SANTA CLARA - Maybe it was a good thing that Friday's Manteca-Wilcox football game did not take place at Levi's Stadium as originally planned.
MODESTO – They did what they were supposed to do.
Victor Polanco stood on the sidelines, a sun hat pulled low on his brow.
The last day to purchase tickets for the Manteca High football team's rooters' buses is Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Lathrop Jr. Spartans president Jaime Hernandez has a vision.
LATHROP - To borrow a phrase from John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High," the Lathrop Lions are coming home to a place they have never been before.
So, how does Sierra replace one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's most prolific passers of 2013?
Keith Jackson is picking up where he left off last fall, when he rallied generations of Manteca High alumni to cheer the Buffaloes' historic postseason run.
Second-year Lathrop coach Steven Wichman has a better idea of what his team can do with pads on this time around.
The Sac-Joaquin Section's preseason Dead Period doesn't begin until Monday.
Weston Ranch's football players weren't the only ones hard at work this offseason.
RIPON – Trey Ozenbaugh joined the Ripon Christian football staff on a whim.
Manteca High's football team rode the backs of two powerful linemen in its historic 2013 campaign.
For months, Billy Sharmoug stepped to the microphone and stumped for teammate Alex Laurel.
CARSON (AP) - Brad Kaaya's final performance as a high school quarterback was no different than what he's done all season.
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.
Eric Reis has been known to share stories of Manteca High's grid-iron glory of years past with his players.