WESTON RANCH – On paper, the Lathrop Spartans weren't supposed to stand a chance when they took the field to face the Weston Ranch Cougars on Friday night.
STOCKTON - Pardon the Lancers for being a bit too zealous Friday at Podesto Field. The 32-15 non-league win over Bear Creek was their first since November 2, 2007.
RIPON – Down 15-0 in the first quarter against a tough Summerville squad, Ripon battened down the hatches behind quarterback Alex Gustin and rode the offensive line to a hard-fought 32-23 win.
A highly anticipated match between Sierra No. 1 doubles tandem Stephanie Vanni and Jena Anderson and East Union No. 1 Shalane Jackson and Klasey Kachalkin went down Thursday at East Union High, and although Sierra's best was challenged for the first time this season, Anderson and Vanni prevailed, 10-5.
For 20 minutes, Lathrop, competing in its first varsity season without seniors, hung tough.
RIPON – For Sam Conway, Karen Fredricks and Megan Talbot, three Ripon High juniors who have experienced the last two seasons with head coach Eric D'Ambrosio, Thursday's 191-215 win over Ripon Christian was especially satisfying.
TRACY – Modesty Rodriguez keeps finding open teammates and it keeps leading to Sierra wins.
Sierra's defending Valley Oak League champion frosh-soph soccer team cruised to a 6-0 victory in its regular-season home opener Thursday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Daniel Taylor, East Union's first-year offensive coordinator, knows a little about the quarterback position.
RIPON – All that stood between Ripon and an undefeated preseason was a 5-4 shootout loss in the Big Valley Tournament championship.
CERES – Jamie Beck, a 6-foot, 2-inch junior, is leading a Ceres volleyball reawakening this season and Manteca was on the opposite end of her hard-hitting wrath Wednesday in a 0-3 (16-25, 22-25, 22-25) road loss.
Sonora showed up at Manteca High Wednesday and showed what Wildcat tennis is all about in a 15-0 win over the upstart Buffaloes.
Sierra has been a lights-out team in the second half of its games so far this season.
RIPON - Following a 17-25, 14-25, 20-25 loss to Escalon in the Trans Valley League opener Tuesday at home, Ripon Christian head coach Tiger Shelton said that Cougars outside hitter Kaitlin Brayton could be the best player in the conference this season.
Ben Juarez knocked down a jump shot to give Kimball its first lead in the second half with 22 seconds left in Wednesday's crucial Valley Oak League contest at Manteca High's Winter Gym.
With four games left in the regular season, the Sierra Timberwolves appear well on their way towards an outright Valley Oak League title.
LATHROP - After surviving seven lead changes and four ties, host Lathrop ended the first half on a 7-0 run and outscored East Union 22-9 in the third quarter on the way to a 64-48 win in Valley Oak League boys basketball action.
Isela Rivera isn't concerned so much about her place in East Union girls soccer lore, though there have been few as productive as the senior striker.
Having battled back from a 21-point deficit to visiting Lathrop and leading by one with 35 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Manteca's Jessica Hasal penetrated to the key and then dished out to Allison Rachels on the perimeter. Rachels threw up a 3-pointer and by the time it bounced off the glass and through the net she was picking herself up off the floor with the Buffaloes on the way to a thrilling 54-49 Valley Oak League girls basketball victory at Winter Gymnasium.
STOCKTON - With no true post players on his team, Weston Ranch coach Chris Bauer has challenged the two tallest to be more of a presence in the paint.
Not this time.
The Ripon Christian boys basketball team overcame Turlock Christian's considerable size advantage for a second time with Tuesday's commanding 64-51 triumph.
RIPON - Amber Hilvers searched for the words, trying her hardest not to sound disrespectful.
All that matters is who leads at the end. For the Ripon Christian girls' basketball team, that is a good thing.
Lathrop junior Isaiah Ellis put on a show in front of the home crowd Friday night.
In a game that featured a head-to-head showdown between the Valley Oak League's two best senior post players, it was the guards who made the difference.
Weston Ranch put Friday's Valley Oak League ball game against Sierra solely in the hands of standout sophomore Jaelen Ragsdale.
Don't let the records fool you.
RIPON – Tiana Chacon has been an All-Trans Valley League first-team third baseman the past two seasons.