When the Weston Ranch girls basketball team beat Sierra High to close out the Valley Oak League a year ago, the Cougars were hoping a postseason berth would be around the corner, but that berth never came.
After a quick walkthrough of Woodward Park in Fresno, the annual site of the CIF State Cross Country Championships, Ripon High head coach Paul Calkins and his runners settled into their hotel rooms at around 5:30 Friday night for a little rest and relaxation.
Just a short time ago, the Weston Ranch boys basketball squad was the premier team in the Valley Oak League, and the Lathrop Spartans were opening the gym for the hoops program for the very first time. After failing to reach the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Cougars are poised to get back to the top of the league, whereas as Lathrop will be working through the exodus of one of its better players.
To be the champs, Ripon Christian's volleyball team must go through the champs.
Manteca and Sierra believe they have what it takes to make a run at the Valley Oak League championship this year.
Earning back-to-back outright championships in the Valley Oak League didn't come easily for Manteca High, and that was with dazzling point guard Kiwi Gardner setting gym floors ablaze.
The setters of the top teams in the Trans Valley and Southern leagues were voted the Most Valuable Players of each conference.
RIPON - The Knights didn't want to be one and done in this year's CIF State Northern California Division V volleyball championship tournament.
RIPON - It's an overused cliché, but the Ripon-St. Helena first-round match in the CIF State Northern California Division IV Championships Tuesday was truly played out like a heavyweight title bout.
In some ways, Ripon High volleyball coach Larry Keethe sees his team as an underdog despite its No. 1 ranking in the CIF Division IV State Championships, which begins today with Round 1 of the NorCal playoffs.
The Valley Oak League season saw the Sonora Wildcats and Oakdale Mustangs have their way along the schedule, but standout play from the other squads didn't go unrecognized, as the VOL's 2010 all-league team was recently announced.
The additions of Hilmar and Orestimba made the Trans Valley League even tougher Ripon High this year, and that was reflected in the all-conference selections.
DAVIS - The streak came to a halt for Ripon High varsity volleyball team.
DAVIS - They proudly held up four fingers.
One streak could continue, while another could come to an end.
Defense led to a balanced scoring effort for Weston Ranch's ill-stricken boys basketball team, which limited host Oakdale to single-digit scoring in every quarter and routed host Oakdale, 68-23.
Anand Hundal celebrated his 16th birthday in a big way.
Manteca High boys basketball coach Brett Lewis said there has been little interest from college coaches when it comes to Anand Hundal, a blossoming 6-foot-8 center whose game has grown leaps and bounds in the past year.
Ripon Christian rolls into Trans-Valley League with some positive momentum after its come-from-behind win at Atwater on Monday.
It's out with the old and in with the old in the Trans-Valley League.
Ripon used a balanced attack and pulled away after the first quarter Saturday to defeat visiting Franklin-Stockton 52-36 in non-league girls' basketball action.
Manteca heavyweight Steven Martinez took second place in the A bracket Saturday in the Lloyd C. Engel Wrestling Tournament at Escalon High School.
Brijanee Moore visited her old stomping grounds Friday night and did not disappoint in her much-anticipated return.
The fuel light flickered on for the Sierra High girls basketball team just as its bitter rival received two drops of nitro.
The Manteca Futbol Club will host the 3rd annual Riley Simmons 6v6 Shootout on Jan. 31 at Woodward Park.
A strong defensive effort buoyed the Lathrop girls basketball team's first Valley Oak League win of the season Friday when the Spartans toppled visiting Central Catholic, 33-29.
STOCKTON - Anand Hundal narrowly missed a triple-double for a second game in a row, but on Thursday it was Manteca's guards who stood tallest in a 70-59 win at Weston Ranch.
Sierra led East Union by 11 points at halftime and then silenced the partisan Dalben Center crowd with a 24-11 third quarter on the way to an 82-43 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Lathrop's season-long struggles continued at Central Catholic on Thursday.
Brijanee Moore made her anticipated debut with the Weston Ranch girls basketball team Wednesday.