Kelsey Johnston opened the season as one of Ripon High's key ingredients for a team hoping to make another lengthy push in the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason. By the time the season closed Johnston was the main ingredient of an impressive Indian playoff run and The Bulletin's 2009 All-Area Volleyball MVP.
Jarrod Daniels finished what Daniel Teicheira started at the beginning of this decade.
SALIDA – The Manteca Buffaloes wanted to close out its non-league schedule in the always-challenging Modesto Christian Holiday Hoop Classic for a reason and its 81-68 win over San Leandro High got things going in the right direction.
TRACY – The East Union Lancers were the defending champions of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Basketball Tournament, but that did not help the squad in this season's tournament opener, dropping their first round game 47-46 to the Linden Lions.
Braian Gomez's strength as a leader also served as a weakness.
With the graduation of two of arguably the best girls golfers in East Union golf history, the Lancers had huge spikes to fill following three straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship runs.
ELK GROVE – The Ripon Indians had to conquer a double-overtime mountain to get to the Consumnes Oaks Tournament championship, but beating undefeated Argonaut High for the title was not in the plans as Ripon dropped the finale 59-32 Wednesday.
Sierra High standouts Jena Anderson and Stephanie Vanni put together a season that left the Valley Oak League's doubles teams in an unfair position of knowing they were going to lose.
Not even the running clock in the fourth quarter could slow down the Manteca Buffaloes, who trampled Buhach Colony of Atwater 76-31 Tuesday at Winter Gymnasium.
ELK GROVE – Sierra High held a slim three-point halftime lead, but opened the second half focused and pulled away from the Lathrop Spartans 50-32 during consolation bracket action in the Consumnes Oaks Tournament Tuesday.
MERCED – The Sierra Timberwolves were able to get another solid performance outside from Trevor Nogueira and cruised to a non-league victory over the host Golden Valley Eagles.
WATERFORD - Lathrop High continued its successful preseason run through the junior varsity circuit Saturday in the Wingo Tournament.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League's individual title, lead Sierra's proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.
ELK GROVE - First-year varsity Cosumnes Oaks got visiting Ripon's attention early by taking an 11-9 lead into the second quarter.
Amber Parker may or may not have been the best female runner at Sierra High during the cross country season.
The future of girls Valley Oak League basketball was on display Tuesday night at Sierra High School with two sophomores accounting for 68 points in a thrilling 61-56 win for visiting East Union over the Timberwolves.
Weston Ranch's girls basketball team officially clinched a playoff berth for a sixth straight year Tuesday night with a 67-40 rout at Manteca, but the Cougars are looking to raise the bar for the program.
The Lathrop High girls basketball team doesn't have a playoff run to look forward to, but it isn't going out without a fight.
At this point last year and the 23 before that, coaches were busy crunching numbers to see where their teams could potentially land in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
It had been known for weeks that Ripon Christian was going to secure the outright Southern League championship without much resistance.
STOCKTON – Sierra jumped out to a quick but not-so comfortable lead thanks to three early forfeits Saturday during the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Team Dual Championships at Lincoln High.
STOCKTON – Weston Ranch senior Alyssa Cantu will be making her third straight trip to the state tournament.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch was able to limit Manteca High center Michael Hatfield this time around, but the Cougars had no answer for the Buffaloes' two best guards.
Victoria Burke could likely make Sierra High history today.
Lathrop trailed by as much as 10 in the third quarter at Sonora but came back to squeak out a well-earned 64-58 victory Friday night.
LATHROP – Nick McGill came through in the clutch during Thursday's Valley Oak League finale between East Union and Lathrop.
Sierra was one of the tougher and more talented squads in the Valley Oak League this year.
East Union's girls basketball team was making it a habit to start games sluggishly this season.
Senior night did little to distract Weston Ranch's girls basketball team Thursday night.
Ripon has been competitive for most of the season but doesn't have the wins to show it.