Things were cruising along like the preface of a close Valley Oak League softball game and then Central Valley decided to get on the board with an inside-the-park homerun. That was seemingly the Hawks' first mistake, as Manteca High would answer with a seven-run third on its way to a 14-3 win over Central Valley.
CERES – The Ceres Bulldogs had an opportunity to pull into a three-way tie with East Union and Oakdale atop the Valley Oak League softball scene and they seized the moment, using two big innings to knock off the Lancers 5-2 Wednesday.
RIPON – The Ripon Indians didn't waste any time in announcing their presence Wednesday at Park View Elementary when Renae McFadden planted a Kallie Jacobs pass into the back of the Ripon Christian net in the game's sixth minute.
LATHROP – The Sierra Timberwolves took advantage of every Lathrop High mistake, using five first inning walks to lead to seven runs and an easy Valley Oak League victory Wednesday.
Because Central Valley didn't have enough participants to qualify, Sierra High had its match won Tuesday before a single club came out of their bag.
With two of the three groups lounging alongside the ninth green of Manteca Golf Course, one group strolled up the fairway not knowing its scores would ultimately decide the outcome of Tuesday's highly-anticipated Valley Oak League match between Sierra and East Union highs.
All Sierra High's baseball team could do Tuesday was tip its hat and look forward to the rematch.
CERES – Not even 36 straight innings of pitching during the NorCal Classic in Tracy could slow down Sierra softball ace Gabby Hawkins.
STOCKTON – The 4-0 beating that the Weston Ranch Cougars dealt to first-year varsity program Lathrop High School would have most coaches ecstatic.
CERES - Three goals inside of the first 30 minutes was enough to keep the Manteca girls soccer team atop the Valley Oak League standings after a 3-0 win against Ceres.
A long string of perfection came to a screeching halt for the Manteca Buffaloes, as they finally experienced defeat in a 4-1 loss to Ceres High Tuesday in Valley Oak League action.
Coming off two heartbreaking, one-run losses to rival Sierra last week, the Manteca High baseball team reversed its fortunes behind a stellar pitching performance from Matt Burrows in a 2-0 win over the dangerous Central Valley Hawks at home Tuesday.
PATTERSON - It was Ripon freshman Andrew Bonner and everybody else at the challenging Diablo Grande Golf and Country Club Tuesday.
The Manteca High frosh-soph soccer squad had little trouble disposing of the visiting Ceres Bulldogs, cruising to a relatively easy 6-0 win Tuesday in Valley Oak League play.
NEWMAN - Ripon Christian's baseball team wrapped up its dominating run through the Orestimba Tournament Saturday with a 12-1 victory over Turlock Christian for the title.
Allie Walljasper is batting 1.000 when it comes to the Valley Oak League's MVP honor.
Manteca (24-3) cruised past two Sierra Valley Conference opponents, while Vista del Lago (26-5) held off challengers from the Valley Oak League in the first two rounds of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
There's Joe Menzel, arms pointed to the sky, clutching the game ball.
Neil MacDannald isn't ready to name a starter for Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship.
TURLOCK - The Sierra boys track team won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV track and field championship Thursday at Warriors Stadium, but the Timberwolves accomplished the feat without winning a gold medal.
Times are set. Events have been scheduled. And trucks, trunks and RVs have been loaded down with coolers, swim bags and pop-up tents.
Go ahead, Lady Lancers, take a victory lap.
LODI – As soon as Andrew Schantz crushed a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday during the third and deciding game of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV best-of-three semifinal series, Vista del Lago's supporters reacted as if Schantz just hit a walk-off bomb.
From the time I was 6 years old rolling around in the mud behind the bleachers at my brother's football games I wanted to play football.
These make-or-break moments are often defined by big, imposing aces with even larger personalities, rocket arms and legitimate college and pro prospects.
LODI - Do not bet against Manteca with Jake Corn on the mound – or if you do, do not let Corn know about it.
TURLOCK - Manteca High teammates Carl Chandler and Marcus Montano were the top two seeded high jumpers going into Thursday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Trials at Cal State Stanislaus' Warrior Stadium.
One of the season's indelible moments is of Sierra's Sydnee Canales lacing a deep left-footed shot on goal to earn a draw at Oakdale.
Clay Cuneo's mind was made up.