When I saw this photo accompanying my column for the first time it provoked emotions inside of me I haven't tapped into in years. What an amazing sight to see. Seeing one of those once-in-a-while type of players that really gets it. Caleb Young, though. really gets it.
TRACY – The motivation was there for the Sierra Timberwolves to bounce back from a pair of losses on the opening day of the NorCal Classic softball tournament on Friday.
It was all Manteca High in both divisions of Friday's Valley Oak League meet between the Buffaloes and East Union Lancers, with Manteca earning a pair of victories with a 100-69 boys win and a 118-51 win on the girls side.
TRACY – East Union's softball team could not channel the performance that lifted them over Notre Dame High, putting together a lackluster performance in a lopsided 8-1 loss to Clovis High Friday in the NorCal Classic Tournament's platinum division action.
Finishing the contest the way they started it would probably not have been good enough for the Manteca Buffaloes, but Airenne Curry made sure that wouldn't be the case when her header found the back of the net, putting Manteca up for good in a 2-0 Valley Oak League win Thursday.
The three-run lead that Manteca High held over the visiting Sierra Timberwolves appeared to be plenty secure.
TRACY – The Weston Ranch Cougars were able to get the NorCal Classic softball tournament kicked off with a decent start, salvaging a day one split with a 7-6 win over Delhi Thursday.
The Weston Ranch tennis team was able to draw a little sweat from the Valley Oak League's best team, but a victory would escape them in the Cougars' 3-2 loss to Manteca High Thursday.
The fact that Cassie Waggy left third base early when tagging-up on a fly ball – costing her east Union Lancer squad an out during an early game rally – didn't even matter.
The Sierra Timberwolves spotted Gabby Hawkins an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, but Sierra's senior ace would not need it in the Timberwolves' 3-1 Valley Oak League win over Ceres High Wednesday.
Sierra High's boys track team flexed its muscle in a major way, dominating in every facet of its two Valley Oak League wins over Manteca and Weston Ranch highs Wednesday on Sierra's new all-weather track.
ATWATER – It was just a few weeks ago that first-year Ripon head coach Mitchell Evans was thrilled with his relatively young team scoring six runs in a 10-6 loss to the established Central Catholic program in a non-league game.
On Tuesday, Sierra High's sophomore soccer program kept an impressive season rolling in the right direction with a 4-0 win over Lathrop High in Valley Oak League play.
The only thing more Sierra High starting pitcher Dylan Debrouwer could have done was assist the umpire crew, pitching seven innings of shutout baseball and scoring the winning run in the Timberwolves' 1-0 Valley Oak League win over Manteca High Tuesday.
Manteca High was able to put together one of its more impressive rounds, but the Buffaloes still fell nearly 30 strokes shy of keeping pace with the East Union Lancers in Valley Oak League dual-match action Tuesday at Manteca Golf Course.
LATHROP - The offensive woes continued for Lathrop on Tuesday, and matters have been made worse with the Spartans' two best players out for the rest of the season with injuries.
Manteca resident Aysia Cortez's toughest challenger in Saturday's 3rd Annual Lady Eagle Invitational was the scale.
Sierra staved off a second-half barrage to complete its season sweep of visiting Oakdale in a 50-46 Valley Oak League victory Tuesday.
Three Lathrop wrestlers came up a match short of a medal in the Rumble in the Jungle VIII at Pitman High School in Turlock.
Chris Teevan turned the game into a chess match, just as he had promised, sending five fast-action guards at the reigning Valley Oak League champions.
Early on, East Union High kept pace with crosstown rival Buffaloes before a jam-packed crowd at Winter Gymnasium on Friday.
In his fifth season, coach Alex Nuanez has the Sierra High wrestling program trending in the right direction.
ESCALON – Aaron Paschini scored 10 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter, fueling Ripon's late surge in a 53-49 victory on Friday night.
RIPON – The Ripon Christian Knights may not have been at their best in Thursday's Trans-Valley League clash against visiting Hughson, but they did battle back after surviving an early cold spell.
STOCKTON – Weston Ranch and Lathrop could only combine for eight first-quarter points Thursday but the Cougars went on a roll the rest of the way and defeated the visiting Spartans 55-26 in Valley Oak League girls basketball action.
OAKDALE – It was about this time last year that Olivia Vezaldenos and the East Union girls basketball team began their playoff push.
HUGHSON – Ripon Christian kept its perfect Trans-Valley League record intact but may have lost a key player in the process.
LATHROP – Jaelen Ragsdale had his best performance in weeks on a night when Lathrop star Isaiah Ellis struggled just to stay on the court.
The Lathrop wrestling team swept its Valley Oak League double-dual meet with Weston Ranch and Kimball on Wednesday.
RIPON – Sean Broker burrowed down in the post, a tree standing tall above the Tribe. Austin Alger danced around the perimeter.