Today's a big day for the post-season dreams of a number of high schoolers as three boys basketball teams compete for a chance at a San Joaquin Section title in their respective divisions.
Turlock High is sending seven wrestlers to the San Joaquin Section Division IA Finals, better known as the Masters Tournament, after a third place team finish at last weekend's SJS D1A Championships which was hosted at Pitman High.
Hilmar High's girls basketball team fell to top seeded Bear River High Tuesday night, 63-31, in the first round of the San Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs. The Yellowjackets, who defeated Mariposa High last Friday in a teeth clinching, out bracket 61-59 victory, were no match for the Bruins who put on a basketball clinic in the first half with steady treys and an inside attack.
Both Turlock and Pitman have eight wrestlers competing in day two of the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional Tournament, held at Pitman High today. Six Bulldogs and three Pride grapplers are headed into the semi-finals; not too bad, but for Turlock coach Mike Contreras it could have been better.
For the first time in five years Turlock Christian High is sending an athlete to play collegiate football. Senior Nick Steeley recently signed with Iowa's Dordt College where he is expected to line up as a scatback for the Defenders.
Delhi High may have earned its first post-season bid in eight years after defeating Turlock Christian High 66-54 on Saturday. The Hawks faced the Eagles in Pitman High's gym for TC's homecoming but it was Delhi who settled in and made the court theirs with a combination of speed and pressure.
Hilmar High completed its Trans Valley League wrestling season with a fourth place team finish at Saturday's TVL league tournament-impressive considering the Yellowjackets' seven-man roster.
I've been covering local sports for more than a year, enough time to experience all the firsts that come with the job-or so I thought.
Turlock High put a cap on its regular season Friday night with a 48-36 win over rival Pitman High. The Bulldogs scored points in bunches, nine and 10 points at a time, and dictated the game's tempo on their way to victory.
With post-season hopes gone, Thursday marked the final game of the season for both Turlock and Pitman High girls basketball teams. The Bulldogs, who experienced a season of struggle in 2012, were seen by many as the night's underdogs, but with a lively crowd watching their final home game they hit the court with renewed spirit.
The Turlock High wrestling team entered Thursday's Central California League Tournament with heaping confidence. The Bulldogs had already bested their league foes through a string of duals, leaving one day of competition between them and an outright CCC Championship.
Pitman High announced Tom Tyler's selection for the vacant head football coach position on Friday. Tyler, former head coach for Turlock High from 1996-2006, will replace Brandon Harris who recently accepted a similar position at Columbia High in Nampa, Idaho. He will be the third head coach in the football program's history.
Eight years ago Nicole Larson was introduced to a game called soccer. She had never played before but the call of competition sucked her in and hooked her instantly. Her Turlock Youth Soccer Association coach Jim Tejeda recognized her passion-and her talent-and made a bold prediction.
Atwater High was back in Turlock Tuesday night, five days after a failed comeback attempt against Pitman High. This time the Falcons faced off against Turlock High in a game with a much different tone. Atwater hit the Bulldogs early and often with consistent scoring and rebounding en route to a 40-34 victory.
Hilmar High redirected its ship Monday night when the Orestimba High Warriors rolled into town. After dropping consecutive games to Modesto Christian and Riverbank High, the Yellowjackets (17-6 overall, 5-5 TVL) saved their Trans Valley League season with a dominant 57-41 victory over the Warriors (5-20 overall, 0-10 TVL) to put them in the top tier of league standings.
Four more Pitman High athletes will soon be joining the collegiate ranks after signing letters of intent on Tuesday. Quentin Hernandez, Cristian Clementi, Gilbert Valadez and Angel Velasquez each put ink to paper in front of friends and family for their individual colleges as Hernandez signed on to play football for George Fox University in Oregon and Clementi, Valadez and Velasquez signed on to wrestle for Grand Canyon University in Arizona, Luther College in Iowa and Northern Illinois University, respectively.
Turlock High girls soccer owned the 2015 season as far as the Central California Conference was concerned, edging out Merced High in a tight race for first place en route to the Bulldogs' fourth consecutive league championship. That momentum was put to a halt immediately in the post season, however, when Turlock traveled to Bella Vista High on Tuesday for the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Tournament.
Local golfers represented their schools well at CIF Sac-Joaquin Divisional Tournaments on Monday, with Turlock Christian placing third in the Division VI tournament and Turlock High taking fourth in Division I competition. Hilmar's Landon Azevedo, Turlock's Logan Adams and Turlock Christian High's Logun Lundquist will all advance to the Master's level after notching qualifying scores in their respective tournaments.
Monday marked the start of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs for local high school tennis teams that included Delhi, Denair, Pitman and Turlock High. All but Turlock fell in the opening round after the Bulldogs edged out the visiting Folsom Bulldogs, 6-3, on Tuesday in a comeback victory.
Denair High tennis head coach Bill Weber has his sights set on a long and prosperous future the Coyote program and he is off to a good start. After Friday's Southern Athletic League tournament, Denair can boast two league winners in the mixed doubles and the boys singles brackets.
Turlock High won the final game of its three-game series with rival Pitman High Friday afternoon, beating the Pride 8-3 after falling 0-7 on Tuesday and 5-6 on Thursday. But while Pitman walked away from Turlock's home field in the loser's column on Friday, its boys exited the week as winners, at least partially, of the Central California Conference with only one win needed to claim the outright championship.
A local face will be taking over the Denair High School football head coaching duties.
Hilmar High's Jacob Ahid has been a small-town, valley boy all his life. He's developed as a baseball player from child to adolescent, but for the next step in his baseball career Ahid will be leaving Hilmar and heading to Seaside where he will become the newest addition to California State University, Monterey Bay.
The Hilmar High boys varsity golf team failed to pick up a Trans Valley League championship this past Monday at La Contenta Golf Course.
Pitman, which has been neck and neck with Merced all season long, placed second for both the girls and boys in the Central California Conference Championship meet that took place at Golden Valley High on Saturday to finish just behind Merced in the CCC.
Turlock High's Ryan Asai went into Tuesday's Central California Conference singles tournament with high hopes. The Bulldog boasted an undefeated record heading into the tournament, but met his match in Merced's Juan Ciudad in the semifinal round.
The Turlock High boys varsity golf team has won its fourth Central California Conference tournament in the last five years after edging out Pitman and Buhach on Monday at the Merced Country Club.
It was a defensive deadlock for the majority of Tuesday's cross-town showdown between Turlock and Pitman High. After four innings of solid pitching from the Bulldogs' Nick Avila and Pride's Nick Jones, the scoreboard read 0-0 and everyone was left questioning, who would falter first?
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