WESTON RANCH - It was a 32-minute passing-of-the-torch ceremony, but defending Valley Oak League champion Weston Ranch didn't give up that torch so easily.
Head coach Scott Thomason is hoping that his Sierra Timberwolves are beginning to round into shape for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs with a week left in the Valley Oak League season.
RIPON - The presence of UCLA-bound senior forward Reeves Nelson did little to rattle the nerves of the Ripon Indians, who already faced the standout earlier this season.
WESTON RANCH - Manteca center Eric Godfrey terrorized Weston Ranch's post Friday, collecting 26 points to highlight the Buffaloes' 62-54 sophomore boys basketball victory.
Rachel McDaniel picked up her second foul just three minutes into Thursday night's contest between East Union and Sierra High at Dalben Center, and for a half it appeared the Timberwolves were primed to pick up a huge upset.
No one has been able to slow down Manteca sophomore guard Sharon Washington over the last two weeks, and she was still running full-speed ahead at the start of Thursday's Valley Oak League contest with Weston Ranch Thursday at Winter Gym.
SALIDA - Defending champion Modesto Christian has been blowing its Trans Valley League rivals out by over 40 points.
The Sierra High sophomore girls basketball team had a chance to claim at least a share of the Valley Oak League crown - and all but wrap up the title outright - with a win at East Union Thursday night.
Don't look now, but the East Union Lancers are putting together a nice little run.
One is a seasoned vet who has already wrestled at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament and is hoping to make it to state as a senior.
Sierra beating Oakdale wasn't much of a shocker.
SONORA - Weston Ranch's attempt at garnering its second straight Valley Oak League championship is beginning to fade after its 55-53 loss to Sonora Wednesday.
Teejay Gordon scored 16 points as the East Union sophomore basketball team raced away from Central Valley in a 56-40 win.
ELK GROVE – Weston Ranch travelled north to Rosemont High Saturday afternoon for the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Duals Tournament and was turned away after one match, falling to Placer, 39-19.
STOCKTON – Ripon High freshman Julianna Triplett made history Saturday afternoon, becoming the first 165-pound girls wrestler ever to capture a Sac-Joaquin Section championship.
Manteca and East Union are out for revenge, while Lathrop's second-year head coach returns to his hometown to lead the Spartans onto familiar grounds.
Brooke Riley stood shoulder to shoulder with a teammate, both staring down the third fairway at Manteca Park Golf Course.
LATHROP – Alfredo Reynaga hasn't wasted any time putting his stamp on the Lathrop High boys soccer program.
Weston Ranch isn't going to surprise anybody this year.
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.