Sierra and Ripon have tough draws to start the Sac-Joaquin Section boys soccer playoffs, but they like to think that their opponents do, too.
One program has more Sac-Joaquin Section titles than anyone, including the last two in Division V.
RIPON – As a sophomore, Isaac Norman still has a ways to go before he hits his full stride.
LATHROP - The Lathrop High sophomore squad closed out the season with a 20-0 loss to visiting Sacramento on Friday.
CERES – The Manteca High freshman football team took the opening possession in for a touchdown and never looked back, rolling to an easy Valley Oak League victory, 48-7, over Central Valley High.
OAKDALE - Sierra came into The Corral battered and bruised and left in even worse shape.
The effects of an emotionally-draining loss to Oakdale week ago plagued Manteca High over the first two quarters of play, but the second half was all Buffaloes in a 37-7 Valley Oak League win over the visiting Central Valley Hawks Friday.
RIPON – Every team strives to get all three of its major components firing on the same page: offense, defense and special teams.
CERES - East Union completed a sweep of Ceres Unified schools with a 29-15 victory over Ceres High Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
LATHROP – The young Spartans were once again left with the promise of better days ahead.
Manteca High senior Matt Barber is out for Friday's home game against Central Valley and could miss the regular-season finale on Nov. 13 against rival East Union after suffering a concussion in Oakdale last week.
Once the Manteca High volleyball team scored the final point of its third game victory over Sierra things changed in a hurry, giving the Timberwolves a season-sweep over the Buffaloes and a 3-1 Valley Oak League win over their crosstown rival.
The Manteca High junior varsity volleyball team closed out an impressive season with a 19-25, 25-16, 15-8 win at Sierra High.
RIPON – The Ripon High volleyball team gave a rowdy senior-night crowd plenty to cheer about during a three-game 25-22, 25-19, 25-19 sweep of the Escalon Cougars, giving the Indians their fifth Trans Valley League title in the past six years.
Ripon hadn't played a match away from familiar Stouffer Field in nearly three full weeks until it traveled to Hilmar on Thursday.
Ripon avenged a previous loss and put itself in a good position to return to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament with Thursday's 164-174 win over Linden at Jack Tone Golf Course.
The Southern League race has quietly developed into an intriguing one.
Pay no mind to Lathrop's record.
Ripon Christian visited Delhi on Tuesday and avenged its only Southern League loss with a 1-0 victory that keeps the Knights atop the standings.
Ripon overcame serving errors and a game Hughson squad in a Trans-Valley League road match Wednesday.
The Manteca Jr. Timberwolves' novice football team rode the legs of Elijah Cota in Saturday's overtime 25-19 victory over their cross-town rival Chargers.
Escalon got one step closer to clinching the Valley Foothill League's North Division championship Tuesday after beating second-place Ripon 160-175 at Escalon Golf Course.
Weston Ranch beat East Union at its own game in a duel between the Valley Oak League's hottest teams Monday at Dino Cunial Field.
Coming off a tough five-game loss to rival Escalon, Ripon bounced back nicely with Monday's 25-13, 25-10, 25-23 sweep at Modesto Christian.
East Union's Edmi Lopez is a Timberwolf slayer.
Ripon Christian's boys soccer team overcame a halftime deficit, and Andrew Manes nailed the go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute to knock off host Le Grand 2-1 on Thursday.
The Manteca and East Union volleyball teams split their first two sets Wednesday before the visiting Lancers atoned for an earlier season sweep and pulled away to win the next two for a 25-21, 24-26, 25-22, 25-17 win in Valley Oak League action at Winter Gymnasium.
East Union co-head coaches Brian Goulart and Dennis Wells figured this was the year that the Lancers' run of championships in the Sierra Invitational would end.
The hardest part of the schedule is over for Ripon's football team.