Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The Manteca High freshman football team used three second quarter touchdowns to blow past East Union High 56-0 in the Valley Oak League's final contest for the season.
When the Sierra High sophomore football team took care of business in a 28-0 thrashing of the Weston Ranch Cougars they had no idea what its reward would be.
Sierra High knew what it had to do to close out its Valley Oak League season, and there was nothing the Weston Ranch Cougars could do about it during a 35-14 league championship clinching victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
No banners. No ceremonies.
Kylie Stevens has spent countless hours on grass, gym floors and tennis courts.
Throw seedings out the window, says Sierra coach Jeff Harbison.
Former Weston Ranch point guard Eric Duncan left the city of Stockton with big aspirations. He packed his bag, grabbed his basketball and held tight to his Division I dreams.
Brooke Riley stood over a nasty 4-foot putt with a clear understanding of what it meant.
HILMAR – Emily Baptista and Hilmar knocked Ripon out of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV volleyball playoffs with a 25-18, 25-14, 25-21 sweep.
After anchoring a defense that allowed just six goals in eight Trans-Valley League games, Ripon High senior Emmanuel Sanchez was voted the conference's Defensive MVP in the year-end coaches meeting.
The road to redemption is a long and unfamiliar one for Brooke Riley.
All season long, they've carried themselves like MVPs, making the tough calls and taking the tough shots.
STOCKTON – Andrew Manes had four second-half goals – including two in the first six minutes of the half – to help Ripon Christian overcome a one-goal halftime deficit and defeat Sacramento Country Day 4-1 for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII soccer championship on Saturday at Stagg High School.
STOCKTON – If at first you do not succeed, try and try again.
You've seen this movie before: Team of misfits overcomes competitive shortcomings to make the championship and win the respect of all despite losing the big game in the end.
Pacific-bound senior Haley Silva and Ellie Waters are heading back to the CIF State Cross Country Championships in two weeks.
Tonight marks just the second time that Ripon Christian will square off with Golden Sierra, but the rematch takes place in a different setting with more at stake.
Ripon gets its wish: Another crack at Trans-Valley League rival Hilmar.
ROCKLIN – The morning commute couldn't have gone much worse for the Ripon High boys water polo team.