FRESNO – On this cold and gray morning, Ricky Morris was at his very best.
When the Weston Ranch girls basketball team beat Sierra High to close out the Valley Oak League a year ago, the Cougars were hoping a postseason berth would be around the corner, but that berth never came.
After a quick walkthrough of Woodward Park in Fresno, the annual site of the CIF State Cross Country Championships, Ripon High head coach Paul Calkins and his runners settled into their hotel rooms at around 5:30 Friday night for a little rest and relaxation.
Just a short time ago, the Weston Ranch boys basketball squad was the premier team in the Valley Oak League, and the Lathrop Spartans were opening the gym for the hoops program for the very first time. After failing to reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Cougars are poised to get back to the top of the league, whereas as Lathrop will be working through the exodus of one of its better players.
To be the champs, Ripon Christian's volleyball team must go through the champs.
Manteca and Sierra believe they have what it takes to make a run at the Valley Oak League championship this year.
Earning back-to-back outright championships in the Valley Oak League didn't come easily for Manteca High, and that was with dazzling point guard Kiwi Gardner setting gym floors ablaze.
The setters of the top teams in the Trans Valley and Southern leagues were voted the Most Valuable Players of each conference.
RIPON - The Knights didn't want to be one and done in this year's CIF State Northern California Division V volleyball championship tournament.
RIPON - It's an overused cliché, but the Ripon-St. Helena first-round match in the CIF State Northern California Division IV Championships Tuesday was truly played out like a heavyweight title bout.
In some ways, Ripon High volleyball coach Larry Keethe sees his team as an underdog despite its No. 1 ranking in the CIF Division IV State Championships, which begins today with Round 1 of the NorCal playoffs.
The Valley Oak League season saw the Sonora Wildcats and Oakdale Mustangs have their way along the schedule, but standout play from the other squads didn't go unrecognized, as the VOL's 2010 all-league team was recently announced.
The additions of Hilmar and Orestimba made the Trans Valley League even tougher Ripon High this year, and that was reflected in the all-conference selections.
DAVIS - The streak came to a halt for Ripon High varsity volleyball team.
DAVIS - They proudly held up four fingers.
Ripon High tennis continued its winning ways Tuesday, defeating visiting Riverbank 6-3 in a Trans Valley League match.
Errors can be deadly.
Ripon High suffered a tough 3-2 extra-inning loss Tuesday to visiting Escalon.
Ripon didn't need to wait long to find out where it stands in the Trans-Valley League.
The Manteca High boys tennis team continued its march toward a Valley Oak League title with a shutout victory over Sierra.
Coming off a loss at Oakdale, East Union's boys golf team got back on track Tuesday by routing Manteca 219-275 at Manteca Park Golf Course.
The Ripon boys and girls swim teams tallied their first wins in the Valley Oak League season Tuesday, toppling visiting Weston Ranch. The Indians won every race.
Joshua Patton was named All-Valley Oak League MVP for a second straight season, only this time he gets to share the honor with a friend.
After ruling the Southern League for three of its four years there, Ripon Christian's boys basketball team returned to the Trans-Valley League this past winter to reign over its longtime traditional rivals.
Sierra got on the board first Monday, but host Manteca poured in three second-half goals to pull away and hand the Timberwolves a 5-1 loss in Valley Oak League soccer action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
East Union's baseball team wrapped up its final pre-league contest with a heartbreaking 3-2 victory to host Tracy at Monte Vista Middle School, but head coach Dan Triglia was encouraged by the defeat on Monday.
East Union put up seven runs in the second inning against visiting Ripon Saturday on the way to an 11-1 Lancers win in the third annual Cancer Awareness Softball Game at Northgate Softball Complex's Garvine Field.
East Union put up seven runs in the second inning against visiting Ripon on Saturday on the way to an 11-1 Lancers win the third annual Cancer Awareness Softball Game at Northgate Softball Complex's Garvine Field.
Nick Oseguera laced a two-out two-RBI double in the third inning to cap a four-run frame and give Sierra the margin of victory in a 4-2 win Saturday over visiting Modesto in non-league baseball action.
Katelyn Allen brought home three gold medals for East Union on Saturday from the Jaguar Relays at Kimball High in Tracy and helped led the Lancers girls to a fourth-place finish while teammate Cody Keener won the high jump as part of the East Union boys attack that also finished fourth.