Entering a season with at least a portion of the past three Valley Oak League championships, and four of the past five, would usually make the defending champs the odds-on-favorite to close the season with another one. But the dominance the East Union Lancers have held over their VOL counterparts will hold little merit as the league season gets underway Tuesday for the nine VOL girls basketball programs.
The perception around these parts is that Manteca rules the high school football scene, Sierra reigns in soccer and the softball crown rests on the heads of the Lancers of East Union.
History was made. Dreams were realized. Others were crushed.
WALNUT CREEK - Sierra High's wrestling team brought just 11 athletes to the Bill Martell Tournament Wednesday, but that was enough for it to leave its mark in its final tune-up for the Valley Oak League season.
The 5th Annual Lady Lancer Tournament at East Union High Wednesday lasted just 4 ½ hours.
SONORA – Sierra High will open up the 2010 Valley Oak League season with a visit from the Sonora Wildcats, so the Timberwolves' 52-47 win in the third-place game of the Dominick Fuchs Classic helped Sierra close out the preseason in the best possible way.
RIPON – When the Oakdale Mustangs turned up their full-court pressure, Ripon Christian was unable to conquer the challenge, falling to the Mustangs 47-32 in the championship of the Lady Knights Classic Wednesday at Ripon Christian.
TRACY – Sharon Washington had another phenomenal outing leading her Manteca Buffaloes to the consolation championship of the Tracy Breakfast Lions Tournament with a 50-40 win over Foothill High Wednesday.
SALIDA - Rod Wright isn't delusional.
BRENTWOOD – When Weston Ranch opened the first quarter with one of its worst offensive outputs of the season, recovering from its double-digit deficit proved impossible as the Cougars dropped its loser's bracket contest 74-48 to Clovis High in their 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree contest at Liberty High.
TRACY - The good news for East Union's girls basketball team is that it is still tied for first place in the Valley Oak League.
SALIDA - One day after notching its biggest win of the season, the Ripon boys basketball team appeared ready to ride that momentum after a quality first-quarter effort against Merced in a third-round consolation game of the Modesto Christian Holiday Hoops Classic Tuesday.
BRENTWOOD - The Weston Ranch Cougars got another strong effort from sophomore Jazmin Strane, who led a 47-43 victory over the Amador Valley Dons of Pleasanton Tuesday in second-round action of the 10th Annual West Coast Jamboree at Liberty High.
STOCKTON - The East Union boys basketball team nearly squandered its nine-point halftime lead, holding on for a 58-57 win over Stagg in 4th Annual Bear Creek Bruin Shootout Tuesday.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.
STOCKTON - There are close volleyball matches and then there was the Valley Oak League duel between visiting Manteca and Weston Ranch.