Back in August, Ripon Christian soccer was taking the necessary steps to become a team.
Manteca High's sophomore football team trailed at the half, after the third and the first 10 minutes of the fourth. Hector Soto's touchdown and two-point conversion completed the Buffaloes' 29-28 come-from-behind win over visiting Oakdale last Friday.
Weston Ranch's sophomore football team continued its best run in school history with an 18-14 win over visiting Kimball last Friday.
The Sierra High sophomore football team did just about everything right in a 44-8 Valley Oak League blowout win over Lathrop on Friday.
NEWMAN - Anthony Baciocco and Cole Herrin returned to Warrior Stadium Friday, the backdrop of a heartbreaking night two years ago.
For Manteca High, there were baby steps in the right direction.
Eddie Melero at least slowed the train that was Kimball running back Evan Owens when he scooped up a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Andrew Brown was nearly unstoppable on the ground Friday night for Ripon Christian.
The East Union Lancers outscored Sonora in the fourth quarter.
LATHROP – It was business as usual for the Sierra High Timberwolves.
Before he ever gained a yard for the Manteca High football program, Eddie Smith knew what he wanted.
A scheduling oddity has Ripon High's football team ending its regular season a week earlier than most teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section this Friday.
SONORA - The Sierra Timberwolves freshman football team scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, stunning the Sonora Wildcats with a 35-34 come-from-behind win Thursday in Sonora.
Sierra High's sophomore football team had an opportunity to seize control of the inside track to the Valley Oak League championship, but could not take advantage in a 31-21 loss to the Sonora Wildcats Friday at home.
Kimball High might be the best two-win team in the entire state.
Will Kamps found solace in his teammates following the Ripon Christian Knights' Sac-Joaquin Section VI playoff loss to No. 1 seed Capital Christian.
Zak Burden made big plays with his arms and legs, and on the game's final sequence it was he who fittingly punctuated No. 10 Rio Linda's 49-44 upset of No. 2 Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinal at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
SACRAMENTO -The better athletes won out on this day.
Down to their final play, Dakarai Charles threw toward the corner of the end zone with confidence.
Fade to black.
A year ago, Manteca put an emphatic stamp on its fourth Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a runaway victory over a first-time finalist.
Ripon Christian is well aware of what it's up against tonight.
Sophomores have long been a part of Sierra's winning formula this season, but when Brandon Arreola burst around the corner and into the end zone this was something new.
Behind the goal posts, shagging footballs blasted through the uprights during warm-ups, Sierra's Marissa LaQuaglia makes no illusions about her role on Friday nights.
Ripon Christian appeared to have an Andrew Brown clone in the form of junior tail back Brian Sytsma.
The third time was the charm for Eric Reis and his Manteca High football team.
Confetti wafted in the air above the home bleachers and players were met with hugs and high-fives at every turn.
GARDEN VALLEY – The Ripon Christian Knights relied on a strong second-half surge to roll past Golden Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff opener.
It was the kind of moment that can take the air out of a stadium.
By now, the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoff brackets have been dissected and analyzed by anyone with a rooting interest or a job to do.