Kelsey Johnston opened the season as one of Ripon High's key ingredients for a team hoping to make another lengthy push in the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason. By the time the season closed Johnston was the main ingredient of an impressive Indian playoff run and The Bulletin's 2009 All-Area Volleyball MVP.
Jarrod Daniels finished what Daniel Teicheira started at the beginning of this decade.
SALIDA – The Manteca Buffaloes wanted to close out its non-league schedule in the always-challenging Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic for a reason and its 81-68 win over San Leandro High got things going in the right direction.
TRACY – The East Union Lancers were the defending champions of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Basketball Tournament, but that did not help the squad in this season's tournament opener, dropping their first round game 47-46 to the Linden Lions.
Braian Gomez's strength as a leader also served as a weakness.
With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.
ELK GROVE – The Ripon Indians had to conquer a double-overtime mountain to get to the Consumnes Oaks Tournament championship, but beating undefeated Argonaut High for the title was not in the plans as Ripon dropped the finale 59-32 Wednesday.
Sierra High standouts Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni put together a season that left the Valley Oak League's doubles teams in an unfair position of knowing they were going to lose.
Not even the running clock in the fourth quarter could slow down the Manteca Buffaloes, who trampled Buhach Colony of Atwater 76-31 Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
ELK GROVE – Sierra High held a slim three-point halftime lead, but opened the second half focused and pulled away from the Lathrop Spartans 50-32 during consolation bracket action in the Consumnes Oaks Tournament Tuesday.
MERCED – The Sierra Timberwolves were able to get another solid performance outside from Trevor Nogueira and cruised to a non-league victory over the host Golden Valley Eagles.
WATERFORD - Lathrop High continued its successful preseason run through the junior varsity circuit Saturday in the Wingo Tournament.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League's individual title, lead Sierra's proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.
ELK GROVE - First-year varsity Cosumnes Oaks got visiting Ripon's attention early by taking an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
Amber Parker may or may not have been the best female runner at Sierra High during the cross country season.
By JAMES BURNS
Weston Ranch put together a solid all-around effort in its season-opener at Stagg on Wednesday, winning decisively, 8-1.
Neil MacDannald is perfect so far in his return to the dugout as Manteca High's head baseball coach, though things didn't always go perfectly in the Buffaloes' season opener against visiting Beyer on Tuesday.
Manteca High's boys tennis team is looking to reclaim the throne in the Valley Oak League.
Sierra bounced back from its season-opening loss with its commanding 12-1 five-inning victory at Johansen (Modesto) on Tuesday. The Timberwolves were coming off Monday's 9-2 road defeat to Turlock.
Sierra Downum had a foot in both of Lathrop's goals in a 2-0 shutout at Pacheco of Los Banos on Tuesday.
Ripon High boys golf coach Chris Musseman isn't getting his hopes up just yet, but his team's Trans-Valley League opening win gives him reason for optimism.
Jeff Williams considered his Sierra boys golf team to be "very fortunate" Tuesday when it began the Valley Oak League season at Oakdale Golf & Country Club, where the Timberwolves nipped host Oakdale, 253-259.
It's been nearly three full months since Ripon Christian's girls basketball team last tasted defeat, a 53-33 setback against Liberty of Brentwood during the 30th Annual Stonebarger Tournament on Dec. 14.
Defense wins championships for Sierra High's boys basketball team.
A two-goal lead was plenty wide enough for Victor Polanco to get every East Union player a chance to show their first-year head coach what they can do in a live match and under soggy conditions Monday night.
TURLOCK – It wasn't the clean start Sierra skipper Jack Thomson had hoped for.
Some of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top boys golf programs converged on the par-72 Del Rio Golf and Country Club in Modesto for Central Catholic's Invitational Preview on Monday.
Alyssa Cantu and Jasmine Ivey both made their third consecutive appearance at the CIF 2014 State Girls Wrestling Championships this past weekend at the Visalia Convention Center.
The Lathrop girls soccer team opened the spring season with a 1-1 non-league draw against McNair-Stockton on Saturday.