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 - Ripon Christian is still queen of Southern League volleyball.
Southern League champion Ripon Christian capped regular-season action Thursday with a 2-1 win over visiting Gustine. The victory is the seventh straight for the Knights (12-1-1 SL, 19-4-1 overall).
East Union was officially eliminated from the playoff race Thursday when second-place Central Catholic visited and won the Valley Oak League match, 25-16, 17-25, 25-23, 25-21.
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.