RIPON - It didn't take long for the wind to play a role in Thursday's big Southern League match involving Waterford and Ripon Christian.
It's a tied ballgame, there's a runner on third with no out in the bottom of the seventh inning, and No. 9 batter Adrian Valencia had the big boppers behind him in the order itching to drive in the winning run should he fail to do so himself.
East Union fresh-faced freshman forwards Gina Dias and Isela Rivera have already showed the rest of the Valley Oak League why the Lancers are going to be a force to be reckoned with for years.
Errors and missed opportunities proved costly Wednesday for the Ripon High varsity softball squad.
East Union has been the top softball program for years, but there appears to be a new sheriff in town.
Jillian Goulart and Logan Vos' achievements in high school extend outside the athletic arena.
The coast is far from clear for East Union High's boys tennis team, but the Lancers are liking the spot they're in at the moment.
It appears to be a four-team race for the title and three postseason berths the way the Valley Oak League girls soccer season is shaping up.
Manteca High's softball team hopes last week's discouraging loss to Kimball is fully behind it after beating visiting Lathrop 8-0 Monday.
One gutty pitching performance was spoiled in its previous outing, and another was wasted Monday for East Union High's baseball team.
The winless streak is over for East Union High's girls soccer team, which snapped a string of three straight draws Monday with a 5-0 shutout of host Sonora
After a grueling three hours of tennis, it came down to the East Union No. 1 doubles team against the Manteca High No. 2 doubles team, and the Lancers' combination of Chris Garcia and Matt Eichsteadt handled the task, posting a 10-8 win for an 8-7 East Union victory.
Sierra High pitcher Dylan DeBrouwer was bothered by an uncooperrative throwing arm Friday against visiting Kimball of Tracy.
In an effort that can only be summarized as atrocious, the Manteca High Softball team squandered a gritty outing from freshman pitcher Peyton Rose, getting mercy-ruled by Kimball 13-0 Thursday in Valley Oak League play.
The Sierra High varsity softball team was rewarded with another sterling pitching performance from freshman Allison Walljasper, helping the Timberwolves to a 6-0 shutout victory over visiting Weston Ranch Thursday.
RIPON - Manteca High freshman Kyle Rachels showed maturity well beyond his years, pitching four-plus innings of long relief.
Only the clock could stop Manteca from scoring in its 9-0 victory over visiting Lathrop on Monday, but the efforts to support young Destiny Herrera is ongoing.
Mayville State University coach John Haines made the 1,900-mile trip to the Family City equipped with only a simple pitch.
As a multi-sport athlete from the Central Valley who also excels in the classroom, Sierra High senior Hunter Johnson can relate to California Maritime Academy men's basketball head coach Bryan Rooney.
Ripon High senior Nick Sharp successfully defended his championship at the Tracy/West Invitational on Monday, winning a card-off with three other players who finished 1-over-par 73 at Tracy Country Club.
East Union coach Brian Goulart was concerned that the Lancers' Valley Oak League make-up game at Manteca may have come at a bad time.
Ripon High suffered a rare lopsided home loss Friday to Hughson.
Ronaldo Tijero charged the dribbling baseball, bare-handing it halfway up the third-base line before releasing a rocket across the diamond.
The Cal-Mex Baseball League is celebrating its 60-year anniversary with opening day ceremonies this Sunday at Stockton's Stribley Park. The festivities will begin at noon.
Manteca High's track and field team received a big boost from two transfers in a Valley Oak League dual meet against visiting rival Sierra on Thursday.
Manteca took first in just two varsity races as visiting Ripon came away with Valley Oak League wins for its boys and girls swim teams Friday.
Amaiya Guyton and Jaysen Reindel of the Lancer Youth Wrestling Club earned medals at the Flo Reno Worlds Championships last weekend at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Ripon Christian survived its toughest challenge of the Southern League so far on Friday, warding off Orestimba 1-0 in Newman thanks to some fortunate bounces.
East Union and Lathrop split in the Valley Oak League clash.
It pays to listen to your coach.