When I saw this photo accompanying my column for the first time it provoked emotions inside of me I haven't tapped into in years. What an amazing sight to see. Seeing one of those once-in-a-while type of players that really gets it. Caleb Young, though. really gets it.
TRACY – The motivation was there for the Sierra Timberwolves to bounce back from a pair of losses on the opening day of the NorCal Classic softball tournament on Friday.
It was all Manteca High in both divisions of Friday's Valley Oak League meet between the Buffaloes and East Union Lancers, with Manteca earning a pair of victories with a 100-69 boys win and a 118-51 win on the girls side.
TRACY – East Union's softball team could not channel the performance that lifted them over Notre Dame High, putting together a lackluster performance in a lopsided 8-1 loss to Clovis High Friday in the NorCal Classic Tournament's platinum division action.
Finishing the contest the way they started it would probably not have been good enough for the Manteca Buffaloes, but Airenne Curry made sure that wouldn't be the case when her header found the back of the net, putting Manteca up for good in a 2-0 Valley Oak League win Thursday.
The three-run lead that Manteca High held over the visiting Sierra Timberwolves appeared to be plenty secure.
TRACY – The Weston Ranch Cougars were able to get the NorCal Classic softball tournament kicked off with a decent start, salvaging a day one split with a 7-6 win over Delhi Thursday.
The Weston Ranch tennis team was able to draw a little sweat from the Valley Oak League's best team, but a victory would escape them in the Cougars' 3-2 loss to Manteca High Thursday.
The fact that Cassie Waggy left third base early when tagging-up on a fly ball – costing her east Union Lancer squad an out during an early game rally – didn't even matter.
The Sierra Timberwolves spotted Gabby Hawkins an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, but Sierra's senior ace would not need it in the Timberwolves' 3-1 Valley Oak League win over Ceres High Wednesday.
Sierra High's boys track team flexed its muscle in a major way, dominating in every facet of its two Valley Oak League wins over Manteca and Weston Ranch highs Wednesday on Sierra's new all-weather track.
ATWATER – It was just a few weeks ago that first-year Ripon head coach Mitchell Evans was thrilled with his relatively young team scoring six runs in a 10-6 loss to the established Central Catholic program in a non-league game.
On Tuesday, Sierra High's sophomore soccer program kept an impressive season rolling in the right direction with a 4-0 win over Lathrop High in Valley Oak League play.
The only thing more Sierra High starting pitcher Dylan Debrouwer could have done was assist the umpire crew, pitching seven innings of shutout baseball and scoring the winning run in the Timberwolves' 1-0 Valley Oak League win over Manteca High Tuesday.
Manteca High was able to put together one of its more impressive rounds, but the Buffaloes still fell nearly 30 strokes shy of keeping pace with the East Union Lancers in Valley Oak League dual-match action Tuesday at Manteca Golf Course.
Two down, two more to go for Ripon High's boys water polo team.
Not even a disastrous start to her second nine could derail Brooke Riley's round Monday morning.
RIPON - When you're cousins, so close in age and interests you may as well be brothers, you develop certain advantages in the athletic arena.
Good news first: Ripon and Ripon Christian's volleyball teams each get to host a match for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
Valley Oak League champion Iris Carrilo and Sierra's Haley Silva placed first and second in Division III girls, while the Manteca boys and Ripon Christian girls teams earned top-three finishes during the Sac-Joaquin Section Subsection Meet held at Frogtown this past Saturday.
The Sac-Joaquin Section indicated at the start of the season that more emphasis would be placed on strength of schedule in seeding playoff brackets.
RIPON - Linden got its revenge Thursday night.
RIPON – Travis Vander Molen buried his head in his hands after misfiring on a point-blank header.
There's a special bond that exists between quarterback and coach, which makes this Friday's rivalry tilt between Manteca and East Union, well...
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch managed a goal 12 minutes into the second half and kept visiting Woodland out of the net to escape the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs with a 1-0 win Thursday night.
Kole Gonzales racked up six goals, as the Ripon boys water polo team routed Ceres 22-3 Thursday in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs held at Woodcreek High of Roseville.
It was a brand new experience for Weston Ranch, a bright-eyed team of underclassmen and few seniors that had lifted the program to new heights by qualifying for the postseason.
CERES - The last time the East Union and Central Valley boys soccer programs met in the playoffs their semifinal escalated into a shootout.
No need to speculate on who is in and who is out of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoff hunt for Manteca-area teams.
To be the champion Manteca would had to beat league champions in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III team playoffs.