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 - Ripon No. 3 batter Nick Price picked a good time to pick up a hit.
Kenny Wooten was not going to let a sore ankle slow him down.
Celina Cooper started her senior season with plenty of pop in her bat, but a pop in her knee is what ended it.
Yok Jing Ma and Mike Lopez's quest for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament doubles title was a delayed for a day after the opening rounds rained out at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville on Thursday.
Former Manteca High football standout Reggie Bell was among 11 rookie free agents signed by the Washington Redskins, the team announced Thursday.
Manteca will take on 10th seeded Ponderosa in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls soccer playoffs.
Sometimes, missing a shot works out too.
RIPON - Having two starting defenders out would put most teams at a disadvantage.
RIPON - The baby bounded across the soccer field toward her father, stumbling over her steps but smiling the whole way.
The Manteca High baseball team has a long road ahead in its attempt at gaining a second straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship.
Sierra (16-5) will have to wait until next season to get another crack at its Valley Oak League rivals.
East Union had a chit in the karma bank Wednesday night and picked the right time to get it back.
Marcus Montano and his booming right foot are taking the next step.
Comfortable first-round victories allowed the East Union and Manteca girls soccer programs to rest many of their regulars.
It was a return to prominence for the Sierra High baseball program.