Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
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.
The Valley Oak League uses a points-based system to determine its MVP.
Manteca registered its second 9-0 win of the week Thursday when it shut out visiting East Union in Valley Oak League action.
Francisco Cisneros summed up Weston Ranch's final nonleague match of the season in one word:
Los Banos checked into its nonleague match with visiting East Union holding a deceiving 4-6 record.
Jack Miller recently retired from Manteca High, where the History teacher spent more than 30 years as an assistant coach with the football team. Miller was a part of four Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams and was twice voted Best of Manteca's Best Local Coach. Now City of Manteca Hall of Famer pays close attention to his yards, his golf game and granddaughter.
The Manteca High boys soccer team took full advantage of its first practice in nearly a week.
Ripon Christian laughs last.