It didn't take long for East Union High alumnus Wade Morten to adjust to the college ranks, and hitting baseballs with a wooden bat was part of the challenge.
MODESTO - Three Riponites qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Individual Tournament.
It was more than just a gathering for all of the athletes in the Valley Oak Leagues' nine track and field programs. The VOL championships at Sierra High Saturday were the final opportunity for participants to win a league title and to continue their 2010 season for another few weeks.
LATHROP – The Valley Oak League has one of the deepest group of softball teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, and the Sierra Timberwolves are poised to be one of the league's representatives this postseason taking another step towards their goal in a 15-0 win over Lathrop High Friday.
ESCALON – After a meeting Ripon High felt they should have won this past Wednesday, the Escalon Cougars decided to display some separation, destroying the Indians 15-0 Friday in Trans Valley League play.
Playing catch isn't always as easy as it looks.
Stephanie Vanni found herself directly in front of the goalie just seconds into Sierra's Valley Oak League deciding contest with Weston Ranch. Vanni knew exactly what to do, pounding the Timberwolves' first attempt into the net for an instant 1-0 lead and a smooth path to a 5-0 win and the squads second consecutive league championship.
CERES – After battling the best singles players in the Valley Oak League for the regular season, Manteca High's Alex McAdams and Alex Barragan teamed up for a quality ride, outlasting some 20-plus doubles teams for the VOL doubles championship Thursday at Ceres High.
There wasn't anything left but pride at stake by the time East Union and Manteca kicked off their final Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday night at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Things weren't looking good for Steven Gigli after he turned the ball over to East Union head coach Dan Triglia in the third inning and made the short walk from the mound to shortstop.
The East Union Lancers seem to have no respect of their opponents' capabilities, destroying their second consecutive Valley Oak league opponent by nine runs with the Lancers' 9-0 win over the visiting Weston Ranch Cougars Thursday.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights scored two in the first for a quick lead and wouldn't surrender it, holding off a late Modesto Christian rally for a 5-2 Trans Valley League win Thursday.
East Union's Zach Carrillo came a base on balls and a hits batsman away from a perfect game, dominating the Ceres Bulldogs in a 7-0 Valley Oak League win for the Lancers Thursday.
RIPON – Ripon High's Ryan Durrer came to the plate as the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but could not hand the Escalon Cougars their first loss in over a month, striking out and sending Escalon home with a 6-4 Trans Valley League win.
Oakdale High junior Brianna Parker completed her string of dominance against Manteca schools in a big way.
Alyssa Burch and the rest of the Manteca High volleyball team couldn't mask their excitement after notching the clinching point.
Escalon had a score to settle with Ripon on Thursday as the two met in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Valley Foothill League's North Division.
Travis Vander Molen found the back of the net twice as the Ripon Christian boys soccer team nearly erased a three-goal deficit in a 5-3 loss to visiting Delhi on Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls tennis team played its most competitive match of the season in a 5-4 loss to East Union on Thursday.
It was a three-person race for low-medalist honors at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday, where cross-town opponents Manteca and Sierra met for a pivotal Valley Oak League dual match.
Ripon dominated visiting Lodi in a three-game sweep (25-10, 25-14, 25-17) Wednesday.
The Manteca High girls cross country team has some work to do if it wants to keep its spot on the Valley Oak League throne.
RIPON - Despite an aggressive first half, Ripon Christian found itself down by a goal at halftime against visiting Le Grand, the defending Southern League champion.
East Union's girls tennis team relied on its depth to upend visiting Kimball on Tuesday.
The Manteca High girls golf team overcame a strong effort form Oakdale's Dylanie Donahue in a 287-297 victory at Manteca Park Golf Course on Tuesday.
No other Manteca-area volleyball team had a busier pre-league schedule than East Union, a young squad that second-year head coach Rich Posz hopes gained some valuable experience in the last three weeks.
Sierra was playing its seventh game in as many days Monday.
Shannon Wesley led a balanced attack with nine kills, and Emily O'Brien anchored Ripon's defensive effort as the Indians coasted past visiting Sierra 25-16, 25-7, 25-15 in a nonleague match Monday.
No one drew a tougher assignment to start the Valley Oak League boys soccer season than Manteca.
McKenna Doyle became the third different low medalist of the season for Sierra in the team's fourth Valley Oak League match Monday.