LATHROP - No playoff berth, no problem.
It did not take long for the Ripon Christian volleyball program to make its mark in its new Southern League home, winning the championship outright with a 3-0 sweep of Gustine Thursday for its first title in over a decade.
Ripon High knew that to find a seat in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs it would need a glorious finish to the Trans Valley League season.
A one-goal loss Monday eliminated the Manteca Buffaloes from the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-IV playoff picture, but that did not stop the Buffaloes from crashing East Union High's Valley Oak League championship hopes, stopping the Lancers 5-3 to close out the 2010 regular season.
Jose Montes was spared the Gatorade bath on a cold Thursday afternoon.
When the third and final Valley Oak League cross-country race was complete, the Sierra Timberwolves were able to land three of four VOL Championships, winning both girls titles and the sophomore boys crown Wednesday in Angels Camp.
Just about everything that could go right did for the Weston Ranch tennis team this year, putting together the school's first-ever Valley Oak League girls tennis championship and Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoff berth.
WESTON RANCH - Weston Ranch countered Sierra High's big comeback with one of its own.
Ripon Christian could have took advantage of a lackluster start by the Delhi Hawks, but that was not the case as the Knights drop another Southern League match Tuesday 6-3 in Ripon.
The East Union Lancers got their second crack at the Oakdale Mustangs, but the results didn't improve much as the Lancers dropped their Valley Oak League match with Oakdale 3-0 Tuesday in Oakdale.
The enormity of Monday's Valley Oak League all-important showdown with visiting Oakdale didn't do the trick.
It was only appropriate that Sierra High's Alysia Atkins closed off the Manteca Buffaloes' hopes to win an emphatic smash, sending the Timberwolves off with a 3-0 win over Manteca Thursday in Valley Oak League play.
It took a combination platter of the best tennis players at Sonora High to accomplish a feat no Valley Oak League doubles tandem was able to do, when Brianne McRee and Brielle Snyder teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win over No. 1 seeded Stephanie Vanni and Maryann Baker Thursday.
The Weston Ranch Cougars' downward spiral continued as they were swept by the East Union Lancers Thursday in Valley Oak League play.
Ripon Christian got off to a quality start and it never let up, posting a one-sided 6-0 blowout on Turlock Christian Thursday in Southern League play.
It pays to listen to your coach.
The Lathrop High boys golf team hit a milestone in its brief history on Thursday, clinching a spot in the Valley Oak League Championships for the first time with its 223-257 over Manteca at French Camp Golf Course.
The Ripon High Indians again fell to Hughson, losing 12-2 in six innings to the Trans Valley League leaders on Thursday.
Ripon High soccer head coach Jamie DeBruyn wanted more, but one goal was all that was needed for his Indians to topple Hilmar 1-0 and pad their in the Trans-Valley League standings Thursday at Stouffer Field.
Ripon Christian hadn't given up a goal in Southern League play until Tuesday.
The Lathrop track and field team continued its breakout campaign Thursday, beating visiting Oakdale at three of the four levels.
Neither Joshua Patton nor Hunter Johnson knows what the future holds.
Lathrop's Keenan Donatelli pitched an outstanding game for six innings Wednesday against host East Union, but things fell apart in the seventh inning of the Valley Oak League contest at Agostini Field.
Manteca busted out of its recent scoring slump Wednesday with a 5-2 victory at Sierra's Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, and with four regular-season contests remaining it's a safe bet that the prolific Buffaloes will break the 100-goal mark for the first time in program history.
When Miranda McDonnell joined Ripon Aquatics less than two years ago, she sat down with coach Erik Zador and spoke candidly about her goals.
While it's still early in the Valley Oak League race, the Sierra High Timberwolves share the top spot with Oakdale.
A fifth straight Trans-Valley League title may now be out of reach for Ripon High's boys golf team, but coach Chris Musseman has his players' focused train on an even larger prize.
This was supposed to be the year.
Manteca High's boys tennis team secured sole possession of the Valley Oak League crown in its regular-season finale on Tuesday, but 10th-year head coach Frank Fontana and the Buffaloes aren't satisfied yet.
RIPON - Mistakes proved costly for Ripon High during a big Trans-Valley League showdown against first-place Hughson on Tuesday.