Manteca High's defending Valley Oak League champion boys basketball team began its title defense against visiting Oakdale Tuesday and had little trouble in dispatching the overmatched Mustangs, 55-42.
If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
ELK GROVE – Anthony Santiago had a personal best in the shot put Friday, is going to the state championships and he wants more.
ELK GROVE - Carl Chandler stared at the ground as he paced alongside the triple jump runway, while Manteca High teammate Kenny Wooten was preparing to take his final leap in the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet Thursday at Elk Grove High.
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.