OAKDALE - The stage is set.
Field issues at Lathrop High forced the Manteca Buffaloes to host their final Valley Oak league meeting with the Spartans and hitting first had no ill effects on the Buffaloes, as they remained unblemished after their first league series with a 12-1 win Wednesday.
RIPON – The Trans Valley League season could have opened with better results, nonetheless, the Ripon Indians are going to have to rebound after a disheartening 7-1 loss to the Hughson Huskies Thursday.
East Union High's sophomore baseball team had a combined three-hit shutout from three pitchers who helped the Squires snap a three-game losing streak and roll into the Valley Oak League season behind am 8-0 win over Stagg Thursday.
Getting the Valley Oak League season underway must have been on the minds of the Sierra High track athletes, after dismantling the Ceres Bulldogs on both levels of completion Wednesday in the VOL opener.
When your No. 1 singles player takes two-out-of-three matches from an opponent that's part of an established program you're probably going to have a good day.
RIPON - Little time had elapsed when the Hughson Huskies struck gold after a throw-in led to a breakaway goal, giving a glimpse of things to come in Ripon Christian's 6-0 loss to Hughson in Trans Valley League play Wednesday.
The Sierra Timberwolves had an opportunity to take a stride forward on the Valley Oak League golf scene, but Oakdale High had other intentions during Sierra's 210-221 loss to the Mustangs Wednesday at Manteca Golf Course.
STOCKTON – The Weston Ranch baseball squad found themselves down 5-0 after three innings, but the deficit was just the first hurdle in the Cougars' come-from-behind win over Monterey Trail in the Claudia Lewis Tournament at McNair High.
After one inning of play, the Lathrop Spartans looked as if competing in its Valley Oak League debut would not be a problem, but two huge innings and 14 runs later Manteca High showed that would not be the case in a 15-0 shellacking Tuesday.
SONORA - The first marquee soccer matchup in the Valley Oak League came on opening day Tuesday, and it was a chance for East Union to stake its claim as one of the conference's teams to beat.
MODESTO – Sierra High's defense only committed two errors, but they proved costly in the Timberwolves' 6-1 loss to Johansen High Tuesday.
East Union's tennis team met its first test in Valley Oak League play Tuesday against defending singles champion Luis Ochoa and the Ceres Bulldogs.
LATHROP - Ripon played near perfect softball save for poor execution on the base paths on a few plays, but head coach Robert Vernon gave kudos to first-year varsity Lathrop's defensive effort.
Competing without some of its best players is nothing new to Ripon High's girls soccer team.
STOCKTON - Francisco Cisneros is a member of a club few coaches get to join: Club Perfect.
RIPON - The Ripon boys water polo team had shredded Valley Oak League competition leading up to Wednesday's Valley Oak League finale against Sonora, winning each contest by no less than seven goals.
Help is on the way for East Union and Weston Ranch, and just in time for their Week-9 Valley Oak League tussle at Dino Cunial Field.
Ripon can forget about that over-the-top pre-league schedule that led to its 1-4 start.
Mahir Pepic asked Manteca High head coach Rick Cuevas to bark out his time while nearing the 2-mile mark at the Eagal Lakes Resort 3.1-mile course.
Ripon showed no drop off with reserves getting ample playing time in Wednesday's three-game rout (25-11, 25-15, 25-12) of visiting Modesto Christian.
STOCKTON - The Weston Ranch volleyball team is hitting its stride.
East Union plans to throw it back to the 1970s, when losses were hard to come by and names like Herrera and Taylor were still at the forefront of the football program.
Manteca held its own against Central Catholic and nearly forced a fifth set in a 25-19, 13-25, 21-25, 24-26 Valley Oak League loss Tuesday in Modesto.
Ripon Christian secured the outright claim to the Southern League championship with Tuesday's 2-0 victory at Denair.
Vista del Lago and Christian Brothers players took turns taking pictures with their prizes on the 18th green at Manteca Park Golf Course.
Ripon had two golfers finish in the top 10 in Monday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament held at Micke Grove Golf Links, but both played their final round of the season.
It all comes down to Wednesday's winner-take-all Valley Oak League finale between cross-town foes Manteca and East Union.
Sealy McAdams and Elizabeth Tolbert's last two matches in Thursday's Valley Oak League Doubles Tournament held at East Union had entirely different endings.
Alyssa Burch hosted another block party at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Thursday.