Lathrop High proved again Thursday at Sierra that it should not be looked past this year - its first with a senior class - in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After a half of play the Ripon Indians had not shined or excelled, but their uninspired play had not hurt them on the scoreboard. That would change would when a botched second-half corner kick settled in front of the Ripon goal for what seemed like an eternity, and Hughson trickled it in for a 1-0 win Thursday in Trans Valley League action.
They're even. For now.
East Union High remains in step with the Valley Oak League's top two teams, Oakdale and Sonora, following a four-game victory (25-18, 25-17, 24-26, 25-12) over first-year varsity Kimball of Tracy Thursday at Dalben Center.
Manteca High was not able to get passed the Oakdale Mustangs when they visited the Buffaloes to open the Valley Oak League season, but that was not the case Thursday as Manteca edged out the Mustangs 3-2 for the league win.
After experiencing defeat at the hands of the Christian Brothers High volleyball program, the Ripon Indians were able to extract vengeance in a 25-15, 25-13 and 25-21 sweep of the Falcons Wednesday at Ripon High.
The Lathrop Spartans have done a great job turning their program around in relatively short time, and the team was rewarded with their first Valley Oak League victory when they stopped the Weston Ranch Cougars 1-0 Wednesday in Weston Ranch.
RIPON - The atmosphere was a little more relaxed than usual for a live match at Jack Tone Golf Course Tuesday, but it might be what the golfers from Ripon High and rival Ripon Christian need going into today's Valley Football League Midseason Tournament.
LATHROP – The Lathrop Spartans were not able to complete their improbable comeback, but they were able to serve notice to the rest of the Valley Oak League that they would not be a pushover in a 25-15, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-21 loss to East Union Tuesday.
The Sierra Timberwolves closed out a strong first-half of the Valley Oak League schedule, dropping the East Union Lancers 11-4 Tuesday.
While it's still early, Weston Ranch High has reason to feel proud of its unprecedented start to the season.
The silver lining to Ripon High's scoreless tie against host Escalon in Trans Valley League play Tuesday was that game had little semblance to their previous meeting.
It was a good-news, bad-news scenario for both sides.
WESTON RANCH - Robbie Geerlof had three good looks at the Weston Ranch goal in the first half: Two were lifted well over the crossbar and split the football uprights, and the other was touched weakly to the keeper.
To be more competitive in the Valley Oak League this season, East Union High coach Eryn Bowers has encouraged competition from within.
Manteca swept East Union to open Valley Oak League play.
Noah Lehmann has a knack for being at the right place at the right time, the deceptive speed to blow by defenders and the requisite finishing touch of a striker.
Manteca returned to its winning ways Thursday when it dispatched visiting Sierra, 6-3.
Sierra remains on the heels of Valley Oak League-leading East Union after notching a decisive 242-271 win over Central Catholic at Manteca Park Golf Course Thursday.
Central Catholic remains in the driver's seat for the Valley Oak League championship after the conference's newest member knocked off defending titlist Manteca 6-3 for a second time this season.
LATHROP - With just two goals scored in the game's first 60 minutes, Manteca and Lathrop combined for three in a five-minute span in Wednesday's Valley Oak League contest at Bennie Gatto Field.
Ripon was undaunted by its first Trans-Valley League assignment Wednesday.
Weston Ranch coach Francisco Cisneros could sense the frustration mounting from his Cougars in the first half of their Valley Oak League match at Oakdale on wednesday.
Brooke Riley capped off an impressive week Wednesday, shooting 5-under-par 31 on the links-style front nine at Tracy's Old River Golf Course, as East Union continued its Valley Oak League title defense with a 205-225 win against host Kimball.
Taylor Bays can serve. And she can dig, too.
RIPON - Nothing is coming easy in what is shaping up to be a competitive Southern League boys soccer season.
East Union kept host Weston Ranch on its heels thanks to big serving runs from Jordyn Posz and Destiny Flores.
The weather is expected to cooperate for today's Valley Oak League rematch between Manteca and Central Catholic, which was originally postponed because of rain last Thursday.
Brooke Riley's round didn't end as well as she had hoped during East Union's Valley Oak League dual match at Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Tuesday.
Scoring was at a premium Saturday when the Manteca Jr. Timberwolves junior novice squad locked up with the Tracy Jr. Bulldogs, who prevailed 6-0 in Delta Youth Football League action.