TUOLOMNE - They call it the great equalizer.
DAVIS - Ripon Christian had not lost a postseason game, let alone a match, leading up to its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship-round meeting against top-seeded Bradshaw Christian.
DAVIS - Ripon has proven time and again that it can beat Christian Brothers.
Eric Reis is a fan of the Sac-Joaquin Section's new playoff format.
Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Ripon junior Nick Sharp shot a 1-over 36 during Thursday's Trans Valley League victory over visiting Riverbank at the Spring Creek Golf & Country Club.
East Union's playoff chances took a big hit Thursday when it dropped a 5-4 decision to visiting Sonora.
One pitching gem followed another for Ripon on Thursday.
Chris Schmitz led Sierra for a second straight day, and the Timberwolves completed their season sweep of Manteca High 227-242 Wednesday at Manteca Park Golf Course.
RIPON - Sometimes the wind blows your way and sometimes it does not.
MORGAN HILL – Ty Wells stood poolside, cooled by the shade of a pop-up tent.
Lathrop's girls varsity track and field team came to compete against Sierra at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium Wednesday afternoon.
Freshman pitcher Alexis Erich twirled a one-hitter, and Jordan Vinson swatted three doubles in East Union's 11-0 mercy-shortened win at Lathrop on Wednesday.
Coming off two disappointing losses to Hughson, Ripon rebounded nicely Wednesday with a 9-1 thumping of visiting Modesto Christian.
Manteca's top two singles players Yok-Jing Ma and Mike Lopez didn't waste time picking up wins on Wednesday during the Buffaloes' 8-1 Valley Oak League victory over cross-town rival Sierra.
Sierra's boys and girls swimming teams didn't have much struggle picking up a pair of victories Tuesday afternoon over Valley Oak League opponents Weston Ranch and Lathrop.
Sierra pitcher Kyle Oden admitted he didn't have his best stuff working for him in Tuesday's crosstown clash with visiting East Union, but he more than made up for it with the bat.
Michael Garibay plated the game's first run in the opening inning of a Valley Oak League matchup of title contenders in Oakdale.
LATHROP - Weston Ranch scored the game's first four runs on Wednesday, but four runs were not going to get it done.
Sierra High's playoff push got off on the right foot Tuesday evening with a blast off the left foot of Sydnee Canales.