FRESNO – Only a select few had the privilege of grinding out another race during t the CIF State Cross Country Championships at Woodward Park Saturday and Sierra High senior John Bowers was the only Manteca area athlete to make the cut.
On the last big play of a game full of them, Jarrod Daniels made a statement while sealing Sierra High's thrilling 40-39 victory over No. 6 Benicia Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Offense might win games, but it was defense that allowed Sierra to hold off a prolific Benicia passing attack that was unlike anything the team has seen so far this year.
It's one thing to run the opposing team's offense during scout-team practice, and it's another guiding a team to a second-round Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football playoff victory.
Fortunes have followed the Ripon High volleyball team for the majority of its 2009 season, but the squads' blessings took new heights when its second-round opponent, Notre Dame High of Salinas, knocked off No. 2 seed Salesian, handing the Indians home court advantage for the CIF NorCal Championship match Saturday.
The Sierra Timberwolves have reason to be thankful.
Shalane Jackson gave a nice glimpse of what to expect from her sophomore season, leading East Union High to a season-opening 49-34 win over the visiting Bear Creek Bruins Wednesday at the Dalben Center.
The loss of record-holding goal scorer Eric Cavanaugh had little effect on Ripon this season.
RIPON - Ripon Christian showed it more than deserved its berth into the CIF Northern California Division V State Volleyball Championships, yet the Knights were unable to extend their magical season after a four-game loss (11-25, 25-22, 13-25 and 18-25) to Castilleja of Palo Alto.
COTTONWOOD - The trip ended up being much longer than the match.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch Cougars had a strong sense of how they wanted their season to get underway, but the McNair Eagles had a different agenda beating the Cougars 54-50 in both teams' season opener.
Tiger Shelton sees Ripon Christian's first-round draw in the CIF State Northern California Championships as a good news-bad news proposition.
Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff opener between No. 8 Manteca and No. 9 Casa Roble at Guss Schmiedt Field didn't start out to be the game it was anticipated to be.
It was business as usual Friday for Sierra High.
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.
Manteca has finally broken though against Kimball, already a Valley Oak League powerhouse in just its fourth season as a varsity club.
Through the years, the Ripon-Hilmar girls soccer rivalry has been the stuff of legend – tug-o-wars for league championships and dramatic playoff matches.
Ripon won four out of the five doubles matches at Riverbank and returned home with a 5-4 victory and their perfect Trans-Valley League record still intact.
East Union showed no ill effects from a lineup change in Wednesday's 8-1 Valley Oak League victory at Sierra, claiming all but the No. 3 doubles match.
One streak has ended while another continues for Sierra.
New program records were set by Lathrop High's girls soccer team Thursday.
Things are looking up for East Union with the return of Nick Roundsville to the roster.
It was a tighter meet than Rick Cuevas had anticipated, but the end result was more or less what Manteca High's first-year track and field coach expected.
RIPON - The Ripon High enjoyed near-perfect baseball conditions on Wednesday.
The Sierra High boys and girls swim teams improved to 2-0 in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday after topping crosstown rival East Union. The boys won 95-74, while the girls triumphed handily, 114-55.
Sydnee Canales and Leah Manuleleua bumped and banged, pushed and shoved, jostling for every ball that traveled through the middle of the field.
Matt Rose edged out Justin Morrish by a stroke for low-medalist honors, but the team scores weren't as close.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
Defending champion Kimball proved to be the team to beat once again in the Valley Oak League on Tuesday, but the gap between the Jaguars and the rest of the field doesn't appear to be as wide as it was in 2013.