The last time Joe Pires was head coach of Sierra High’s boys soccer program, the Timberwolves’ ended up finishing second at the section tournament.
Sierra made it into a Sac-Joaquin Section final and lost 1-0 against Lincoln Stockton on Nov. 11, 2006 on the opposition’s home field.
Now, Pires is returning and aspiring to take the program to new heights, just like the other local varsity coaches in the area.
“I used to be the coach (in 2006) when my boys were playing,” said Pires, who spent the last seven years coaching Sierra’s frosh-soph girls. “Jose Montes and I co-coached (varsity boys) through 2006, and because of work I took a step back and took over the girls’ junior varsity. Now Jose resigned and the position became open, and I applied.”
Sierra went 9-1-2 in the Valley Oak League, 13-2-4 overall last year. But, it didn’t make the playoffs. The T’Wolves made the tournament the previous two years before that, however.
“I had to apply for the job like everybody else,” said Pires, whose brother Manuel runs the girls’ varsity program. “My goal is to build this program and make it a little bit better. I want to bring commitment to where the kids are responsible and represent Sierra well -- and bring home championships.”
Sierra’s crosstown rival Manteca landed two new varsity coaches for its girls golf and volleyball teams.
Kevin Bolding is taking over as volleyball coach, and he’s not necessarily new.
Bolding coached the Buffaloes’ varsity volleyball squad from 1998-2000. He also coached the Manteca sophomore team the last two years and was the freshmen head coach three years ago.
“Well, (Tim Horning) decided he wasn’t going to come back this year,” Bolding said. “I just decided to apply and ended up interviewing.”
Bolding and his wife relocated to North Carolina in the early 2000s but then ended up making their way back to the Central Valley despite both finding solid employment on the East Coast.
Now after three years coaching the lower-level teams, Bolding will attempt to bring the Buffaloes back to playoff-form after finishing the season last place in the VOL a year ago.
“Last year was kind of a tough year,” Bolding said. “I look forward to the challenge. Manteca High has a tradition of being the one at the top, and the challenge is to get back there.
“It’s not going to be easy. It’s a building process. We started that and hopefully we can keep that going.”
On the football field, Randy Fasani is taking over the head varsity football coaching position at Ripon Christian. Fasani, who played quarterback at Stanford University and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2002, took over for coach John Vander Schaaf.
Lathrop’s new varsity football head coach is Steve Wichman. Wichman graduated from West Tracy in 2002, played two years at Delta JC and then went on to play Division I football for Idaho University on scholarship. He was also a three-sport athlete in high school.
Seth Davis, a 2006 Manteca High graduate, is taking over the head football coaching job at Weston Ranch High. Davis was the Buffaloes’ starting safety on their 2005 Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship team and a standout wrestler as well.
Head coach Dave Asuncion, who is Manteca’s boys head varsity basketball coach, is taking over the helm as the girls golf coach. Asuncion is taking over for Greg Conway.
Weston Ranch has introduced Ron Bylow as the new head girls tennis coach.
Ripon Christian’s long-time coach Tiger Shelton is stepping down to accept another opportunity in the area. His wife, Michele Shelton, will be helping take over a program with high expectations. Newly-hired Ripon Christian teacher Kara DeBoer will be the squad’s other co-head coach.
“I just came in for support since I know how the program is ran,” Shelton said. “I have been Tiger’s assistant for four years at Ripon Christian, and we’ve coached club together for a long time.”
Ripon High didn’t hire any new coaches at the varsity levels this fall.
To contact John-Joel Griffiths, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.