Randy Hopkins has been working for Turlock Christian High for at least 30 years, many of them as a softball head coach. But prior to Thursday afternoon, there was something he has never seen before.
After his bittersweet fifth-place showing at last month's CIF State Championships, it looked like Turlock High wrestler Fabian Garcia could no longer wrestle. His voice was low, his head was down. He couldn't hide his sadness and dissatisfaction in his post-match interviews.
For his trip to Ohio, Pitman High freshman Emilio Saavedra carried with him more than just his clothes and wrestling gear. Metaphorically speaking, he had a giant monkey on his back.
Cheyenne Perry, a four-year volleyball and softball player at Turlock Christian High, has been awarded scholarship money as one of 49 winners of the A. Dale Lacky/CSEA Scholarships for outstanding performances in athletics, community service and academics during high school.
ATWATER - Clay Cozzitorto just had one more inning left to pitch. He had shut out his opponents all afternoon, and he was mentally prepared to face them again. But there was something he wasn't ready for.
The goal is always to beat Turlock High. But for the Pitman High softball team, some years are just wishful thinking.
With one of their best pitchers on the mound, the Turlock High baseball team exacted revenge over Merced High on Wednesday afternoon in Merced. Sophomore Nick Voumard pitched three scoreless innings and the Bulldogs won 6-0 to regain control of the Central California Conference.
This is how much Turlock High junior Alexia Moreno and Santa Fe High's Tamara Tillman wanted a national wrestling title: In the second round of their 121-pound final match of the USAW Girls Folkstyle National Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., last weekend, the two bumped heads in an attempt to gain a shot at the same exact time.
It was an oh-so ordinary day for the Turlock High track and field athletes on Monday afternoon at Joe Debely Stadium. Hurdlers and jumpers loosened their limbs on an artificial turf field. Runners warmed up on an all-weather track. Pole vaulters battled a slight wind down a marked runway before extending skyward.
Swimming might be one of the tougher spring sports. It's not just because of the amount of pain a swimmer puts himself or herself through by swimming lap after lap. In this sport, there aren't too many days off.
It wasn't like Turlock High baseball didn't have opportunities.
Asked to recount her version of the goal that gave her Pitman High girls soccer team its first win over crosstown nemesis Turlock High in six years, senior forward Hannah Verschelden could not provide all the details. All she remembered was she wanted to lace the ball with some power and kick it away from the goalkeeper.
It's still early in the track and field season, but athletes from Pitman, Turlock, Turlock Christian, Denair and Hilmar high schools have already been challenged. It's not just all the time and effort they have to put in that will help them become faster or stronger. It's the weather.
Here's the scoop on this season's softball teams.
To say the least, there will be some shakeups in high school girls soccer this season.
After three years of getting dominated by Merced (10-2), the Pitman High (9-3) varsity softball team finally made history on Friday afternoon, topping the Bears at home, 3-2, and snapping an eight game losing streak that dated back to the 2012 season.
The Turlock Christian varsity softball team has now boasted back-to-back league wins after beating Stone Ridge Christian on Friday, 16-5.
The Turlock High (8-2) varsity baseball team has quietly yet steadily been creeping and stalling just behind or barely ahead of Pitman High for the top spot in the Central California Conference for most the year.
Friday marked the third time this season that both Delhi and Denair High met for one final showdown on the tennis courts as the battle for second place in the Southern Athletic League continued heading into the final two matches.
League championships for boys golf will be held on Monday for schools across the area. These tournaments are typically a place for teams to put in one final, solid performance in the hopes of qualifying for Divisionals as a team, but for Turlock and Hilmar High, its respective tournaments will instead be a formality as its boys have a ticket to Divisionals all but in the bag.
Alyssa Stockton has experienced her fair share of success during her 11 years in a softball uniform, but her biggest achievement was undoubtedly reached on Friday when she signed her letter of intent for California State University, Bakersfield where she will become one of the Roadrunners' pitchers.
The battle for first place in the Central California Conference varsity girls soccer standings is heating up.
Pitman High currently has 11 student-athletes competing at the collegiate level for track and field and after Tuesday, the list of Pride athletes participating in this sport grew with the addition of four more standouts.
Pitman and Turlock High met in the pool for a classic crosstown Central California Conference showdown on Friday, with the Pride starting strong and ending the day with wins for both the boys (109-60) and girls (106-64) teams.
With only five games left in the Central California Conference season, Pitman High softball is on a mission to dethrone two-time defending CCC champs Merced High. The Pride continued their hunt for the Bears' first place position on Friday with a 10-1 home win against rival Turlock High, extending their league record to 9-6 and closing Merced's lead by only two games.
The Pitman High Pride varsity baseball team is now 6-1 in the Central California Conference after beating Atwater, 2-1, on Friday afternoon thanks to Josh Hernandez's 6 and 2/3 innings pitched as he gave up only one run on four hits and walked two.
There is no stopping the Turlock High (7-0) Bulldogs varsity baseball team right now.
Hilmar High ace starting pitcher Jacob Ahid struck out 13 and allowed only one earned run in Friday's tournament finale against Mariposa and the Yellowjackets lost in a tight 0-1 decision, snapping a three game winning streak.
Pitman High's softball team is currently competing in the Northern California Classic Tournament in Tracy, and as of Friday, the Pride are a perfect 2-0 after sweeping through Santa Teresa and Los Banos in their opening games.
Turlock High softball started this season's Central California Conference campaign o the right foot, winning three of its first five league games after winning a total of only two league games last season. After back-to-back one-run wins against Merced and Buhach Colony High the Bulldogs hit a snag, however, as they skid into spring break with a pair of losses to Atwater and Golden Valley High.