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.
It did not take the Sierra Timberwolves too long to take care of the visiting Central Valley Hawks, securing the Valley Oak League win with a five-run fifth inning to clip the Hawks for good Wednesday.
RIVERBANK – The Ripon Christian soccer program saw a season's worth of dedication pay off in a major way Wednesday when the Knights outlasted the Riverbank Bruins for a 1-0 Trans Valley League win.
Back in August, as teams across the Central Valley prepared for tournaments and non-league games, Victor Polanco kept his team at home.
STOCKTON - Francisco Cisneros is a member of a club few coaches get to join: Club Perfect.
RIPON - The Ripon boys water polo team had shredded Valley Oak League competition leading up to Wednesday's Valley Oak League finale against Sonora, winning each contest by no less than seven goals.
Help is on the way for East Union and Weston Ranch, and just in time for their Week-9 Valley Oak League tussle at Dino Cunial Field.
Ripon can forget about that over-the-top pre-league schedule that led to its 1-4 start.
Mahir Pepic asked Manteca High head coach Rick Cuevas to bark out his time while nearing the 2-mile mark at the Eagal Lakes Resort 3.1-mile course.
Ripon showed no drop off with reserves getting ample playing time in Wednesday's three-game rout (25-11, 25-15, 25-12) of visiting Modesto Christian.
STOCKTON - The Weston Ranch volleyball team is hitting its stride.
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.
Manteca held its own against Central Catholic and nearly forced a fifth set in a 25-19, 13-25, 21-25, 24-26 Valley Oak League loss Tuesday in Modesto.
Ripon Christian secured the outright claim to the Southern League championship with Tuesday's 2-0 victory at Denair.
Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers players took turns taking pictures with their prizes on the 18th green at Manteca Park Golf Course.
Ripon had two golfers finish in the top 10 in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at Micke Grove Golf Links, but both played their final round of the season.
It all comes down to Wednesday's winner-take-all Valley Oak League finale between cross-town foes Manteca and East Union.
Sealy McAdams and Elizabeth Tolbert's last two matches in Thursday's Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament held at East Union had entirely different endings.