Forty years ago, on September 5, 1973, with their season-opener at Galt High just 10 days away, optimism pervades East Union High’s football coaching staff. The Lancers lost just four players from last year’s team, only two of them starters. Gone is all-Valley Oak League linebacker Bruce Forth, but head coach Vern Gebhardt finds himself with a bevy of fine defensive replacements. Experienced seniors Lonnie Price, Ron Dalben and Gary Mullins are currently working at the cornerback posts. Tough middle linebackers Rick Horn and Danny Coffman fill out the defensive backfield. Flashy senior Ron Barretto returns to the backfield. He is joined by senior halfback Carl Esquivel and juniors Dana Taylor, last year’s “Super Soph”, and fullback Doug Swift. The 190-pound Swift, with his powerful running in recent drills, has proved a pleasant surprise for backfield mentor Dino Cunial.
In other sports stories from the Bulletin files:
10 years ago: September 10, 2003 – The Sierra High tennis team jump-started its run at defending its 2002 VOL title on the right foot after pounding visiting Oakdale High 13.5-1.5 Tuesday in the regular-season opener. Led by No. 1 singles player Ashley Hammarstrom, Sierra swept through the singles competition. Michelle Rotert and Kim Wells dominated in doubles play.
In a heated battle of unbeatens, the Manteca High golf team prevailed 277-286 Tuesday against cross-town rival Sierra High on the Manteca Park course. Jenny Beggs led the defending regular-season champion Buffaloes with her fourth-straight medal with a 44. Casey Heupel paced the Timberwolves with a 48.
After sweeping past the competition and opening the 2003 pre-season with three straight victories, the Sierra High volleyball team met its match Monday against host Johansen High in Modesto. The Lady T-wolves dropped a 19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 13-25, 8-15 decision. Nikita Gordon led Sierra with eight kills and three blocks. Leslie Monroy added 13 points for Coach Tevani Liotard’s girls.
Jimmy Elam and Cherise McNair coasted to first-place finishes in the Sierra High Cross-country Invitational Saturday at Tuolumne Regional/Legion Park in Modesto. The two Sierra harriers paced the boys and girls teams to fifth- and second-place finishes, respectively. Elam came in at 16:43.6 and McNair finished in 19:57.6. Sophomore Enrique Jimenez was Manteca High’s top finisher with a time of 18:50.5 for 10th place. Leading the Buffalo girls was Kaitlyn McGhee, who came in at 21:09.3 for seventh place. Jessica Gonzalez headed East Union High with a 38th-place finish.
Behind its scrappy back row and stingy blocking up front, the East Union High volleyball team escaped Ceres High with an uplifting 26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20 victory Thursday night in Ceres. The Lancers, now 4-3, were led by Sam Wendt and Brittany Weldon.
The Sierra High soccer team dispatched Escalon High 2-0 on Thursday. The T-wolves, now 7-1-1, were led by goals from Araia Bethune and Michael Montes.
Manteca High’s volleyball team posted a three-game sweep over Downey High on Thursday, the Buffs winning in 25-23, 25-12 and 25-22 scores. Trina Texeira led the team with nine kills, while Stephanie Aschenbrenner tallied 22 assists for the team.
East Union High’s soccer team fell short in a 3-0 decision to Ripon Christian High at home on Thursday.
East Union High dropped a 299-304 golf match to Manteca High on Thursday at the Manteca Park course. Buffalo Jenny Beggs was the medalist with a 44, while the Lancers were led by Tara Burlingame’s 50.
20 years ago: September 5, 1993 – East Union High came up just short of advancing to the consolation finals of the Modesto Rotary Soccer Tournament after beating Oakdale High 2-0 on Saturday morning. The Lancers needed to win by a three-goal margin to advance. The only Lancer the Oakdale goalie couldn’t stop was David Rodrigues, who tallied both of EU’s goals. Coach Jeff Poulos’s boys are now 2-2-1 on the season.
Livingston High shredded the Lady Lancers of East Union High 13.5-1.5 in a VOL tennis battle on Tuesday. The only bright spot for Coach Mark Liles’s girls was the doubles play of Lorna Nelson and Liz Young.
The East Union High volleyball team pounded Summerville High of Tuolumne for the second time this season in the opening round of the Ripon High Tournament of Champions on Wednesday. EUHS wasted little time with the Bears, taking them in two straight, 15-4 and 15-1. The heat was well over 100 degrees in the gym, but Danelle Liles led the way with six blocks and three kills for coach Jon Olson’s girls.
The Manteca High soccer team withstood the heat to remain undefeated with a 4-2 win over Downey High on Wednesday afternoon. Justin Fatzer scored two goals and Coach Paul Bennett got single goals from Scott Buchanan and David Hauser.
Manteca High dominated Sonora High in a VOL tennis match on Thursday, beating the Lady Wildcats 12.5-2.5. Manteca’s number one singles player, Andrea Belluomini, ripped through her three sets, allowing only one point.
Senior running back Brach Harris rushed for 92 yards in the second half as East Union High rallied from a four-point halftime deficit to beat Beyer High 22-13 in their football season opener Friday night. Harris totaled 113 yards on only 12 carries in the game. He scored twice, on a 38-yard pass from quarterback Ben Kelley and on a 27-yard run. Gene Ballardo tallied on a seven-yard run and kicked a 26-yard field goal. He also kicked an extra point. Coach Jim Brown’s Lancers rolled up 299 yards in total offense.
Coach Joe Miller’s Manteca High football team opened its season at Downey High and proceeded to shellack their hosts 53-0 Friday night. Even though second and third-string players were in the game as early as the second quarter, the Buffaloes completely dominated the Knights in all phases of the tilt. MHS outgained their opponents 529-67 as Don Morgan scored four times on rushes of 14, 31 and seven yards, and on a 29-yard pass from John Kent. Joey Sandoval scored twice, on runs of 22 and 57 yards, with Jason Sutton scoring from three yards out and Mickey Shepherd from a yard away. Hemman kicked five extra points, Sandoval gained 173 yards rushing on the night and Morgan added 129 yards to the total.
30 years ago: September 7, 1983 – The Manteca High volleyball team wasted no time in getting the season off to a positive start Wednesday afternoon by thrashing Gustine High 15-5, 15-6 in the opening round of the Patterson Tournament. Standout servers Marilyn Elkins, Terri Menezes and Colette Fry were the leaders in Coach Lindsay Munoz’s opener.
40 years ago: September 5, 1973 – The ocean breezes may have cooled off the usually high August temperatures but the football workouts at Manteca High remained hot and wet as head coach Walker Vick and his assistants put the Buffaloes through twice-a-day practices. Vick has only 18 players returning from last year’s team. Terry Moffat, now over 200 pounds, has been moved from his end spot of last year to tackle and has already shown improvement. Don Franzia and Ron Valenzuela can both go at center. “Val” is only a junior. Matt Rouse appears to be the leading candidate for quarterback as Gary Shupe has moved to running back.
50 years ago: September 5, 1963 – The Manteca Union High Buffaloes began practicing nearly two weeks ago, but head coach Phil Harmon’s crew may not be at top strength when it holds its first scrimmage with Modesto High in Modesto Saturday. He has been without two of his key players for the most part of the pre-season drills that began a full week before school started Monday. Senior end Lowell Grissom, an all-VOL selection, has been working out full-time only in his first week of school. Bill Mendosa, a junior halfback expected to move in to play first-string, temporarily has been sidelined with a shoulder pointer.
80 years ago: September 7, 1933 – About 55 aspirants, representing the largest turnout in the history of the local school, reported for football practice Monday afternoon under the direction of Coach Aubrey Laws. Many promising lower classmen have reported, assuring a bright outlook for Manteca High’s future team. During the week, Coach Laws and assistant coach Ed DeGroot have been giving light workouts and teaching fundamentals of the game.
100 years ago: September 5, 1913 – Shepherd, who once pitched for Manteca, had the woeful misfortune of pitching against her Sunday morning. The result was that he was touched not too gently for 12 hits. While he struck out nine men, his team made only three hits off Lagorio and scored one run, while Manteca had eight runs to her favor at the finish of the scrimmage. Boyd, the new shortstop, played a good game and got three hits for Manteca.