It was more than just the final match of a long Valley Oak League season, it was the final tune-up for both Sierra and Manteca high's going into Tuesday's VOL Championships at Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp.
OAKDALE – The Sierra Timberwolves could have folded after falling behind early, but they hung tough and battled, falling to the Oakdale Mustangs 7-2 in Valley Oak League play Thursday.
LATHROP – After four attempts at getting in their makeup game, East Union and Lathrop finally met up and it was all Lancers in their 14-4 Valley Oak League sophomore softball win over the Spartans Thursday.
Usually when the Valley Oak League season ends and Sierra and Oakdale high's track and field programs prepare to do battle there is something worthwhile at stake. Nothing changed with this year's regular season finale, as Sierra was able to outshine Oakdale on three of the four levels of competition taking a trio of VOL championships Wednesday.
RIPON – Earlier in the season the Ripon Christian golf team dealt the Ripon Indians a difficult defeat, but the Indians were able to get a taste of revenge with their 218-242 Trans Valley League win over the Knights Wednesday at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club.
East Union High's golf team turned in exceptional round for the majority of the squads in the Valley Oak League, but its effort Wednesday was only good enough to stay close to the league leading Oakdale Mustangs in a 208-217 loss at Manteca Golf Course.
CERES - In what was a complete team effort, the Sierra Timberwolves made it a season sweep of the Ceres Bulldogs, winning their Wednesday Valley Oak League battle 6-4 to shake the league's foundation up even further.
With her future already locked up, there is one thing left on Manteca High Rileigh Mankin's to-do list to make her senior year even sweeter.
HUGHSON – With a single, a double and a triple already in the books, Ripon High's Jared Macedo calmly strolled to the plate and put the finishing touches on his cycle when he blasted a homerun in his final at bat of the Indians' 17-3 dismantling of Hughson High Wednesday in Trans Valley League play.
RIPON – A 6-0 result in the two club's first meeting was supposed to be the preface for Ripon Christian and Hughson High's final match up of the season, but the Knights had other intentions, battling Hughson to a 3-1 Trans Valley League loss Wednesday.
Usually after a few seasons of learning the ropes and fine-tuning their games, players hold the possibility of becoming one of the team's low scorers by the time their senior season rolls around. Nothing could be further from the case for Ripon High's Andrew Bonner and East Union's Will Brink, two of the area's standout freshman golfers.
CERES – An idle Manteca High squad left the Sierra Timberwolves all alone in first place of the Valley Oak League after Sierra's 3-0 win over the Ceres Bulldogs Tuesday.
The Sierra High baseball team's pivotal two-game set against Ceres ended in similar fashion to the way it started in Ceres Friday - with a loss, this time by an 8-7 margin in eighth innings Monday, and with too many runners left on base.
Oakdale pitcher Brianna Parker gave East Union a rare opportunity to score after booting Kourtni McCall's soft grounder to start the bottom of the seventh inning of Monday's battle for sole rights of first place in the Valley Oak League at Northgate Softball Complex.
RIPON - It was virtually two different games bunched up into one in the final regular-season meeting between Ripon Christian and host Ripon Monday.
Allie Walljasper is batting 1.000 when it comes to the Valley Oak League's MVP honor.
Manteca (24-3) cruised past two Sierra Valley Conference opponents, while Vista del Lago (26-5) held off challengers from the Valley Oak League in the first two rounds of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
There's Joe Menzel, arms pointed to the sky, clutching the game ball.
Neil MacDannald isn't ready to name a starter for Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship.
TURLOCK - The Sierra boys track team won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV track and field championship Thursday at Warriors Stadium, but the Timberwolves accomplished the feat without winning a gold medal.
Times are set. Events have been scheduled. And trucks, trunks and RVs have been loaded down with coolers, swim bags and pop-up tents.
Go ahead, Lady Lancers, take a victory lap.
LODI – As soon as Andrew Schantz crushed a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday during the third and deciding game of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV best-of-three semifinal series, Vista del Lago's supporters reacted as if Schantz just hit a walk-off bomb.
From the time I was 6 years old rolling around in the mud behind the bleachers at my brother's football games I wanted to play football.
These make-or-break moments are often defined by big, imposing aces with even larger personalities, rocket arms and legitimate college and pro prospects.
LODI - Do not bet against Manteca with Jake Corn on the mound – or if you do, do not let Corn know about it.
TURLOCK - Manteca High teammates Carl Chandler and Marcus Montano were the top two seeded high jumpers going into Thursday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Trials at Cal State Stanislaus' Warrior Stadium.
One of the season's indelible moments is of Sierra's Sydnee Canales lacing a deep left-footed shot on goal to earn a draw at Oakdale.
Clay Cuneo's mind was made up.