RIPON – The Ripon Indians simply feel it's time to hang a Trans Valley League banner in their gym. Ripon Christian has every reason in the world to feel its first season in the Southern League can result in a championship.
Goodbye Ceres and Central Valley, and good riddance.
Never mind that the school year begins next Monday, Aug. 16.
LATHROP - In a little over a month, the Lathrop Spartans will begin their second football campaign at the varsity level and the only certainty the club has is that the challenge won't get any easier.
The ill-effects of a heart-wrenching Sac-Joaquin Section playoff loss to Casa Roble is something of the past for the Manteca Buffaloes. Now the squad is poised to make a run at the Valley Oak League championship, and hopefully make a return trip to the section title game in the process.
STOCKTON – One program is trying to defend a piece of a league title for the first time in school history.
Standing 5-foot-6, it would be hard to see Matt Barber as the big man on campus. But if you ask anyone on the Manteca Buffaloes' 20-man roster and they will tell you there was no bigger Buffalo than Barber.
Brittany LaMar has been behind the dish for the East Union Lancers for the past three seasons.
Ripon High's unprecedented four-year run between 2007-10 in girls soccer wouldn't have been possible without the influx of talent that poured into the program.
Vincent Herrera didn't know what he was getting into when he began training with Manteca High's track and field team on March 3.
East Union freshman Megan Jordan was more concerned about finishing the race in less than 1 than doing so as No. 1.
The mission to remain the best golfer in the Valley Oak League drove East Union's Kyle Harman to his third consecutive Bulletin All-Area Golfer of the Year honor.
For two years it was Luis Ochoa of Ceres High and everybody else in the Valley Oak League.
When it was all said and done, Sierra High's Zach Holmstrom left an undeniable mark on the Timberwolves' swimming program. Sure the boys squad could not fend off challengers for the coveted Valley Oak League title, but sometimes victories are not always measured with championships.
Allie Walljasper is batting 1.000 when it comes to the Valley Oak League's MVP honor.
Manteca (24-3) cruised past two Sierra Valley Conference opponents, while Vista del Lago (26-5) held off challengers from the Valley Oak League in the first two rounds of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
There's Joe Menzel, arms pointed to the sky, clutching the game ball.
Neil MacDannald isn't ready to name a starter for Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship.
TURLOCK - The Sierra boys track team won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV track and field championship Thursday at Warriors Stadium, but the Timberwolves accomplished the feat without winning a gold medal.
Times are set. Events have been scheduled. And trucks, trunks and RVs have been loaded down with coolers, swim bags and pop-up tents.
Go ahead, Lady Lancers, take a victory lap.
LODI – As soon as Andrew Schantz crushed a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday during the third and deciding game of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV best-of-three semifinal series, Vista del Lago's supporters reacted as if Schantz just hit a walk-off bomb.
From the time I was 6 years old rolling around in the mud behind the bleachers at my brother's football games I wanted to play football.