Before the last third of the league season commenced, coach Doug Cornfoot issued a challenge to his Turlock High boys basketball players. He wanted them to take every game as a do-or-die situation.
MODESTO - With his face still covered in sweat and the bruises on his body still fresh, Pitman High senior wrestler Andrew Perez made an announcement just outside of the Gregori High gym, where this season's Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Championships took place on Saturday.
MODESTO - Once he took off his trademark hat and his warm-ups, it didn't take very long for Turlock High senior wrestler Fabian Garcia to be crowned a three-time champion at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I South Championships on Saturday night.
Anthony Hubbard got the ball on the left wing, right in front of the Turlock High boys basketball team bench. He was about to take a shot he and his team aren't known for, all while in front of another packed Bulldog Arena crowd for Friday night's crosstown rivalry game against Pitman High.
The most important thing the Turlock High girls basketball team wanted from Thursday night's crosstown rivalry game against Pitman High was to not give in and settle. An outright Central California Conference title was on the line for the Bulldogs, who did not want anything less.
MERCED - To say the least, they were ready for this moment.
HILMAR - In order to make the playoffs for the third consecutive time, all the Hilmar High boys basketball team had to do was stop an Escalon High team that had beaten the Yellowjackets earlier in the season by double-digits.
With the third and final release of the Sac-Joaquin Section Basketball Power Ratings, the age-old sports mantra that "every game counts" is a hard-nosed reality for both Pitman High and Turlock High girls basketball teams.
Every time he's inside his school's wrestling room, Turlock High senior Fabian Garcia will look at the blue banner placed high on one of the walls. All the names of the program's past state medalists share a spot on the sign in yellow letters, with the champions distinguished in white.
At the start of the wrestling season, Denair High coach Don Helnore hoped to have champions at the Southern League Tournament, especially because the Coyotes were scheduled to host the postseason event. He had a couple wrestlers in mind who could possibly achieve the honor.
Coach Dave Exline and his Hilmar High wrestling team had a simple plan: Get as many wrestlers qualified as possible.
ATWATER - This year's Central California Conference wrestling championships had a festive vibe. Some wrestlers dyed their hair blonde to perhaps highlight team camaraderie, as well as the start of the postseason. Another wrestler was spotted wearing pink socks.
In the conference room at Turlock High's main office, athletic director Anthony Belew had to speak his mind to Josue Barajas, who signed his national letter of intent to play for Cal State Stanislaus men's soccer on Friday morning.
Before her team even began league play, Turlock High girls basketball coach Salinda Mabie said the Bulldogs' undefeated streak in the Central California Conference was in jeopardy. It was a bold statement, but also a logical one.
At last weekend's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament for girls wrestling, several of the coaches and wrestlers at the event stopped and watched Turlock High junior Alexia Moreno in action. It's unusual for anyone to get this kind of superstar treatment, but people in the high school wrestling community seem to think she's different.
Three days after five of its wrestlers placed in the top-six at Midcals, Pitman High was back on the mat for a Tuesday night dual with Central California Conference foe Buhach Colony High. The Thunder entered the dual with only one league loss, a one-point defeat at the hands of Golden Valley High, and an aim to blemish Pitman's perfect CCC record.
The Hilmar High boys varsity basketball team suffered a devastating loss in the closing seconds of Friday's matchup against Trans Valley League foe Escalon High.
Homecoming night didn't fare too well for the Turlock Christian High varsity boys basketball team on Saturday, as they fell to Big Valley Christian, 47-53.
The Turlock Christian High (14-7) girls basketball team is on a roll.
The Pitman High Pride began Friday's home matchup against Central California Conference and crosstown foe Turlock on a roll. That roll turned south, however, after the Pride lost their leading scorer in the second half.
One of Denair High School's best baseball players in the past decade will return this spring to take over as varsity coach.
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