The contenders will separate themselves from the pretenders this week in the Valley Oak, Trans Valley and Southern leagues.
ESCALON – Aidan Foster made the most of his participation in the 24th Annual Lloyd Engel Wrestling Tournament, closing as the 152-pound champion and being named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler of the upper-weights Saturday at Escalon High.
Kimball High already has itself a boys basketball team to be reckoned with, and that's without a senior class.
In a game that saw quality offense displayed in brief spurts, East Union senior Robert Vaughn had to convert on a pair of free throws in the game's final minute and he made good, sending the Oakdale Mustangs home with a 44-41 Valley Oak League defeat Friday at Dalben Center.
The first quarter put the Manteca High boys basketball team in a good position to depart from Sonora with a Valley Oak League win, but their fast start would not last a 46-42 league loss Friday.
LATHROP - The Spartans gave it their all Friday against visiting Weston Ranch.
Justin Patton scored half of the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team's 22 first-quarter points and ended up with a game-high19 points, helping the Timberwolves crush visiting Kimball 82-39 Friday.
Ripon High's boys basketball team didn't have too tough a challenge from the Hughson Huskies, and it showed in a 67-34 blowout Trans Valley League victory Friday in Ripon.
Without reigning Valley Oak League MVP Cassandra Clark and two other starters, Oakdale High's girls basketball team didn't have a chance against the conference's four-time defending champion.
Sharon Washington wanted this one badly and played like it.
So far, so good for Ripon Christian's girls basketball team.
Sarah Phillips got it going for East Union's varsity wrestling team with a hard-fought 9-7 victory in the 103-pound match, but it was all Weston Ranch after that in a Valley Oak League double-dual Wednesday at Dalben Center.
WESTON RANCH – In the opening minutes, it seemed like Lathrop High's girls basketball team was ready to take on the challenge of keeping pace with Weston Ranch, but as time wore on the Spartans were clearly in over their heads in a 75-47 Valley Oak League loss Thursday.
It has been quite some time since the Weston Ranch High sophomore girls basketball team have been on the short-end of a basketball game, and that fact didn't change Thursday when the Cougars remained perfect in Valley Oak League play with a 50-40 win over Lathrop High.
LATHROP – When the Oakdale Mustangs packed up their bags and made their way back towards Oakdale, Lathrop and Manteca highs entangled in a more competitive Valley Oak League match, yet the Spartans were the superior program in a 50-26 win Wednesday.
Natalia Duran got the last laugh Wednesday.
Ripon Christian is heading to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII championship game for a second straight year after upending fourth-seeded Vacaville Christian 4-1 on Wednesday.
Cindy Alvarez started on defense for a second straight game.
Ripon's softball team is hoping the fourth time is the charm against Hughson.
RIPON - Emily O'Brien and Alli Hickman's valiant effort came up short in the No. 2 girls doubles match, as Ripon lost to Trans-Valley League rival Escalon 5-4 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Coed Team Tennis semifinals Wednesday.
The Ripon High baseball team is hitting its stride at the right time.
SACRAMENTO - Second-seeded East Union came out swinging Tuesday against No. 15 American Canyon.
Frank Fontana joined in on a three-on-three drill, talking a little trash and sharing laughs in what was the final practice of the season for the 2015 Manteca High boys tennis team.
Four Manteca-area schools qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section girls soccer playoffs, and all four are a win away from playing for the blue banner.
SACRAMENTO - Christian Brothers put up three runs in the third inning and coasted to a 5-1 win over Manteca in opening-round action of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III softball playoffs Tuesday at the Sacramento Softball Complex, ending the season for the Buffaloes.
All season, Manteca High boys tennis head coach Frank Fontana has praised the players on the lower end of the team ladder, and understandably so.
STOCKTON - Nick Sharp just missed making the cut Monday for next week's Nor-Cal Tournament at Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas.
It will be an all-Trans-Valley League showdown on Wednesday when Ripon welcomes back Escalon for a semifinal match in the Sac-Joaquin Section Coed Team Tennis playoffs.
Jake Menasco did all he could and then some.
RIPON - Ripon No. 3 batter Nick Price picked a good time to pick up a hit.