It was more than just a gathering for all of the athletes in the Valley Oak Leagues' nine track and field programs. The VOL championships at Sierra High Saturday were the final opportunity for participants to win a league title and to continue their 2010 season for another few weeks.
LATHROP – The Valley Oak League has one of the deepest group of softball teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, and the Sierra Timberwolves are poised to be one of the league's representatives this postseason taking another step towards their goal in a 15-0 win over Lathrop High Friday.
ESCALON – After a meeting Ripon High felt they should have won this past Wednesday, the Escalon Cougars decided to display some separation, destroying the Indians 15-0 Friday in Trans Valley League play.
Playing catch isn't always as easy as it looks.
Stephanie Vanni found herself directly in front of the goalie just seconds into Sierra's Valley Oak League deciding contest with Weston Ranch. Vanni knew exactly what to do, pounding the Timberwolves' first attempt into the net for an instant 1-0 lead and a smooth path to a 5-0 win and the squads second consecutive league championship.
CERES – After battling the best singles players in the Valley Oak League for the regular season, Manteca High's Alex McAdams and Alex Barragan teamed up for a quality ride, outlasting some 20-plus doubles teams for the VOL doubles championship Thursday at Ceres High.
There wasn't anything left but pride at stake by the time East Union and Manteca kicked off their final Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday night at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Things weren't looking good for Steven Gigli after he turned the ball over to East Union head coach Dan Triglia in the third inning and made the short walk from the mound to shortstop.
The East Union Lancers seem to have no respect of their opponents' capabilities, destroying their second consecutive Valley Oak league opponent by nine runs with the Lancers' 9-0 win over the visiting Weston Ranch Cougars Thursday.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights scored two in the first for a quick lead and wouldn't surrender it, holding off a late Modesto Christian rally for a 5-2 Trans Valley League win Thursday.
East Union's Zach Carrillo came a base on balls and a hits batsman away from a perfect game, dominating the Ceres Bulldogs in a 7-0 Valley Oak League win for the Lancers Thursday.
RIPON – Ripon High's Ryan Durrer came to the plate as the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but could not hand the Escalon Cougars their first loss in over a month, striking out and sending Escalon home with a 6-4 Trans Valley League win.
Oakdale High junior Brianna Parker completed her string of dominance against Manteca schools in a big way.
It did not take the Sierra Timberwolves too long to take care of the visiting Central Valley Hawks, securing the Valley Oak League win with a five-run fifth inning to clip the Hawks for good Wednesday.
RIVERBANK – The Ripon Christian soccer program saw a season's worth of dedication pay off in a major way Wednesday when the Knights outlasted the Riverbank Bruins for a 1-0 Trans Valley League win.
Jordan McNeal's natural talent is undeniable.
When Isela Rivera woke the morning following the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship and a celebratory pool party, she didn't need a pinch to know it was real.
Jacob Corn doesn't shy away from discussing the few missteps in his otherwise spectacular senior season for Manteca High's baseball team.
Allie Walljasper lifted Sierra's softball team to unprecedented heights the past four years with her powerful right arm.
For three months, Scott Tolman chased a time taped to the ceiling above his bed.
RIPON – Even out of season, Hannah Sweet keeps a constant presence at the Ervin Zador Aquatic Center.
Yok Jing Ma had a checklist of goals at the start of the tennis season.