It didn't take long for East Union High alumnus Wade Morten to adjust to the college ranks, and hitting baseballs with a wooden bat was part of the challenge.
MODESTO - Three Riponites qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Individual Tournament.
It was more than just a gathering for all of the athletes in the Valley Oak Leagues' nine track and field programs. The VOL championships at Sierra High Saturday were the final opportunity for participants to win a league title and to continue their 2010 season for another few weeks.
LATHROP – The Valley Oak League has one of the deepest group of softball teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section, and the Sierra Timberwolves are poised to be one of the league's representatives this postseason taking another step towards their goal in a 15-0 win over Lathrop High Friday.
ESCALON – After a meeting Ripon High felt they should have won this past Wednesday, the Escalon Cougars decided to display some separation, destroying the Indians 15-0 Friday in Trans Valley League play.
Playing catch isn't always as easy as it looks.
Stephanie Vanni found herself directly in front of the goalie just seconds into Sierra's Valley Oak League deciding contest with Weston Ranch. Vanni knew exactly what to do, pounding the Timberwolves' first attempt into the net for an instant 1-0 lead and a smooth path to a 5-0 win and the squads second consecutive league championship.
CERES – After battling the best singles players in the Valley Oak League for the regular season, Manteca High's Alex McAdams and Alex Barragan teamed up for a quality ride, outlasting some 20-plus doubles teams for the VOL doubles championship Thursday at Ceres High.
There wasn't anything left but pride at stake by the time East Union and Manteca kicked off their final Valley Oak League match of the season Thursday night at Guss Schmiedt Field.
Things weren't looking good for Steven Gigli after he turned the ball over to East Union head coach Dan Triglia in the third inning and made the short walk from the mound to shortstop.
The East Union Lancers seem to have no respect of their opponents' capabilities, destroying their second consecutive Valley Oak league opponent by nine runs with the Lancers' 9-0 win over the visiting Weston Ranch Cougars Thursday.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights scored two in the first for a quick lead and wouldn't surrender it, holding off a late Modesto Christian rally for a 5-2 Trans Valley League win Thursday.
East Union's Zach Carrillo came a base on balls and a hits batsman away from a perfect game, dominating the Ceres Bulldogs in a 7-0 Valley Oak League win for the Lancers Thursday.
RIPON – Ripon High's Ryan Durrer came to the plate as the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but could not hand the Escalon Cougars their first loss in over a month, striking out and sending Escalon home with a 6-4 Trans Valley League win.
Oakdale High junior Brianna Parker completed her string of dominance against Manteca schools in a big way.
Ripon Christian has re-established itself as a force among Sac-Joaquin Section small-school powers following eight straight losing seasons.
The Ripon High boys soccer team didn't just lose the area's top player from a year ago.
Kevin Mendiola wheeled back with his right foot and took the ball off a bounce, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
An undefeated league record and a playoff win would be seen as successful for most teams. Ripon Christian did that in the 2013-2014 season, and for the Knights it was an off year.
In this her 10th year in the Sierra volleyball program, Timberwolves coach Trinity Johnson is looking to improve on last year's 1-13 Valley Oak League record – 3-19 overall – and she is not afraid to think outside the box to do it.
The Manteca Futbol Club Flash under-12 girls soccer team might not have a flashy Northern California ranking, but that could soon change.
It is not often that a team has momentum after graduating its core players, but the East Union volleyball team is riding high going into this year's Valley Oak League campaign.
Justin Coenenberg is calling all former Buffaloes to reunite at Manteca High's Guss Schmiedt Field this Friday.
There are some new volleyball coaches west of I-5 this year. Stacia Stricker will assume the reins at Weston Ranch and Pamela Adams is the new coach at Lathrop.
Alyssa Burch, Beth Aschenbrenner, Mildred Perez and Chelsea Bruch were all freshmen during the 2011-2012 volleyball season.
Alex Hernandez slowed to a jog and eventually a brisk walk while running sprints with his Manteca High soccer teammates on Thursday.
The fall sports season is officially underway for local high schools.
Some youth football teams pattern themselves after the high school they feed. The Ripon Chiefs take that to a whole new level – they are part of a league of feeder teams that will face each other in high school.
Dakota Conners was in Cooperstown, N.Y. serving as an assistant coach for a local youth baseball team competing in a prestigious tournament when he earned his greatest achievement.