Effort wasn't the issue in Manteca and visiting Ripon's annual Foundation Game showdown Monday.
Twenty two-year-old Brett Lewis' debut as East Union High's varsity boys basketball head coach went smoothly.
RIPON – The Notre Dame Spirits fought valiantly to keep their 2009 season alive, but the Ripon Indians would have no such thing, finishing off the Spirits' season by winning in four in the CIF State Volleyball Championship semi-finals at Ripon High.
FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
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.