Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The Manteca High freshman football team used three second quarter touchdowns to blow past East Union High 56-0 in the Valley Oak League's final contest for the season.
When the Sierra High sophomore football team took care of business in a 28-0 thrashing of the Weston Ranch Cougars they had no idea what its reward would be.
Sierra High knew what it had to do to close out its Valley Oak League season, and there was nothing the Weston Ranch Cougars could do about it during a 35-14 league championship clinching victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
No banners. No ceremonies.
There were moments of brilliance and keep-away possession – the hallmarks of the Sierra girls soccer program.
RIPON – Ripon Christian sophomore Travis Zuidervaart had the Indians' lineup baffled Thursday.
Scheduling conflicts and other factors forced Manteca High girls soccer coach Justin Coenenberg to shrink the Buffalo Cup tournament field back down to eight.
The East Union boys tennis team showed little rust in its first Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday, downing visiting Oakdale, 7-2.
East Union's rebuilding boys golf team suffered a heartbreaking loss at Oakdale Golf & Country Club on Thursday, falling to host Oakdale High, 250-251.
East Union had one run taken away and gift wrapped another for Tracy in a 2-1 eight-inning loss at Agostini Field on Wednesday.
GALT - In the end, the Capital Christian press was just too much to handle as the Cougars started on an 8-0 run and never trailed in a 56-38 win over Ripon Christian in the semifinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V girls basketball championships at Galt High's Warrior Gymnasium.
Matt Rose led five Sierra players who produced sub-50 scores in a 217-317 win over visiting Weston Ranch on Wednesday.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
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.