TUOLOMNE - They call it the great equalizer.
DAVIS - Ripon Christian had not lost a postseason game, let alone a match, leading up to its Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship-round meeting against top-seeded Bradshaw Christian.
DAVIS - Ripon has proven time and again that it can beat Christian Brothers.
Eric Reis is a fan of the Sac-Joaquin Section's new playoff format.
Sierra will venture into familiar territory Friday when the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs kick off but will wear an unfamiliar target on its back.
Back in September it seemed like a nine-point loss to a middle-of-the-pack Trans Valley League team, now Ripon High's 32-23 win over the Summerville Bears glares as the only blemish on an otherwise perfect Summerville season.
Area goal leader Braian Gomez was one of five Sierra Timberwolves named to the all-Valley Oak League first team.
Neither squad has anything to prove.
A strong showing on the 2009 season lifted Sierra High into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Volleyball Championships and some of the squads' top individual performers were recognized.
RIPON - Just getting to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV girls volleyball championship at UC Davis Thursday would have thrilled the seventh-seeded Summerville Bears, but the berth merely seemed like business as usual for No. 3 in its 3-0 sweep over the visiting Mother Lode League champions.
AUBURN - Ripon Christian is back in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V title match for the third straight year with a chance to win a third straight title.
For the fourth straight season, in-town rivals Ripon and Ripon Christian are in the Sac-Joaquin Section's final-four round.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
Ripon's No. 2 Robbie Figeroid wasn't able to finish his round Thursday afternoon at the Spring Creek Golf Course after injuring his neck on the fifth hole and not being able to continue.
Manteca got back on the winning track Thursday as it knocked off Lathrop 8-1 during a Valley Oak League matchup.
Sierra senior Allie Walljasper and East Union freshman Alexis Erich dueled for seven innings Wednesday and yielded three hits apiece, but in the end it was Erich's Lancers who eked out a 2-1 Valley Oak League win.
RIPON - Ripon Christian appears to have fully recovered from what head coach Kevin Tameling called "dead legs."
Ripon Christian head coach John De Visser was well aware that ace pitcher Connor McGovern was on his game Wednesday against visiting Denair.
It was a back-and-forth meet Wednesday between the Sierra and Kimball girls track and field teams, two early favorites for the Valley Oak League championship.
With some of its veterans a bit off their game Wednesday, Ripon looked to its newer players to step up against rival Ripon Christian in a nonleague match at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club.
Patience proved to be a virtue for host Sierra on Tuesday as the Timberwolves drew 11 walks in just four innings and defeated Kimball 13-3 in a mercy-rule victory in Valley Oak League baseball action before the rain rolled in.
After opening the Valley Oak League schedule with losses to two contending programs, Manteca High's swim teams picked up its first victories while braving the cold weather Tuesday in a double dual against visiting Lathrop and Weston Ranch.
The rain did little to slow Sierra's girls soccer team on Tueseday.
Six standouts representing the Manteca Futbol Club are being recognized for their talents off the pitch as well as on it.
The area's two best high school girls wrestlers competed against some of the best in the nation this past weekend and came away with All-America honors.
Sierra High senior Anna Cardenas is one of 51 student-athletes to be awarded a scholarship by the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Ripon's boys and girls swim teams won all but two races at East Union on Friday, but the host Lancers were able to make things interesting with their superior depth.
STOCKTON - Allie Walljasper struck out 14 in six innings, Julie Deanda and Maddie Penner each rapped two-run hits and Devi Coglio legged out a home run in Sierra's 8-0 win at Weston Ranch on Friday.