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Soccer brackets released
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The Sac-Joaquin Section’s playoff committee showed its respect for boys soccer in the Valley Oak League on Friday when postseason brackets were released.

All three of the VOL’s representatives were awarded first-round home games, with champion Oakdale seeded second in the competitive Division III bracket, and runner-up Manteca pegged at No. 5 in the 12-team field.  Ceres powerhouse Central Valley is seeded first.

While the top four seeds get first-round byes, Manteca (16-3-4) opens Tuesday with No. 12 Lincoln (9-5-3) of Placer County. The winner heads to No. 4 Vanden next Thursday.

The big news among area schools comes out Division IV, where first-time qualifier Weston Ranch (15-5-4) heads the eight-team bracket as the top seed. The Cougars, who finished third in the VOL, entertain Natomas (7-4-5) on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. Perennial Pioneer Valley League contender Placer is No. 2.

In Division V, Trans-Valley League co-champion Ripon (16-5-3) is the No. 3 seed and paired with No. 6 Bret Harte (8-13-3). Neighboring Ripon Christian (13-6-3) will also host its Division VII opener Thursday, as sixth-seeded Cristo Rey (8-7-2) visits the No. 3 Knights.