On Saturday I drove to the S.O.S Club in Modesto to watch the SINtral Valley Derby Girls host the Shasta Mountain Mighty Rollers, where I experienced the cult sensation known as roller derby for the first time. As I walked onto the basketball court - which had been fashioned into a makeshift track - I couldn't help but notice the crowd's enthusiasm as the girls strapped on their helmets and prepared to jam.
Professional debuts are usually planned months in advance, giving fighters ample time to train and prepare themselves for their opponent as well as their introduction to the highest level of Mixed Martial Arts competition. Turlock's Ty Costa has been fighting for two years but he's only had two weeks to get ready for today's 145 pound fight with Mario Soto. Still, the former Bulldog wrestler exhibited a calm confidence as he wrapped up his training on Thursday, making it clear that he intends to win.
Golf is viewed as an elitist sport by many, on par with tennis when it comes to the high cost to participate and develop as a player. Because of this, a lot of young athletes don't consider golf to be a viable option, resulting in a large, untapped demographic of potential golfers.
With an upset over Linden High under its belt, Hilmar High baseball planned on cruising by Dixon High, in a best two out of three series, on its way to the SJS Division V Championship game. Things didn't quite go as smoothly as they hoped, though.
The cage sat in the middle of the room, under vaulted ceilings and bright lights, occupied by modern day gladiators and surrounded by spectators. Those in attendance at Stockton's Memorial Civic Auditorium gathered to watch Mixed Martial Artists fight, eager to see strikes, submissions, and if they were lucky, blood. Split between the balcony and the floor, a sizeable group of Turlockers sat in anticipation, waiting for Brandon "The Fireman" Bettencourt and "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez to make their way into the cage.
The SJS Division I Section Finals were a success for both Turlock and Pitman High. After two days of competition at Elk Grove High, the Bulldogs advanced eight athletes to the Masters Meet Trials and the Pride advanced five.
Pitman High was elated at the end of the regular season, winning its first Central California Conference softball championship in school history. The Pride's (16-11 overall) enthusiasm was short lived, however, as Sheldon High (19-9 overall) destroyed their post-season dreams in the first round of the SJS Division I Playoff Tournament, 16-1.
Local athletes put in solid performances last week at the SJS Division IV/V Track Finals that were held at Modesto Junior College. Denair High, Turlock Christian High, and Hilmar high each brought athletes to the competition and experienced varying degrees of success. Hilmar walked away with the most success, however, finishing 12th as a team in the girls division and advancing five athletes to the finals of their respective events.
Turlock High's playoff run is over. After two emotional, sudden death, post-season victories, the Lady Bulldogs (13-3-7 overall) succumbed to Franklin High of Elk Grove, 1-0, on Thursday in the semi-final round of the SJS Division I Playoff Tournament.
Hilmar High traveled to Dixon High on Thursday, one game away from the SJS Division V Championship game. With a Trans Valley League championship already under their belt, the Lady 'Jackets strived to bring another section title to Hilmar, but in the end it wasn't meant to be. Hilmar and Dixon fought hard in regulation and overtime but it was the Rams who emerged victorious after a penalty kick shootout, 4-2.
Hilmar High's baseball team entered the first round of the SJS Division V playoff tournament with a chip on its shoulder. The Yellowjackets (14-7 overall), who ended their regular season with a pair of losses to rival Escalon High, stepped onto Billy Hebert Field in Stockton eager to show Linden High they were true contenders. The Lions (22-5 overall), Mother Lode League Champions and number one seed, were outmatched by Hilmar's pitching and fell 5-1.
Hilmar High entered the SJS Division V softball playoff tournament with high hopes after finishing second in the Trans Valley League. The Yellowjackets (11-8-1 overall) found themselves pitted against Marysville High (23-5 overall) in the first round of the tournament, and for the first couple of innings they played up to those hopes. Unfortunately, the Indians' offense ignited in the third inning, ultimately pressuring Hilmar into defeat, 8-1.
TWB, together we're better. It's written on the wrists of Turlock High's girls soccer team and it's a source of pride and inspiration for the Bulldogs. It can be seen not only on their flesh but in the style of play during any given Bulldog game, and Tuesday's SJS Division I quarterfinal matchup with Tracy High was no different.
The reigning Trans Valley League champions, Hilmar High, continued its winning ways on Tuesday with a 2-1 victory over Calaveras High in the first round of the SJS Division V Playoff Tournament.
"Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez is ready to step into the cage once again, as he should be. On Friday, Gonzalez (3-0) will take on Lamar Reed (1-0) at the Stockton Memorial Civic Center as part of Up and Comers 10. Six months removed from his last fight, Gonzalez is looking for his fourth professional win as he continues to further his MMA career.
Denair High's wrestling team has once again gained control if its destiny with Wednesday's 57-18 win over Delhi High. Having lost their first dual of the season to Waterford High, the Coyotes (2-1 SAL) were pleased to find out that the Wildcats were handed their first league loss by Mariposa High on Wednesday. Denair is now in position to claim a share of the Southern Athletic League Championship if it can beat Mariposa when the two schools meet next week.
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