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.
For two programs that struggled mightily throughout the 2009 season, that is not the case thus far this campaign. Lathrop High is enjoying back-to-back victories for the first time in school history and the East Union Lancers have not been 3-0 since Bill Clinton was president.
Graduation turnover along with some injuries to key players has suddenly made the always-competitive Trans Valley League race a wide-open one - for second place.
WESTON RANCH - The Cougars (2-1) finally put together a solid overall effort at Podesto Field.
Pigs are not flying and the cows are nowhere near home.
LATHROP - With a solid lead in the fourth quarter, it looked like Lathrop High was well on its way to a second straight victory.
MODESTO – After turning a two-touchdown deficit into a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter, Manteca High senior Michael Timmons intercepted Christian Kahler's pass at midfield, prefacing Manteca's final defensive stand in the Buffaloes' second consecutive come-from-behind victory, 34-33 over Enochs, at Johansen High.
Early mistakes and all-around youth hurt Ripon High in its non-league finale against Argonaut in Jackson Friday.
STOCKTON - In the final seconds of Friday's non-league game at Podesto Field, Weston Ranch High was hoping for overtime.
There is a lot riding on East Union High's final non-league contest Friday against Ceres, but head coach Mike James feels no need to place additional emphasis on this one.
If the Manteca Buffalos are going to open the Valley Oak League season with an unblemished 3-0 mark they are going to have to stop a talented and proven Enochs High offensive unit.
Jesse Rodriguez has won many games as a head coach in the East Bay. His first varsity victory as Lathrop High's head coach ranks highly on his list.
With the first few weeks of his senior season in the bag, Manteca High's football squad is off to a solid 2-0 start, and the team is rejoicing in a big decision its leading rusher made after his freshman season at Escalon High.
For three years, Billy Sharmoug and Isaac McClain were the big men on the Manteca High campus.
It looks like the Manteca High football team will have its big stars for the big game.
A suffocating defense and high-octane offense led the Manteca offense to a 34-0 drubbing of visiting Lathrop on Thursday in Valley Oak League freshmen action at Guss Schmiedt Field.
L.J. Alofaituli grimaced as he struggled to catch his breath.
Jeff Harbison pointed to the scoreboard hanging over the crowd at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium, inviting everyone to take one last look.
LE GRAND – Billy Marr never saw the rush.
LATHROP – It was a game of momentum. And a game of inches.
In his three years as head coach of the East Union High Lancers, Willie Herrera had yet to celebrate a homecoming victory.
OAKDALE – Weston Ranch stayed poised and battled through the night but left Oakdale on the short end of a 48-0 score.
The compliments have come rushing in for the Sierra High football team and its defensive leader, Trevon McCray. He's been called "the best player on the field" by Ripon coach Chris Johnson following the Timberwolves' season-opening 54-7 victory. Teammates often refer to the middle linebacker as an "animal" for his tenacious play on Friday evenings.
Jeff Harbison's well-intentioned pre-league schedule produced favorable results, but not the type of games he had hoped for his Sierra football team.
R.J. Tisdell racked up nearly 150 all-purpose yards to lead the Lathrop sophomores to a 36-0 win over host Weston Ranch to open the Valley Oak League campaign on Friday.
The Manteca freshmen embarked on a 16-play, six-minute drive late in the fourth quarter Thursday capped by a 1-yard scoring plunge by Michael Frisby to defeat Central Catholic 14-13 in the Valley Oak League opener at Guss Schmiedt Field.
MODESTO - No Montell Bland?
MODESTO – Dakarai Charles stood near the 40-yard line, watching Central Catholic chew up the fourth quarter clock.