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.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
By JAMES BURNS
Weston Ranch put together a solid all-around effort in its season-opener at Stagg on Wednesday, winning decisively, 8-1.
Neil MacDannald is perfect so far in his return to the dugout as Manteca High's head baseball coach, though things didn't always go perfectly in the Buffaloes' season opener against visiting Beyer on Tuesday.
Manteca High's boys tennis team is looking to reclaim the throne in the Valley Oak League.
Sierra bounced back from its season-opening loss with its commanding 12-1 five-inning victory at Johansen (Modesto) on Tuesday. The Timberwolves were coming off Monday's 9-2 road defeat to Turlock.
Sierra Downum had a foot in both of Lathrop's goals in a 2-0 shutout at Pacheco of Los Banos on Tuesday.
Ripon High boys golf coach Chris Musseman isn't getting his hopes up just yet, but his team's Trans-Valley League opening win gives him reason for optimism.
Jeff Williams considered his Sierra boys golf team to be "very fortunate" Tuesday when it began the Valley Oak League season at Oakdale Golf & Country Club, where the Timberwolves nipped host Oakdale, 253-259.
It's been nearly three full months since Ripon Christian's girls basketball team last tasted defeat, a 53-33 setback against Liberty of Brentwood during the 30th Annual Stonebarger Tournament on Dec. 14.
Defense wins championships for Sierra High's boys basketball team.
A two-goal lead was plenty wide enough for Victor Polanco to get every East Union player a chance to show their first-year head coach what they can do in a live match and under soggy conditions Monday night.
TURLOCK – It wasn't the clean start Sierra skipper Jack Thomson had hoped for.
Some of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top boys golf programs converged on the par-72 Del Rio Golf and Country Club in Modesto for Central Catholic's Invitational Preview on Monday.
Alyssa Cantu and Jasmine Ivey both made their third consecutive appearance at the CIF 2014 State Girls Wrestling Championships this past weekend at the Visalia Convention Center.
The Lathrop girls soccer team opened the spring season with a 1-1 non-league draw against McNair-Stockton on Saturday.