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.
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.