When the preseason schedules ended and the East Union Lancers were toting around a perfect 3-0 record, some people felt that being 3-0 is only a big deal to the teams that aren't expected to be 3-0.
The game plan went accordingly for Manteca High on Friday.
Dunleavy Field is one of the more special venues in the Valley Oak League, but the Sonora Wildcats are never gracious hosts.
Things got off to a favorable start for Ripon Christian, but its good luck would not hold.
East Union thought it could win its season opener against Beyer at Modesto Junior College Sept. 3.
Mike James isn't buying the hype. Jeff Harbison is.
After putting together a weak performance over the first two quarters of their Valley Oak League football opener, the Sierra Timberwolves sophomores fought back, only to make it interesting in a 40-22 loss to Oakdale High Friday at Sierra High.
MANTECA – Late in the second quarter Thursday Matt Wilkerson got a bit more than the 8 yards he needed for a first down when he lumbered 36 yards for a touchdown to give the Manteca freshmen the lead for good in a 22-8 Valley Oak League football victory over Kimball at Guss Schmiedt Field.
The beginning of the end started when the Oakdale Mustangs opened the second half at their own 10-yard line and methodically chewed up nearly the entire third quarter, marching 90 yards for an eventual A.C. Brown touchdown that stripped Sierra High of a chance at victory in a 33-15 defeat Friday at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
Homecoming is often a time for celebration.
The Manteca Buffaloes could not have drawn up a more perfect opening to the Valley Oak League season, blasting the Kimball Jaguars 62-0 in their first-ever VOL contest Friday at Kimball High.
RIPON - Hilmar High's grand return to the Trans Valley League wasn't so grand.
LE GRAND – Ripon Christian received a rude Southern League welcome from the host Le Grand Bulldogs on Friday.
Over the past decade, there has been one constant amongst the elite teams in the Valley Oak League and that's the fact that to become the champion, one usually has to beat the champion. In Friday's VOL opener for Sierra and Oakdale highs, that hurdle will be cleared immediately by the winning squad.
Oakdale and Sierra are the defending co-champions of the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – The Ripon High Indians are 0-2 to start the season after falling to Patterson at Stouffer Field Friday, 38-14
LATHROP – Steve Wichman wanted to see crisp.
Despite heavy graduation losses, the Manteca High football team has begun the season on the watch list for a CIF State Bowl berth.
Coming off impressive road wins, the Manteca and Sierra football teams welcome visiting squads led by new head coaches with credentials.
The Manteca High freshman football team has filled the vacancy on its schedule.
Costco has just about anything you could ever imagine, including compliments.
There is domination and then there is Ripon High sophomore football domination.
RIPON – For months, Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison and offensive coordinator Jeff Abrew have been inside the laboratory, retooling one of the area's most explosive offenses.
TRACY – The Lathrop High Spartans opened the season with a hard-fought 20-7 non-league loss to West Friday at Steve Lopez Stadium.
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.