I spent eight hours at the 2009 Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament on Friday and I wanted to share a few observations.
ARGONAUT - Three years ago, when most of the 2009 Ripon High girls soccer team was made up of talented underclassmen, the buzz had begun that in a few years the Indians would be awfully scary.
MODESTO – The Buffaloes came away with a win and a tie to close out the Johansen Tournament Saturday in Modesto, knocking off the tournament host, 6-5, in the first of two, and settling for an 8-8 time-limit-shortened tie with Los Banos in the nightcap.
STOCKTON - It wasn't exactly the finish that Ripon High senior Ryan Mackey was hoping for.
CARMICHAEL - Duplicating a dramatic finish for victory isn't as easy as it's made out to be.
STOCKTON – The Gabby Hawkins era got off to a sterling start Friday at Edison High as Sierra's junior ace struck out 11 and missed a perfect game by a single base on balls in a 4-0 Timberwolf win.
DELHI - Abigail Rosas assisted the only goal in Manteca High's 1-0 victory over Delhi, but it was the work of her and the rest of the defensive back line that impressed first-year coach Justin Coenenberg Friday.
ROCKLIN – The remarkable story that is Marco Castaneda's 2008-09 wrestling season grew even more impressive Saturday at Whitney High as East Union's 119-pounder won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship with a 19-16 win over Whitney's Jordan Achanzar.
OLIVEHURST – There may not be a better rivalry in Sac-Joaquin Section Division V wrestling than the one at 171 pounds, where Ripon's Ryan Mackey and Escalon's Charlie McDonald have battled the past two years for Trans Valley League and D-V supremacy.
It's a new year for Manteca under new head coach Gene Ballardo, but the Buffaloes are still the same scrappy baseball team.
East Union had nothing to lose but played to win.
Sierra High won its 20th game of the season Friday night, a 57-38 handling of Weston Ranch at home.
After starting the season 2-2, the East Union freshman boys basketball team rolled off 21 straight wins, including all 16 Valley Oak League contests, to claim the VOL crown.
ROCKLIN – Twenty-eight area wrestlers advanced beyond Day 1 of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV and V Tournaments Friday, either going undefeated and qualifying for today's championship semifinals or winning two out of three matches and qualifying for the consolation bracket.
SALIDA – With the absence of powerhouse forward Reeves Nelson – serving a one-game suspension for getting ejected from Tuesday's game against Ripon Ron Vander Nolen had a lot of reasons to think that his Ripon Christian Knights stood a chance at slaying undefeated Trans Valle League champion Modesto Christian.
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.
RIPON - After blanking Ripon in their first meeting this season, Hughson pitcher Courtney Thornhill was working on eight consecutive shutout innings over the Indians when she turned her ankle in the first inning and had to leave Tuesday's Trans-Valley League softball contest.
East Union may be peaking at just the right time.
Both of Sierra's points were awarded thanks to pair of grueling victories from its No. 5 and No. 6 singles players in a 7-2 loss at East Union Tuesday.
Two big wins from the bottom half of its singles ladder propelled Manteca High's boys tennis team to a pivotal 6-3 win over visiting Sonora on Monday.
The area's two best offensive linemen along with two record-breaking skill position players have been selected to compete in the 41st Central California Lions All-Star Football Game.
Manteca and Oakdale both needed a win, so it's understandable why both were unsatisfied with Monday's result.
Alexis Erich and East Union held a three-run cushion heading into the seventh inning Friday and were three outs away from a key Valley Oak League victory over Kimball.
Oakdale capitalized on its opportunities and Sierra did not.