Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
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.