When it comes to comparing coaching careers, others are green with envy.
Few have done it better and for longer than Manteca High football coach Eric Reis, who goes hunting for yet another milestone this Friday evening.
The Buffaloes continue their push for a Valley Oak League title with a homecoming tilt against Lathrop High and first-year coach Steven Wichman.
The two represent opposite ends of the coaching spectrum in the Valley Oak League.
Wichman is still searching for his first career victory after tough-luck losses to Liberty Ranch, Capital Christian and Weston Ranch last week.
Reis, on the other hand, stands on the cusp of No. 100.
He is 99-31 in 12 seasons at his alma mater with two Sac-Joaquin Section championships and a 27-game winning streak that spanned parts of three seasons.
At the time, the streak was the longest in California.
“Time does fly by pretty quick. It seems like yesterday I won my 50th game,” said Reis, whose team opened VOL play with a 49-21 thumping of Sonora High.
Reis said getting to this point has been a collective effort, and he thanks the mainstays during his tenure – his family and staff.
“It’s a huge benchmark. That’s a lot of games,” Reis said. “I’ve been fortunate to have my staff with me the whole time, so it’s not just about coach Reis. It’s my staff and how much time they’ve put into it.”
The Buffaloes have qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason 10 times under Reis. What’s more, they’ve never experienced a losing season.
His teams are nothing if not consistent.
“Players come and go,” Reis added, “and you can’t control that. But to keep that level (of consistency), it says something about your program.”
hopes on the line
Ripon has run roughshod over its first five opponents, but have they been tested?
Head coach Chris Johnson insists the high-flying Indians are every bit as good as their record suggests.
Ripon (1-0 Trans Valley League) is 5-0 with about a gazillion points. The Indians haven’t scored fewer than 35 points in a game and they’ve shutout three opponents.
Critics have pointed to the collective record of their victims as the most telling statistic. Bret Harte, Linden, Ripon Christian, Lathrop and Escalon are 9-14.
The next three opponents should tell us how good Ripon is – and just how far its season can stretch.
The Indians welcome Modesto Christian (3-2) on Friday before road dates at Hughson (4-0) on Oct. 11 and Hilmar (5-0) on Oct. 18.
The Huskies were picked to win the TVL in The Bulletin’s media poll. Little was known about Hilmar until its surprising 30-0 victory over Modesto Christian last Friday.
To repeat as champions and ramp up its section title hopes, the Indians will need to come through that gauntlet unscathed.
Two weeks ago, Sierra High football coach Jeff Harbison struggled to find the words following a 61-58 shootout victory over Chavez High.
His defense was repeatedly beat over the top by quarterback Julius Davila, who finished 26 of 36 for 494 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Timberwolves limped into their bye week with obvious concerns.
On Friday, the Sierra atoned for its porous play, limiting Kimball to just one big play in a 44-7 victory in their Valley Oak League openers.
In an epic swing, the Jaguars’ Ben Juarez completed just two of 12 passes for 18 yards. Sierra cornerback Devin Nunes broke up what appeared to be a sure-fire touchdown pass late in the second quarter, batting the ball out of the hands of the intended wide receiver.
The touchdown may have changed the game for the Jaguars, who trailed 28-7.
Sierra’s bounce-back effort was led by Khalil Williams, Lucas Widmer, Garrett De Villanueva and Reid Maestas.
Adam Bettencourt also had a fumble recovery that led to the go-ahead score in the first quarter.
It won’t get any easier on the Sierra defense this week. The Timberwolves travel to Sonora, where the Wildcats’ triple-option offense will test the Timberwolves’ DBs in other ways.
To stop the multi-faceted run attack, Sierra’s corners will have to 1) find the football, 2) shed their blocker and 3) become stand-your-ground tacklers.
To contact James Burns, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.