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.
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.
RIPON - Ripon Christian and West Campus squared off as two evenly matched teams in the first round Sac-Joaquin Division IV volleyball playoffs.
Sac-Joaquin Section banners are within reach for the Weston Ranch and Ripon Christian boys soccer teams.
Two down, two more to go for Ripon High's boys water polo team.
Not even a disastrous start to her second nine could derail Brooke Riley's round Monday morning.
RIPON - When you're cousins, so close in age and interests you may as well be brothers, you develop certain advantages in the athletic arena.
Good news first: Ripon and Ripon Christian's volleyball teams each get to host a match for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
Valley Oak League champion Iris Carrilo and Sierra's Haley Silva placed first and second in Division III girls, while the Manteca boys and Ripon Christian girls teams earned top-three finishes during the Sac-Joaquin Section Subsection Meet held at Frogtown this past Saturday.
The Sac-Joaquin Section indicated at the start of the season that more emphasis would be placed on strength of schedule in seeding playoff brackets.
RIPON - Linden got its revenge Thursday night.
RIPON – Travis Vander Molen buried his head in his hands after misfiring on a point-blank header.
There's a special bond that exists between quarterback and coach, which makes this Friday's rivalry tilt between Manteca and East Union, well...
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch managed a goal 12 minutes into the second half and kept visiting Woodland out of the net to escape the quarterfinals of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs with a 1-0 win Thursday night.
Kole Gonzales racked up six goals, as the Ripon boys water polo team routed Ceres 22-3 Thursday in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II playoffs held at Woodcreek High of Roseville.
It was a brand new experience for Weston Ranch, a bright-eyed team of underclassmen and few seniors that had lifted the program to new heights by qualifying for the postseason.
CERES - The last time the East Union and Central Valley boys soccer programs met in the playoffs their semifinal escalated into a shootout.