Kelsey Johnston opened the season as one of Ripon High's key ingredients for a team hoping to make another lengthy push in the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason. By the time the season closed Johnston was the main ingredient of an impressive Indian playoff run and The Bulletin's 2009 All-Area Volleyball MVP.
Jarrod Daniels finished what Daniel Teicheira started at the beginning of this decade.
SALIDA – The Manteca Buffaloes wanted to close out its non-league schedule in the always-challenging Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic for a reason and its 81-68 win over San Leandro High got things going in the right direction.
TRACY – The East Union Lancers were the defending champions of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Basketball Tournament, but that did not help the squad in this season's tournament opener, dropping their first round game 47-46 to the Linden Lions.
Braian Gomez's strength as a leader also served as a weakness.
With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.
ELK GROVE – The Ripon Indians had to conquer a double-overtime mountain to get to the Consumnes Oaks Tournament championship, but beating undefeated Argonaut High for the title was not in the plans as Ripon dropped the finale 59-32 Wednesday.
Sierra High standouts Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni put together a season that left the Valley Oak League's doubles teams in an unfair position of knowing they were going to lose.
Not even the running clock in the fourth quarter could slow down the Manteca Buffaloes, who trampled Buhach Colony of Atwater 76-31 Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
ELK GROVE – Sierra High held a slim three-point halftime lead, but opened the second half focused and pulled away from the Lathrop Spartans 50-32 during consolation bracket action in the Consumnes Oaks Tournament Tuesday.
MERCED – The Sierra Timberwolves were able to get another solid performance outside from Trevor Nogueira and cruised to a non-league victory over the host Golden Valley Eagles.
WATERFORD - Lathrop High continued its successful preseason run through the junior varsity circuit Saturday in the Wingo Tournament.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League's individual title, lead Sierra's proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.
ELK GROVE - First-year varsity Cosumnes Oaks got visiting Ripon's attention early by taking an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
Amber Parker may or may not have been the best female runner at Sierra High during the cross country season.
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.
The decorated careers of Mike Lopez and Yok Jing Ma came to an end Tuesday in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Individual Tournament.