An undefeated league record and a playoff win would be seen as successful for most teams. Ripon Christian did that in the 2013-2014 season, and for the Knights it was an off year.
It is not often that a team has momentum after graduating its core players, but the East Union volleyball team is riding high going into this year's Valley Oak League campaign.
There are some new volleyball coaches west of I-5 this year. Stacia Stricker will assume the reins at Weston Ranch and Pamela Adams is the new coach at Lathrop.
Alyssa Burch, Beth Aschenbrenner, Mildred Perez and Chelsea Bruch were all freshmen during the 2011-2012 volleyball season.
RIPON - The Ripon Knights know how to do more with less.
In 1984, the Delta Rebels were formed as Manteca's second youth football team.
Some youth football teams pattern themselves after the high school they feed. The Ripon Chiefs take that to a whole new level – they are part of a league of feeder teams that will face each other in high school.
Lathrop Jr. Spartans president Jaime Hernandez has a vision.
LATHROP - To borrow a phrase from John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High," the Lathrop Lions are coming home to a place they have never been before.
I walked onto the football field for the first time as a player in 1968 and walked off for the last time as a coach in 2002. In 1998 I started sports writing with a focus on youth sports and have been doing so more or less ever since – for one paper or another.
Well, football is next – finally.
VALLEY SPRINGS - It was just not meant to be for Northgate.
VALLEY SPRINGS – Willy Segura pitched two shutout innings for Northgate before taking his defensive prowess to the infield Sunday where he made three spectacular plays at shortstop to help lead Northgate to a nail-biting 11-9 win over Turlock American in the Section 6 Little League 9-10 Year-Old All-Star Tournament at Duke Powers Field hosted by Foothills Little League.
STOCKTON – Nearly 100 young athletes from ages 5 to 18 participated in an NFL-style combine Saturday at Weston Ranch High School put on by Elite Training Academy.
R.J. Tisdell ground out 106 yards on 10 carries with a 45-yard touchdown run to help lead Lathrop to a 24-13 win over host East Union on Friday in sophomore Valley Oak League action at Dino Cunial Field.
Keonnee Linnell directed the Lathrop freshmen to a 40-6 win over visiting East Union on Thursday in Valley Oak League at Dino Cunial Field.
The Manteca and East Union volleyball teams split their first two sets Wednesday before the visiting Lancers atoned for an earlier season sweep and pulled away to win the next two for a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 win in Valley Oak League action at Winter Gymnasium.
Manteca and Oakdale entered Wednesday's Valley Oak League soccer contest tied in the standing, and the Mustangs escaped Guss Schmiedt Field with a 5-2 victory and sole possession of second place.
RIPON - Thomas Sidtikun scored two goals and assisted on a third Tuesday to help keep defending league champion Ripon in first place in the Trans-Valley League with a 3-0 win over Escalon at Stouffer Field.
Manteca kept up a relentless attack from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer Friday and defeated host Lathrop 48-6 in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
A suffocating defense and high-octane offense led the Manteca offense to a 34-0 drubbing of visiting Lathrop on Thursday in Valley Oak League freshmen action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
LATHROP - With just two goals scored in the game's first 60 minutes, Manteca and Lathrop combined for three in a five-minute span in Wednesday's Valley Oak League contest at Bennie Gatto Field.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
Scoring was at a premium Saturday when the Manteca Jr. Timberwolves junior novice squad locked up with the Tracy Jr. Bulldogs, who prevailed 6-0 in Delta Youth Football League action.
R.J. Tisdell racked up nearly 150 all-purpose yards to lead the Lathrop sophomores to a 36-0 win over host Weston Ranch to open the Valley Oak League campaign on Friday.
The Manteca freshmen embarked on a 16-play, six-minute drive late in the fourth quarter Thursday capped by a 1-yard scoring plunge by Michael Frisby to defeat Central Catholic 14-13 in the Valley Oak League opener at Guss Schmiedt Field.
TRACY – Sierra remained undefeated Friday and opened the Valley Oak League campaign with a 55-20 shellacking of host Kimball at Don Nicholson Stadium.
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
STOCKTON - There are close volleyball matches and then there was the Valley Oak League duel between visiting Manteca and Weston Ranch.