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.
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.
Mason James averaged more than 10 yards per carry for East Union High in a Lancers ground game that racked up 275 yards in a 37-0 non-league win for Johansen on Friday.
A long wait did not bother the Lathrop High freshman football team on Thursday.
RIPON - The hole was just too deep for Ripon's volleyball team to climb out of.
Sonora found out the hard way that it does not pay to give the Manteca soccer team second chances.
The Lathrop freshmen gave up two first-quarter touchdowns on interceptions Thursday to Bradshaw Christian's Marina Altamura and Altamura scored on a long run early in the second quarter to lead the Pride to a 19-6 non-league win over the Spartans at Bennie Gatto Field.
The Lathrop sophomores never trailed in a 33-6 win over visiting Liberty Ranch in non-league action Friday night at Bennie Gatto Field.
RIPON - Dani Erdelatz came up big for Ripon Christian on Wednesday night.
There is domination and then there is Ripon High sophomore football domination.
After giving up the lead in the fourth quarter Thursday, Sierra bounced back with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Caden Worth to Brandy James with 4:53 showing on the clock and held on for the 12-7 win over visiting Ripon in non-league freshman football action at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.