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.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The Manteca High freshman football team used three second quarter touchdowns to blow past East Union High 56-0 in the Valley Oak League's final contest for the season.
When the Sierra High sophomore football team took care of business in a 28-0 thrashing of the Weston Ranch Cougars they had no idea what its reward would be.
Sierra High knew what it had to do to close out its Valley Oak League season, and there was nothing the Weston Ranch Cougars could do about it during a 35-14 league championship clinching victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
It wasn't a matter of if but when Ripon Christian was going to bust loose against winless Turlock Christian in a Southern League match Monday.
Manteca High athletic director Dave Smith announced last Friday that the school's varsity boys and girls basketball coaches have stepped down.
East Union's Cherish Burks hit the fifth pitch of the game over Manteca's left-field fence for a leadoff home run, setting the tone for a 12-1 Valley Oak League victory on Friday.
Scott Tolman broke a school record and turned in two Sac-Joaquin Section-qualifying times for the frosh-soph trials to help Sierra's boys edge host Manteca 88-84 in Friday's Valley Oak League opener for both rival schools.
One sweet goal from Jessica Carmona and a pivotal save on a penalty kick by Samantha Brooks were two big plays that lifted Ripon past host Riverbank 3-0 in a Trans-Valley League girls soccer win Friday.
East Union ended its pre-league schedule the same way it started it, with a frustrating one-run, extra-inning loss.
The Buffaloes' tennis squad has dominated other Manteca Unified School District programs in recent history.
Manteca fielded the younger team for a Valley Oak League match at Lathrop on Thursday, but it was the visiting Buffaloes who played like the more experienced club.
Gabe Chavez kept the East Union baseball squad in the game with superb dealing from the bump Thursday.
Ripon junior Nick Sharp was 4-under going into the ninth hole at Stevinson Ranch during Thursday's Trans Valley League showdown against Hilmar (4-3).
East Union made what was supposed to be a challenging week of Valley Oak League matches look easy, capping it off with Thursday's 5-1 domination of defending champion Kimball in Tracy.
One swing of the bat was all it took for Oakdale.
East Union freshman Alexis Erich not only delivered a stout performance from the circle on Wednesday, but she also blasted a solo home run as the Lancers extended their unbeaten streak to eight after a 6-2 Valley Oak League victory on the road against Kimball.
Lucas Garcia recorded the first win of the season for East Union, and he also made a game-ending catch in foul territory in front of visiting Lodi's dugout on Wednesday.
East Union coach Todd Dunaway considers Lathrop's track and field team a force to be reckoned with this season after the two teams split their Valley Oak League opener Wednesday.