Never mind that the school year begins next Monday, Aug. 16.
LATHROP - In a little over a month, the Lathrop Spartans will begin their second football campaign at the varsity level and the only certainty the club has is that the challenge won't get any easier.
The ill-effects of a heart-wrenching Sac-Joaquin Section playoff loss to Casa Roble is something of the past for the Manteca Buffaloes. Now the squad is poised to make a run at the Valley Oak League championship, and hopefully make a return trip to the section title game in the process.
STOCKTON – One program is trying to defend a piece of a league title for the first time in school history.
Standing 5-foot-6, it would be hard to see Matt Barber as the big man on campus. But if you ask anyone on the Manteca Buffaloes' 20-man roster and they will tell you there was no bigger Buffalo than Barber.
Brittany LaMar has been behind the dish for the East Union Lancers for the past three seasons.
Ripon High's unprecedented four-year run between 2007-10 in girls soccer wouldn't have been possible without the influx of talent that poured into the program.
Vincent Herrera didn't know what he was getting into when he began training with Manteca High's track and field team on March 3.
East Union freshman Megan Jordan was more concerned about finishing the race in less than 1 than doing so as No. 1.
The mission to remain the best golfer in the Valley Oak League drove East Union's Kyle Harman to his third consecutive Bulletin All-Area Golfer of the Year honor.
For two years it was Luis Ochoa of Ceres High and everybody else in the Valley Oak League.
When it was all said and done, Sierra High's Zach Holmstrom left an undeniable mark on the Timberwolves' swimming program. Sure the boys squad could not fend off challengers for the coveted Valley Oak League title, but sometimes victories are not always measured with championships.
Kara Hall had every opportunity to settle on her outstanding accomplishments for the Sierra High swim program a season ago, but the junior had no such let down, improving on an already successful career by being named the 2010 Bulletin All-Area Swimmer of the Year.
STOCKTON - Amy Haapanen is returning home later this week.
Escalon had a score to settle with Ripon on Thursday as the two met in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Valley Foothill League's North Division.
Travis Vander Molen found the back of the net twice as the Ripon Christian boys soccer team nearly erased a three-goal deficit in a 5-3 loss to visiting Delhi on Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls tennis team played its most competitive match of the season in a 5-4 loss to East Union on Thursday.
It was a three-person race for low-medalist honors at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday, where cross-town opponents Manteca and Sierra met for a pivotal Valley Oak League dual match.
Ripon dominated visiting Lodi in a three-game sweep (25-10, 25-14, 25-17) Wednesday.
The Manteca High girls cross country team has some work to do if it wants to keep its spot on the Valley Oak League throne.
RIPON - Despite an aggressive first half, Ripon Christian found itself down by a goal at halftime against visiting Le Grand, the defending Southern League champion.
East Union's girls tennis team relied on its depth to upend visiting Kimball on Tuesday.
The Manteca High girls golf team overcame a strong effort form Oakdale's Dylanie Donahue in a 287-297 victory at Manteca Park Golf Course on Tuesday.
No other Manteca-area volleyball team had a busier pre-league schedule than East Union, a young squad that second-year head coach Rich Posz hopes gained some valuable experience in the last three weeks.
Sierra was playing its seventh game in as many days Monday.
Shannon Wesley led a balanced attack with nine kills, and Emily O'Brien anchored Ripon's defensive effort as the Indians coasted past visiting Sierra 25-16, 25-7, 25-15 in a nonleague match Monday.
No one drew a tougher assignment to start the Valley Oak League boys soccer season than Manteca.
McKenna Doyle became the third different low medalist of the season for Sierra in the team's fourth Valley Oak League match Monday.
The Valley Oak League uses a points-based system to determine its MVP.