CERES - East Union and Central Valley entered Friday night's contest with identical 2-4 overall and 0-3 Valley Oak League records.
RIVERBANK – It's never easy to rebound when you find yourself down by two touchdowns at halftime.
Jena Anderson tried to suppress her emotions after she and Sierra High No. 1 doubles partner Stephanie Vanni cruised to a routine 6-1, 6-0 victory over Manteca's Amy Kaur and Ali Tolman Thursday.
LATHROP - For a half, it appeared as if Lathrop would pull off the biggest upset of the Valley Oak League season - even if it were to end in a scoreless tie.
Manteca's scrappy play on the defensive line did well enough to make visiting Sonora's big-hitting front work, but the big hitting was too much.
A twice dislocated kneecap forced John Perez to watch from the stands with the "Wolf Pack" cheering section as Sierra High's football team made history by qualifying for its first Sac-Joaquin Section playoff run.
Valley Oak League
LATHROP – Lathrop High School doesn't have to look at a zero in front of its record anymore when talking about the play of their varsity volleyball team.
RIPON – In most soccer matches getting two goals in the first 25 minutes would be enough to edge out a victory.
STOCKTON - The faces might have been different, but the sight around the 18th hole of the Brookside Country Club were quite the same on Tuesday afternoon.
Sierra striker Braian Gomez picked up two more goals to stretch his area-leading total to 27 in Tuesday's 3-0 Valley Oak League home victory over rival East Union.
Manteca High ended its home match run on a high note.
HUGHSON - Larry Keethe called them "crazy rotations."
RIPON - Ripon and Ripon Christian finished in the bottom two of the Valley Foothill League - North Division Tournament at Spring Creek Country Club Monday, but both schools will be represented at next week's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament.
East Union High's sophomore volleyball team battled tough at its own Dalben Center, but crosstown rival Manteca prevailed in three games - 25-18, 19-25, 15-7.
Donning pink jerseys, Manteca blanked Lathrop 3-0 in the annual Kicking for the Cure game hosted at Guss Schmiedt Field on Tuesday night.
RIPON - After blanking Ripon in their first meeting this season, Hughson pitcher Courtney Thornhill was working on eight consecutive shutout innings over the Indians when she turned her ankle in the first inning and had to leave Tuesday's Trans-Valley League softball contest.
East Union may be peaking at just the right time.
Both of Sierra's points were awarded thanks to pair of grueling victories from its No. 5 and No. 6 singles players in a 7-2 loss at East Union Tuesday.
Two big wins from the bottom half of its singles ladder propelled Manteca High's boys tennis team to a pivotal 6-3 win over visiting Sonora on Monday.
The area's two best offensive linemen along with two record-breaking skill position players have been selected to compete in the 41st Central California Lions All-Star Football Game.
Manteca and Oakdale both needed a win, so it's understandable why both were unsatisfied with Monday's result.
Alexis Erich and East Union held a three-run cushion heading into the seventh inning Friday and were three outs away from a key Valley Oak League victory over Kimball.
Oakdale capitalized on its opportunities and Sierra did not.
With two of their top contributors out, Sierra High's boys swimmers suffered their first defeat of the season by a 99-71 margin at Kimball of Tracy. Kimball's girls also won by the same score.
Ripon's defense hadn't given up more than two goals in a game all season until Friday.
Only one of Friday's matches between Ripon and Hughson's co-ed tennis teams needed to be decided in a third set.
Josh Clark fittingly scored the deciding run on a dropped third strike in the top of the seventh inning, as Ripon avoided an upset at Modesto Christian with a 7-4 victory Friday.
Oakdale High's recent run of dominance includes seven straight Valley Oak League championships and six Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV titles in that same span.
Sierra's Jack Thomson turned to a teenager for direction late in a 7-1 victory, and the Hall of Fame skipper was rewarded for his faith.