If there was a perfect way for the three-time defending Valley Oak League champions to tip off their regular season, the Ceres Bulldogs would likely say they witnessed that performance in the East Union Lancers' 52-29 win.
RIPON - Despite holding a five-point lead at halftime, Ripon High watched its lead over Linden dwindle down to a single point midway through the third quarter.
It was not the Sierra Timberwolves' best effort, but it was good enough to push them to a 1-0 mark in Valley Oak League play with a 47-36 home win over the Sonora Wildcats.
OAKDALE - The Manteca Buffaloes held a slim 24-17 halftime lead and never relinquished it during a 45-34 Valley Oak League opening win over the Oakdale Mustangs Tuesday.
Joseph Berry led three scorers in double figures with 14 points, and the Sierra High sophomore boys basketball team repelled the relentless Sonora Wildcats for a 48-47 home win to open the Valley Oak League season.
Manteca High junior Kiwi Gardner could miss a handful of games or forfeit the rest of his athletic eligibility depending on Sac-Joaquin Section sanctions. He will likely not play in tonight's Valley Oak League opener with visiting Oakdale.
Manteca High's boys basketball team opens Valley Oak League play tonight against visiting Oakdale with a pedestrian 7-4 preseason mark, but do not be deceived into believing the Buffaloes are an average squad.
Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
Manteca and Oakdale entered Wednesday's Valley Oak League soccer contest tied in the standing, and the Mustangs escaped Guss Schmiedt Field with a 5-2 victory and sole possession of second place.
Manteca is on a three-match winning streak after thumping Kimball 8-1 in Tracy on Wednesday.
TRACY - Mahir Pepic and Haley Silva won the varsity boys and girls races without much of a challenge in the second Valley Oak League cluster meet Tuesday at Eagal Lakes.
Rich Posz hoped that his East Union volleyball team's upset of Oakdale last Thursday would have a carry-over effect in Tuesday's duel with first-place Central Catholic.
RIPON - Thomas Sidtikun scored two goals and assisted on a third Tuesday to help keep defending league champion Ripon in first place in the Trans-Valley League with a 3-0 win over Escalon at Stouffer Field.
Brooke Riley looked to be on her way to another outstanding round after a birdie-birdie start in East Union's Valley Oak League match with Sierra on Tuesday.
Elizabeth Tolbert held off East Union's Maddie Yslava to win a hard-earned three-set match and highlighted an 8-1 victory for visiting Manteca on Tuesday.
East Union's game plan was to apply pressure on the Manteca back line from the opening whistle Monday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
With help from East Union, Weston Ranch finds itself comfortably ahead of the pack at the midway point of the Valley Oak League boys soccer season.
Jacqui Uecker collected 12 kills, seven digs, two aces and a block to help Ripon ward off Riverbank 25-12, 10-25, 25-12, 25-16 in a Trans-Valley League volleyball match on Monday.
Manteca kept up a relentless attack from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer Friday and defeated host Lathrop 48-6 in Valley Oak League sophomore action at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca swept East Union to open Valley Oak League play.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.
Sierra remains on the heels of Valley Oak League-leading East Union after notching a decisive 242-271 win over Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.