FRESNO – The 2010 CIF State Cross Country Championships Saturday marked several firsts for the Ripon High program.
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.
Two East Union standouts were rewarded for their breakout efforts in the Valley Oak League.
Leo Soto hopes he can help San Diego Christian University take the next step the same way he did for Sierra High's baseball program.
Jacob Souza's selfless act led to a Valley Oak League championship for Sierra's baseball team and the Most Valuable Player award.
Jamie DeBruyn takes a defense-first approach to soccer, so it is no surprise that he nominated Ripon High senior defender Zaire Davis for the Trans-Valley League's MVP award.
FAIR OAKS - Anthony Santiago scratched on his final attempt in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III shot put final at Bella Vista High.
Sierra junior Scott Tolman established himself as one of the state's top swimmers Friday at the Clovis Olympic Swim Complex.
There was plenty of star power to go around in the loaded Valley Oak League this past girls soccer season, but one stood above the rest to the coaches.
Ripon freshman Taylor Werner is advancing to the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters track and field meet in three events, while Ellie Waters and Brandon Roma both qualified in two events.
SACRAMENTO - After losing the winners-bracket semifinal, one the Lancers felt was taken from them, the East Union softball team left little doubt that it belonged in Wednesday's Sac-Joaquin Section championship round against Pioneer.
SACRAMENTO - Sierra wasn't at its best in its Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinal series with Yuba City, but the Timberwolves' best may not have been good enough.
Taariq Davis and Jordan McNeal spearheaded impressive Day 1 efforts for East Union sprinters in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-III track meet on Wednesday.
STOCKTON - Ripon went down swinging against Dixon pitching ace Tyler MacKenzie.
SACRAMENTO - After being dispatched to the consolation bracket of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III softball championships with a heartbreaking 4-2 loss to Pioneer on Tuesday, East Union bounced back and scored three runs in the fifth inning of the nightcap to pull away from Vanden 7-4 at the Sacramento Softball Complex.
The decorated careers of Mike Lopez and Yok Jing Ma came to an end Tuesday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Individual Tournament.
Freshman Taylor Werner was Ripon High's top performer in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Preliminaries Tuesday at CSU Stanislaus.