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2006: EUs Steffen Spinks repeats as league MVP
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Forty years ago, on March 1, 1976, the ending of the season couldn’t have been happier for the East Union High girls’ basketball team as they handed Manteca High a stunning 38-31 upset loss at Dalben Center. Donna Conley and Marilyn Clarkson combined for 36 rebounds to lead EU in the upset victory. Clarkson, who had 20 rebounds, scored 11 points, while her teammate was high scorer for the game with 17 points. Leading Manteca High were Karen Steves with 13 points and Collette Collins with 10.


In other sports stories

from The Bulletin’s files:

40 years ago: March 3, 1976 – Dale Delmanowski put all his basketball skills together in his senior year and was rewarded by the VOL coaches last week. The 6-0 forward from Manteca High was the only local hoopster named to the all-VOL first team.

Three Tracy High pitchers combined their talents and fashioned a two-hitter as the Bulldogs shut out East Union High 4-0 here Friday afternoon. Carlos Herrera and Bob Mejorado collected the only hits for the Lancers.

The East Union High golf team, defending VOL co-champs along with Manteca High, overcame windy conditions at the Tracy Golf and Country Club to score a 203. This bested Tracy High’s 209, Atwater High’s 212 and Manteca High’s 223. Senior Jeff Baker shot a fine 37 to lead the Lancers. For the Buffaloes, Doug Horton led the way with a 40.

The extended season of Manteca High’s basketball team came to an abrupt and unceremonious end in Sacramento Tuesday night when Jesuit High pinned a 77-54 loss on the locals. It was the first time a Manteca team had reached the revised CIF playoffs.


30 years ago: March 2, 1986 – The East Union High golf team, under the direction of Ed Williams, collected its 200th win Wednesday with a 223-282 shellacking of Tracy High at the Manteca Park golf course. David Serpa led the way with a 43 for the Lancers, coached by Williams for the entire 20 years the program has been in existence.

East Union High exploded for four runs in each of the first two innings Wednesday to help forge a comfortable lead en route to a season-opening 13-4 softball victory over host Tracy High. The Lady Lancers, defending VOL champs, used the four-hit pitching of JoAnn Estrada and Cathy Cortez to subdue the hosts. At bat, Cortez laced a triple in a 3-for-4 performance, collecting three RBI while Kelli Horton added a 3-for-3 day at the plate, with a double and two RBI.

Manteca High took advantage of sheer numbers to win their four-way season track opener against St. Mary’s, East Union and Central Catholic Highs Thursday afternoon. MHS outdistanced St. Mary’s 77-65 in boys and the girls also won rather handily, beating EU 84-37. Sprinter Steve Duran was a three-time winner for the Buffaloes, winning the 120 high hurdles (15.77), 100 meters (11.74) and the 200 in 23.65. For EU, Tom Matlock finished first in the pole vault at 13 feet, a good mark for early season. On the girls’ side, Amanda Dias won the two sprints for MHS with times of 13.46 in the 100 and 28.28 in the 200. For the Lady Lancers, Tracy Alexander led a 1-2-3 finish in the long jump with a leap of 14-10.

East Union High’s Mark Waterman and Gary Kron both landed spots on the VOL all-star basketball team. Waterman, a 6-4 senior and Kron, a 6-2 sophomore, were the third and fourth leading scorers in the league, at 19.2 and 17.5, respectively.

East Union High’s Kelli Horton and Manteca High’s Joette Lucas, both juniors, made the VOL all-star basketball team during a vote of the coaches Wednesday.

Manteca High soccer players Melvin Armstrong and Heath Hitzman were named to the all-VOL first team, it was announced Thursday.

Manteca High, winners of seven straight VOL golf titles and undefeated in league last year, dropped its league opener by three strokes Tuesday 221-224 to Oakdale High. Joe Head and John Parlog each shot 41’s to lead the locals.

Manteca High lost handily to Franklin High 17-3 in its girls’ softball season opener Tuesday afternoon at Northgate Park in Manteca. MHS coach Bill Mendosa said shortstop Tammy McBride and third baseman Kelly Swift had good games, both offensively and defensively.

Manteca High’s top singles player Eric Reis won all three of his matches and No. 2 player Jon Belluomini won one, but the rest of the Buffalo tennis team was shut out in an 11-4 loss to Tracy High in the Buffs’ season opener on their home courts Tuesday.

East Union High exploded for eight runs on five hits in the fourth inning to beat Stagg High in their baseball home opener Tuesday afternoon. Scott Heaton picked up the win in relief and also singled, doubled and drove in three runs to key the win for the Lancers.

Despite committing five errors on routine plays and giving up a pair of unearned runs, Manteca High came away 3-2 victors over visiting Edison High as the Buffaloes took the diamond for the first time this season. Donnie Hall had a double for the winners.


20 years ago: March 3, 1996 – Elizar Ceballos placed sixth in the CIF State wrestling championships, becoming the first Manteca High wrestler to medal in the 24-year history of the meet. After winning three straight matches to reach the 140-pound semi-finals, Ceballos then lost a decision. The championships were held at Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton.

Using its strong and quick legs , the Sierra High boys’ track team finished third out of 18 teams in the Los Banos Invitational on Saturday afternoon. Timberwolf sprinters, topped by Leon Johnson’s 400-meter victory, excelled. Johnson broke the tape in 54.08. He, along with Preston Pate, Henry Turner and Eli Campbell, clocked in at 3:43.44 in the 800 meter relay.

Paced by Stan Mathews, the East Union High golf team overpowered a young Merced High squad 222-242 to improve to 3-0 overall. Mathews fired a three-over par 39 to lead the Lancers to victory on the Merced Country Club course.

Manteca High swept the doubles matches and won seven of nine in singles to defeat East Union High 13-2 Wednesday in the VOL tennis opener for both teams. Steve Sangalang won all three of his matches for the Buffaloes, while the Buff doubles teams of Scot Hoffman-Doug Bruchs and Ben Kema-Kirk Lockwood were also winners. For the Lancers, Paul Larimore and Robbie Dodenbrier won their matches.

Manteca High senior Bryan Lucas was the top vote getter as the all-VOL basketball team was announced. He was the only local athlete named to the league’s first team. For the girls, MHS senior Alari Watkins and East Union High sophomore Cynthia Mathews were first-team all-league selections.

Sierra High girls’ soccer coach Manuel Pires, whose senior-less team went 25-2 (16-0 in league) for the season, was named as the VOL Coach of the Year and Lady T’wolf Angela Allgaier was selected as the league’s Most Valuable Player. Jennie Amaya was the only freshman named on the all-league team. 

Sierra High honored its winter athletes at ceremonies Monday. Russell Stewart was named the T’wolf basketball team’s best offensive player. Other top athletes were Nikkos Martinez (wrestling) and Christi Goodhart (girls’ basketball).

East Union High honored its winter sports athletes at the Winter Sports Social Monday night. Outstanding athletes included Shane Lewis (boys’ basketball), Lyndi Saxton (soccer), Josh York (wrestling) and Cynthia Mathews (girls’ basketball).

The Sierra High softball team, moving up to the varsity level for the first time, dropped a 6-0 game to Tracy High Tuesday. Freshman pitcher Kristen Huntley went the entire way for Coach Allen Huckaby’s Lady Timberwolves.

Fernando Maestas hit a three-run homer to cap a six-run rally in the seventh inning Friday as Manteca High came from behind to score a 10-9 win over Oakdale High at the Pedretti Tournament in Turlock.

6-7 senior Bryan Lucas was honored as the boys’ basketball MVP at the Manteca High winter sports social Wednesday night. Other winners were: Elizar Ceballos (wrestling), Jamie Plaisted (soccer) and Alari Watkins (girls’ basketball).

It was the same old, same old for the defending VOL softball champion East Union High girls as they opened the season with a 3-0 win over Linden High on Wednesday. Jennifer Hensley drove in a run in the third inning and led the team in hitting with a 2-for-3 effort. Krista Nylen threw six innings, striking out five and walking just one and giving up three hits in her debut as the Lady Lancers’ starting pitcher.

East Union High had eight hits Wednesday but the only one that counted was a home run by Eric Denton in the Lancers’ 3-1 loss to Tokay High at Agostini Field.

Sierra High has been close to winning each of its first three baseball games, but Johansen High scored two runs in the fifth inning Wednesday to pull away for a 4-1 win over the Timberwolves. Matt Starke had two hits to lead SHS at the plate.

The Sierra High golf team posted its lowest team score ever Wednesday at Manteca Park, but it wasn’t enough as Bear Creek High scored a 208-237 VOL win over the T’wolves. James Gowan led Sierra with a 42.

The Sierra High tennis team opened its first-ever varsity season by dropping a 7-0 match to Elk Grove’s Laguna Creek High.


10 years ago: March 8, 2006 – East Union High senior point guard Steffen Spinks was voted the Valley Oak League MVP for the second consecutive year, leading the Lancer basketball team to the postseason and an 8-4 league finish. Spinks averaged 17 points a game, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 steals. In addition, Manteca High senior forward Garret Tolman and Sierra High’s senior Michael Elder were named to the all-VOL first team. 

With less than two minutes remaining in the soccer match, Sierra High’s Cheri Deprater took a pass from Bri Doty and lofted a shot into the net and the undefeated Timberwolves managed a 1-1 tie with host Johansen High in Modesto on Tuesday. Johansen became the first team to score on SHS in eight games this season.

Sierra High sophomore Ashley Tugade, East Union High’s Christin Gowan and Sughey Cervantes of Manteca High were named to the all- VOL’s first team by the league’s basketball coaches.

With less than two minutes remaining, Manteca High goalie Kym Gause made a diving stop on a Grace Davis Hifgh shot to preserved a 2-2 non-league draw at Guss Schmiedt Field on Tuesda y. Gause finished with seven saves. The Buffaloes (7-0-2) were paced by goals from Renee Munson and Kim Herrera.

Daniel Dineen (wrestling) and Michael Elder (basketball) were named as most valuable athletes at the Sierra High Winter Sports Awards ceremony recently.

Sierra High’s Cherise McNair was a double winner Saturday at the Sierra Invitational Relays at Modesto Junior College. She captured the 800 meters in 2:31.8 and then dusted the field by more than seven seconds in the 1600 (5:27.08).

Manteca High’s 215-pound wrestler Vince Bordi placed second at the CIF State wrestling championships in Bakersfield over the weekend.

East Union High’s Ashley McGuiness drilled a follow-up into the West High goal with nine minutes remaining as EU ground out a 3-2 non-league victory on Thursday. Kylie Dalton and Jenny Dobbins had the other Lancer goals. 

The Sierra High baseball team displayed a solid pitching performance against Franklin High of Elk Grove on Wednesday as the Timberwolves’ Jordan Duraam pitched four innings, helping his team to a 6-0 non-league victory. He also had a triple in the win.