Lathrop High proved again Thursday at Sierra that it should not be looked past this year - its first with a senior class - in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After a half of play the Ripon Indians had not shined or excelled, but their uninspired play had not hurt them on the scoreboard. That would change would when a botched second-half corner kick settled in front of the Ripon goal for what seemed like an eternity, and Hughson trickled it in for a 1-0 win Thursday in Trans Valley League action.
They're even. For now.
East Union High remains in step with the Valley Oak League's top two teams, Oakdale and Sonora, following a four-game victory (25-18, 25-17, 24-26, 25-12) over first-year varsity Kimball of Tracy Thursday at Dalben Center.
Manteca High was not able to get passed the Oakdale Mustangs when they visited the Buffaloes to open the Valley Oak League season, but that was not the case Thursday as Manteca edged out the Mustangs 3-2 for the league win.
After experiencing defeat at the hands of the Christian Brothers High volleyball program, the Ripon Indians were able to extract vengeance in a 25-15, 25-13 and 25-21 sweep of the Falcons Wednesday at Ripon High.
The Lathrop Spartans have done a great job turning their program around in relatively short time, and the team was rewarded with their first Valley Oak League victory when they stopped the Weston Ranch Cougars 1-0 Wednesday in Weston Ranch.
RIPON - The atmosphere was a little more relaxed than usual for a live match at Jack Tone Golf Course Tuesday, but it might be what the golfers from Ripon High and rival Ripon Christian need going into today's Valley Football League Midseason Tournament.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans were not able to complete their improbable comeback, but they were able to serve notice to the rest of the Valley Oak League that they would not be a pushover in a 25-15, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-21 loss to East Union Tuesday.
The Sierra Timberwolves closed out a strong first-half of the Valley Oak League schedule, dropping the East Union Lancers 11-4 Tuesday.
While it's still early, Weston Ranch High has reason to feel proud of its unprecedented start to the season.
The silver lining to Ripon High's scoreless tie against host Escalon in Trans Valley League play Tuesday was that game had little semblance to their previous meeting.
It was a good-news, bad-news scenario for both sides.
WESTON RANCH - Robbie Geerlof had three good looks at the Weston Ranch goal in the first half: Two were lifted well over the crossbar and split the football uprights, and the other was touched weakly to the keeper.
To be more competitive in the Valley Oak League this season, East Union High coach Eryn Bowers has encouraged competition from within.
Sierra proved up to the challenge in its Valley Oak League encounter with visiting Weston Ranch on Friday.
Manteca's Loretta Kakala could feel the anxiety building before the start of Friday's game.
RIPON - The Ripon Christian High expected a tough fight from visiting Escalon on Friday.
Valley Oak League-leading Sierra took Lathrop's best punch and cruised to a 65-59 victory Thursday night.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch High orchestrated a 17-0 run in the second quarter while rolling past Kimball Thursday, 74-51.
RIPON - Riverbank survived a second-half charge from Ripon and escaped with a 43-39 overtime win in a pivotal duel between the Trans-Valley League's first-place teams.
Loretta Kakala and the Manteca High girls basketball team dispatched one rival and appear ready for another.
STOCKTON - East Union came prepared for a track meet but left the sprint spikes at home.
Emery Sipe's conventional 3-point play with 1.4 seconds to go lifted host Oakdale to a dramatic 39-37 win over Lathrop on Wednesday.
Sierra's wrestling team had a good showing at Central Catholic in a Valley Oak League double-dual meet Wednesday but settled for a split. The Timberwolves first topped Lathrop 51-27 before coming up short against the host Raiders, 48-30.
All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year Brooke Riley has committed to Northwestern, one of the top Division I women's golf programs in the nation.
In a first-place battle of teams with similar strengths, experience and Hunter Johnson proved to be the difference for reigning Valley Oak League champion Sierra.
Jourdy Richter drained five 3s and scored a season-high 22 points, and the Ripon girls basketball team had its best offensive game of the season in a 66-26 thrashing of visiting Hilmar on Tuesday.
Ripon Christian boys basketball coach Ron Vander Molen employed various zone defenses with hopes of neutralizing visiting Riverbank's speed advantage in their Trans-Valley League contest Tuesday.
Weston Ranch boys basketball coach Chris Teevan studied his scorebook, marveling at the balance.