FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
Olivia Vezaldenos has the type of talent not typically seen on the high school hardwood but more on blacktops and playgrounds.
There are two sides to Alyssa Cantu, Weston Ranch's groundbreaking wrestler who took second in the CIF State Girls Championships last month at the Visalia Convention Center.
The East Union baseball team won't see Tokay and sophomore pitcher Nick Dentoni the rest of the season, and that's a good thing.
Guss Schmiedt Field hasn't been too kind to Sierra's girls soccer team the last two years.
Sierra standout Dakota Conners delivered on Thursday afternoon in Oakdale.
East Union sophomore Nick Rounsville missed an eagle putt and left a couple of birdies short during Thursday's 205-235 Valley Oak League victory over Manteca at the Manteca Park Golf Course.
The Manteca High boys swim team outlasted host East Union 89-81 in a nip-and-tuck Valley Oak League meet Thursday.
Weston Ranch's Kent Balacy came through with a clutch victory over Sierra's Anthony Alcantar with all eyes on the final No. 6 singles match that would decide the winner.
Despite being faced with an eight-run deficit and just six more outs left to make something happen with on Wednesday, Manteca had no intentions of laying down against its cross-town rival East Union at the Northgate Softball Complex.
Ripon rallied for seven runs in the first two innings and never looked back in a 10-2 rout of host Riverbank on Tuesday.
The Sierra High boys track and field team are in line to capture its first Valley Oak League championship since 2011.
Desperate for a spark in the offensive third, Ripon coach Jamie DeBruyn has looked to a defender and a goalie for help as the Trans-Valley League race for three postseason berths heads down the final stretch.
If Tuesday's match with Kimball was a barometer for how good East Union can be this season, consider this:
Sierra competed with the heart of a lion Tuesday during a Valley Oak League showdown with Oakdale.
Donning pink jerseys, Manteca blanked Lathrop 3-0 in the annual Kicking for the Cure game hosted at Guss Schmiedt Field on Tuesday night.