Manteca Dolphins president Priscilla Brink hoped to see cleaner, faster swims from a relatively new team.
Abby Buitrago tallied 52 goals, led the entire state of California in points and guided her team to its first-ever Sac-Joaquin Section soccer championship.
There's Joe Menzel, arms pointed to the sky, clutching the game ball.
RIPON – Fred Garber climbs atop his motorcycle, feels the rubber handles in his hands, and recalls a time when he wasn't riding much.
Times are set. Events have been scheduled. And trucks, trunks and RVs have been loaded down with coolers, swim bags and pop-up tents.
Go ahead, Lady Lancers, take a victory lap.
Alice Smith rummages through boxes in the garage, searching for a photo of a long-lost relative she's never met.
These make-or-break moments are often defined by big, imposing aces with even larger personalities, rocket arms and legitimate college and pro prospects.
One of the season's indelible moments is of Sierra's Sydnee Canales lacing a deep left-footed shot on goal to earn a draw at Oakdale.
Clay Cuneo's mind was made up.
STOCKTON – She came. She saw. She conquered.
STOCKTON – Abby Buitrago calmly stepped to the penalty stripe, spotting the ball and her place in Ripon Christian's storied athletic history.
Crouched forward in his seat, shoulders slumped toward the table, Doug Borges rubs calloused hands against one another.
A banner season for local girls soccer culminates today with three Sac-Joaquin Section championship games at two sites.
Art Smith isn't asking for much – just a few hours of your time, twisting screws and swinging a hammer.
Just as swim practices intensify from Turlock to Manteca, the Mid-Valley Swim League will give its teams a slight reprieve.