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.
Manteca head coach Eric Reis tried to anticipate whom his team would face in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, narrowing it down to a handful of candidates.
FOLSOM – Those who were running in the Sac-Joaquin Section Cross Country meet had already outlasted most of the high school distance runners, but that was not enough for Sierra High senior John Bowers who extended his season with a berth in the CIF State Championships at Woodward Park in Fresno.
The Manteca High freshman football team used three second quarter touchdowns to blow past East Union High 56-0 in the Valley Oak League's final contest for the season.
When the Sierra High sophomore football team took care of business in a 28-0 thrashing of the Weston Ranch Cougars they had no idea what its reward would be.
Sierra High knew what it had to do to close out its Valley Oak League season, and there was nothing the Weston Ranch Cougars could do about it during a 35-14 league championship clinching victory at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
No banners. No ceremonies.
RIPON – Ripon drew first blood during Wednesday's Trans Valley League matchup against its visiting rival Escalon.
The hardwood version of the Battle of I-5 again did not disappoint wednesday.
Scott Brooks' old East Union basketball jersey will be joined by another this Friday night when the Lancers host crosstown rival Manteca.
ESCALON - Twenty-point leads aren't safe when Escalon and Ripon get together for their Trans-Valley League confrontations.
STOCKTON - Weston Ranch no longer sits alone atop the girls Valley Oak League basketball standings.
East Union was already down a starter who was out with an illness.
The Weston Ranch girls basketball roster has dwindled down to eight for the remainder of the season, but one key addition has the Cougars on pace for their first-ever VOL championship in their 10th season.
Ripon Christian's girls basketball has dominated second quarters of late.
RIPON – Despite Ripon going scoreless for over a 10-minute stretch Saturday night, the Indians still had a chance to knock down a game-winning trey as time expired - but it was never hoisted.
Lathrop bounced back in a big way Saturday night.
The game had long been decided, but East Union relished its 54-27 victory after the final horn sounded at Manteca High's Winter Gym on Friday.
WESTON RANCH – Four Weston Ranch players almost outscored the entire Sierra girls basketball team during Friday's 70-56 Valley Oak League victory over the visiting Timberwolves (2-4 VOL, 10-9 overall).
The Ripon Christian boys basketball squad picked up its fifth straight Southern League victory Friday during a 67-43 victory over winless Gustine.
Four Manteca area wrestlers came up a win shy of advancing to the second day of the prestigious Tim Brown Memorial at Jackson Sports Academy in Sacramento.
Sierra junior Joshua Patton amplified the home crowd during the first two minutes of the second half Thursday night.