The contenders will separate themselves from the pretenders this week in the Valley Oak, Trans Valley and Southern leagues.
ESCALON – Aidan Foster made the most of his participation in the 24th Annual Lloyd Engel Wrestling Tournament, closing as the 152-pound champion and being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler of the upper-weights Saturday at Escalon High.
Kimball High already has itself a boys basketball team to be reckoned with, and that's without a senior class.
In a game that saw quality offense displayed in brief spurts, East Union senior Robert Vaughn had to convert on a pair of free throws in the game's final minute and he made good, sending the Oakdale Mustangs home with a 44-41 Valley Oak League defeat Friday at Dalben Center.
The first quarter put the Manteca High boys basketball team in a good position to depart from Sonora with a Valley Oak League win, but their fast start would not last a 46-42 league loss Friday.
LATHROP - The Spartans gave it their all Friday against visiting Weston Ranch.
Justin Patton scored half of the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team's 22 first-quarter points and ended up with a game-high19 points, helping the Timberwolves crush visiting Kimball 82-39 Friday.
Ripon High's boys basketball team didn't have too tough a challenge from the Hughson Huskies, and it showed in a 67-34 blowout Trans Valley League victory Friday in Ripon.
Without reigning Valley Oak League MVP Cassandra Clark and two other starters, Oakdale High's girls basketball team didn't have a chance against the conference's four-time defending champion.
Sharon Washington wanted this one badly and played like it.
So far, so good for Ripon Christian's girls basketball team.
Sarah Phillips got it going for East Union's varsity wrestling team with a hard-fought 9-7 victory in the 103-pound match, but it was all Weston Ranch after that in a Valley Oak League double-dual Wednesday at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – In the opening minutes, it seemed like Lathrop High's girls basketball team was ready to take on the challenge of keeping pace with Weston Ranch, but as time wore on the Spartans were clearly in over their heads in a 75-47 Valley Oak League loss Thursday.
It has been quite some time since the Weston Ranch High sophomore girls basketball team have been on the short-end of a basketball game, and that fact didn't change Thursday when the Cougars remained perfect in Valley Oak League play with a 50-40 win over Lathrop High.
LATHROP – When the Oakdale Mustangs packed up their bags and made their way back towards Oakdale, Lathrop and Manteca highs entangled in a more competitive Valley Oak League match, yet the Spartans were the superior program in a 50-26 win Wednesday.
Cole Stevens had his best shooting effort on a night in which he did not feel well.
Gregori-Modesto closed out the first half against host Manteca on an 11-2 run and then watched the Buffaloes blitz out of the locker room on a 21-4 run on the way to a 57-52 non-league boys basketball win at Winter Gymnasium.
Much has changed in the Southern League volleyball ranks, but one thing has remained the same: Ripon Christian still rules this court.
In a matchup of 6-foot-8 centers, it was 5-10 guard Daniel Wyatt who came through in a big way for Sierra in its McDonald's Classic opener Wednesday at Delta College.
Manteca High freshman Gino Campiotti has been given the rare opportunity to showcase his talents to college coaches on the other side of the country.
Angelo Baciocco sparked Ripon with an early win in the 152-pound bout, and the Indians benefitted from two forfeit victories to knock off visiting Waterford 45-33 in a nonleague dual Wednesday.
The Ripon Christian boys soccer team rolled to Southern League and Sac-Joaquin Section championships, chasing only history throughout its magical run.
Sierra came out of the halftime locker room on fire Tuesday night, using a 21-0 third-quarter run to stop Ripon Christian in its tracks, 55-34.
RIPON - Rod Wright can't remember a team from his past that has shot as poorly to start a season as his current club.
Sometimes, a routine can be good.
STOCKTON – In his first varsity wrestling match East Union's Jaysen Reindel fought back from a 10-4 deficit Saturday in the 220-pound championship match of the McNair Invitational to get a pin and take home the gold medal.
STOCKTON – Beset by injuries and illness, Manteca endured a suffocating full-court press for all but the game's last three minutes from Lincoln in a 54-21 win for the host Trojans in non-league girls. basketball action on Saturday.
Ripon Christian started the championship game of Riverbank's Ron Peterson Tipoff Tournament on a 13-0 run Saturday against Calaveras-San Andreas, but that was not enough to keep the Knights from ending up where they have the last two years in this tournament – second place.
Will Kamps proved that his sophomore campaign was no fluke.
Ripon Christian appears to be hitting its stride.