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.
From the start of the season, the rhetoric surrounding the Sierra and Weston Ranch boys basketball teams was consistent.
Ed Mulder is still pinching himself.
Late tonight, the 1987 Manteca High boys basketball team will finally have some company.
Sonora managed to get one good inning against East Union on Thursday and came away from Agostini Field with a 10-5 non-league baseball win.
Matt Rose edged out Weston Ranch freshman Austin Thao for low-medalist honors and helped Sierra tally its first Valley Oak League win of the season 250-288 Thursday at Van Buskirk Golf Course of Stockton.
Sophomore pitchers Mikayla Bongi, Alexis Erich and Delaney Pamplin combined for a three-inning perfect game, as East Union crushed Edison 11-0 to begin the St. Mary's Tournament at Stockton's Arnaiz Softball Complex on Thursday.
Sierra coach Scott Thomason was money from the 3-point line during his playing days at Pacific.
Scott Thomason wears a classic game-day outfit, and so do the members of his staff: solid colors with a coordinated tie.
GALT – The Ripon Christian girls basketball team stunned No. 1 Woodland Christian Wednesday 52-46 to advance to Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 finals at Sacramento's Sleep Train Arena.
Manteca passed what head coach Justin Coenenberg called its "biggest test in the preseason so far" Wednesday when the Buffaloes knocked off visiting Tracy, 3-1.
Danielle Danielle Sperry was near-perfect in Ripon's 8-0 shutout of visiting Delhi on Wednesday.
Manteca blanked host Sierra 9-0 to continue its perfect start to the season.
Ripon may have missed out on its only chance at beating the top team in the Trans-Valley League on Wednesday.
Noah Hennecke struck out seven and walked two over six innings for Lodi, while East Union struggled in all facets in a 13-1 loss that went the distance Wednesday at Agostini Field.
SACRAMENTO - Hunter Johnson and Daniel Wyatt weren't at full strength to begin with.