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.
Kara Hall had every opportunity to settle on her outstanding accomplishments for the Sierra High swim program a season ago, but the junior had no such let down, improving on an already successful career by being named the 2010 Bulletin All-Area Swimmer of the Year.
STOCKTON - Amy Haapanen is returning home later this week.
STOCKTON – With overtime not being an option, Stagg High head coach Don Norton decided to leave fate in the hands of his players with just two minutes remaining – Sierra graduate Anthony Hall's hands answered the call.
STOCKTON - The blond streak in Esteban Paramo's hair may have started as a personal statement of style, but it's come to symbolize something much bigger.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.