has been sucked out of the Ripon Christian locker room.
It's been nearly a decade since she's stepped foot on this wind-swept campus, but Chelsea Gray can remember her time inside these brick-facade buildings with vivid clarity.
East Union has won three games for the first time under fourth-year football coach Willie Herrera.
Let's play a word association game, shall we? When I say "Sierra High football," what adjectives and superlatives spring to mind?
In nearly a decade at his post, Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison has rarely dipped into his lower-levels for talent.
It might be the best matchup no one's talking about, and that's OK with East Union coach Willie Herrera.