Then soon-to-be freshman Jaqi Gutierrez was at a crossroads after graduating from Shasta School.
WESTON RANCH - While most of the headlines have gone the way of Manteca and Sierra thus far, Weston Ranch, the reigning Valley Oak League champion, has quietly gone about its business.
The "S" word can now re-enter Manteca High's vocabulary.
WESTON RANCH - A buzzer-beating tip-in sealed the Weston Ranch sophomore basketball team's fate Wednesday night in a 53-52 loss to Sonora.
Once bruising Oakdale center Jennie Paugh sat down with her second foul late the first quarter, Sierra stepped up.
WESTON RANCH - Weston Ranch, East Union and Sonora gathered in south Stockton Tuesday night for a Valley Oak League tri-meet, and the host Cougars came away with a pair of victories, 46-31, over the Lancers and 48-28 over Sonora.
WATSONVILLE - The Manteca High wrestling team had an outstanding weekend at the Apple Cider Classic hosted by Wastonville, finishing 3-2 in the team duals event despite wrestling just nine, and even eight at times, to finish third overall.
SONORA - Weston Ranch was already behind the 8-ball with two starters sitting out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons, and after falling behind 13-0 at the start there was just no way to get around it.
RIPON - Up 59-37 with five and a half minutes left in the fourth, Ripon weathered a furious 17-2 Calaveras run down the stretch to pull out a 67-56 win.
CERES - Lathrop High head coach Dimos Birakos had both good and bad news to report following the Spartan's junior varsity tri-meet against Sierra and Central Valley Tuesday night.
With a 14-game regular-season schedule, it's never too early to start talking championship and playoff implications.
WESTON RANCH - Lathrop High's wrestling team finished 2-3 at the Junior Varsity Cougar Duals Saturday but were just a few points away from capturing the title.
As Manteca head coach Andrea Hiatt pointed out in her postgame comments following a frustrating 64-54 home setback to Oakdale Thursday night, the Valley Oak League season is here, and the time for excuses has passed.
SONORA - It's never easy to win at Sonora, but that's exactly what the East Union freshman girls basketball team did Thursday night, 36-25.
STOCKTON - If all goes as planned, the Valley Oak League will remain an eight-team league with all five Manteca Unified schools still in the mix.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
RIPON - Nothing is coming easy in what is shaping up to be a competitive Southern League boys soccer season.
East Union kept host Weston Ranch on its heels thanks to big serving runs from Jordyn Posz and Destiny Flores.
The weather is expected to cooperate for today's Valley Oak League rematch between Manteca and Central Catholic, which was originally postponed because of rain last Thursday.
Brooke Riley's round didn't end as well as she had hoped during East Union's Valley Oak League dual match at Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.
Scoring was at a premium Saturday when the Manteca Jr. Timberwolves junior novice squad locked up with the Tracy Jr. Bulldogs, who prevailed 6-0 in Delta Youth Football League action.
STOCKTON - The blond streak in Esteban Paramo's hair may have started as a personal statement of style, but it's come to symbolize something much bigger.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.