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.
The Valley Oak League uses a points-based system to determine its MVP.
Manteca registered its second 9-0 win of the week Thursday when it shut out visiting East Union in Valley Oak League action.
Francisco Cisneros summed up Weston Ranch's final nonleague match of the season in one word:
Los Banos checked into its nonleague match with visiting East Union holding a deceiving 4-6 record.
Jack Miller recently retired from Manteca High, where the History teacher spent more than 30 years as an assistant coach with the football team. Miller was a part of four Sac-Joaquin Section championship teams and was twice voted Best of Manteca's Best Local Coach. Now City of Manteca Hall of Famer pays close attention to his yards, his golf game and granddaughter.
The Manteca High boys soccer team took full advantage of its first practice in nearly a week.
Ripon Christian laughs last.
RIPON - The hole was just too deep for Ripon's volleyball team to climb out of.
East Union's grueling opening week of the season may have done it some good.
Sierra's girls golf team opened the Valley Oak League with a statement Tuesday at Dryden Park Golf Course in Modesto.
East Union's 8-1 victory, its first of the Valley Oak League season, looks one-sided at the surface, but visiting Lathrop made the Lancers work for it on Tuesday.
Hairo Silva recorded his second hat trick of the season, and Lathrop needed every single one of those goals to top host Beyer of Modesto 4-3 on Monday.
Ripon got its revenge against neighboring rival Ripon Christian on Saturday, edging the Knights in the championship match of their own tournament, the Ripon Christian Soccer Classic, on Saturday.
The Lathrop sophomores never trailed in a 33-6 win over visiting Liberty Ranch in non-league action Friday night at Bennie Gatto Field.
Manteca High's girls tennis team got some valuable court time and, best of all, new T-shirts in its annual trip to the California Classic in Fresno.