FRESNO – The 2010 CIF State Cross Country Championships Saturday marked several firsts for the Ripon High program.
FRESNO – On this cold and gray morning, Ricky Morris was at his very best.
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.
Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers players took turns taking pictures with their prizes on the 18th green at Manteca Park Golf Course.
Ripon had two golfers finish in the top 10 in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at Micke Grove Golf Links, but both played their final round of the season.
It all comes down to Wednesday's winner-take-all Valley Oak League finale between cross-town foes Manteca and East Union.
Sealy McAdams and Elizabeth Tolbert's last two matches in Thursday's Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament held at East Union had entirely different endings.
Alyssa Burch hosted another block party at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Thursday.
Orestimba scored the first and final goals, but Ripon Christian did more than enough damage in between to leave Newman with a 5-2 victory and at least a share of the Southern League championship.
Injury-hampered Ripon gave up two second-half goals by Ulises Ramirez on set pieces and are now in danger of not repeating as league champions no thanks to Thursday's 2-0 loss at Escalon.
Gerardo Romero scored two goals and assisted another in East Union's 4-1 triumph at Sierra on Wednesday.
Weston Ranch's coronation looked as if it was going to be delayed.
Manteca had two game-point opportunities in an attempt to force a fifth set against visiting Weston Ranch but came up short in a 20-25, 25-27, 25-16, 30-32 defeat Wednesday.
East Union won the Valley Oak League title and Brooke Riley is the MVP.
Tuesday's Trans-Valley League rematch against Ripon was sure to have been circled on Riverbank's calendar.
TRACY - The road to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs just got a little longer for the East Union volleyball team.
Kevin Bolding summed up Manteca's trip to Oakdale as a "tough night."
Sierra just missed out on having another finalist in the Valley Oak League Singles Tournament.