Then soon-to-be freshman Jaqi Gutierrez was at a crossroads after graduating from Shasta School.
WESTON RANCH - While most of the headlines have gone the way of Manteca and Sierra thus far, Weston Ranch, the reigning Valley Oak League champion, has quietly gone about its business.
The "S" word can now re-enter Manteca High's vocabulary.
WESTON RANCH - A buzzer-beating tip-in sealed the Weston Ranch sophomore basketball team's fate Wednesday night in a 53-52 loss to Sonora.
Once bruising Oakdale center Jennie Paugh sat down with her second foul late the first quarter, Sierra stepped up.
WESTON RANCH - Weston Ranch, East Union and Sonora gathered in south Stockton Tuesday night for a Valley Oak League tri-meet, and the host Cougars came away with a pair of victories, 46-31, over the Lancers and 48-28 over Sonora.
WATSONVILLE - The Manteca High wrestling team had an outstanding weekend at the Apple Cider Classic hosted by Wastonville, finishing 3-2 in the team duals event despite wrestling just nine, and even eight at times, to finish third overall.
SONORA - Weston Ranch was already behind the 8-ball with two starters sitting out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons, and after falling behind 13-0 at the start there was just no way to get around it.
RIPON - Up 59-37 with five and a half minutes left in the fourth, Ripon weathered a furious 17-2 Calaveras run down the stretch to pull out a 67-56 win.
CERES - Lathrop High head coach Dimos Birakos had both good and bad news to report following the Spartan's junior varsity tri-meet against Sierra and Central Valley Tuesday night.
With a 14-game regular-season schedule, it's never too early to start talking championship and playoff implications.
WESTON RANCH - Lathrop High's wrestling team finished 2-3 at the Junior Varsity Cougar Duals Saturday but were just a few points away from capturing the title.
As Manteca head coach Andrea Hiatt pointed out in her postgame comments following a frustrating 64-54 home setback to Oakdale Thursday night, the Valley Oak League season is here, and the time for excuses has passed.
SONORA - It's never easy to win at Sonora, but that's exactly what the East Union freshman girls basketball team did Thursday night, 36-25.
STOCKTON - If all goes as planned, the Valley Oak League will remain an eight-team league with all five Manteca Unified schools still in the mix.
Manteca registered its second 9-0 win of the week Thursday when it shut out visiting East Union in Valley Oak League action.
Francisco Cisneros summed up Weston Ranch's final nonleague match of the season in one word:
Los Banos checked into its nonleague match with visiting East Union holding a deceiving 4-6 record.
Jack Miller recently retired from Manteca High, where the History teacher spent more than 30 years as an assistant coach with the football team. Miller was a part of four Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams and was twice voted Best of Manteca's Best Local Coach. Now City of Manteca Hall of Famer pays close attention to his yards, his golf game and granddaughter.
The Manteca High boys soccer team took full advantage of its first practice in nearly a week.
Ripon Christian laughs last.
RIPON - The hole was just too deep for Ripon's volleyball team to climb out of.
East Union's grueling opening week of the season may have done it some good.
Sierra's girls golf team opened the Valley Oak League with a statement Tuesday at Dryden Park Golf Course in Modesto.
East Union's 8-1 victory, its first of the Valley Oak League season, looks one-sided at the surface, but visiting Lathrop made the Lancers work for it on Tuesday.
Hairo Silva recorded his second hat trick of the season, and Lathrop needed every single one of those goals to top host Beyer of Modesto 4-3 on Monday.
Ripon got its revenge against neighboring rival Ripon Christian on Saturday, edging the Knights in the championship match of their own tournament, the Ripon Christian Soccer Classic, on Saturday.
The Lathrop sophomores never trailed in a 33-6 win over visiting Liberty Ranch in non-league action Friday night at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca High's girls tennis team got some valuable court time and, best of all, new T-shirts in its annual trip to the California Classic in Fresno.
East Union was slow to start for the third straight night.