Ann McFerran was intentionally kept out of the loop.
The Sonora Wildcats brought their undefeated Valley Oak League record into the Dalben Center and got pushed to the brink in Game 1, but a short-staffed East Union club would come no closer to an upset, falling 3-0 Thursday in front of the home fan
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.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.
Ripon Christian's boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.
The Manteca and East Union volleyball teams split their first two sets Wednesday before the visiting Lancers atoned for an earlier season sweep and pulled away to win the next two for a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 win in Valley Oak League action at Winter Gymnasium.
East Union co-head coaches Brian Goulart and Dennis Wells figured this was the year that the Lancers' run of championships in the Sierra Invitational would end.
The hardest part of the schedule is over for Ripon's football team.