The Turlock High girls' water polo squad topped out in third place in the Central California Conference last season, despite numerous tight contests against league opponents, including a one-goal loss to second place Buhach Colony to end the regular season.
The Central California Conference has become one of the premier leagues for high school water polo in the area and the state. That competition was too much for Pitman and Turlock boys' water polo teams last year; but it's a new season and new teams.
Typically, football teams take the first few weeks of the season to find themselves-to fine tune fundamentals, build team chemistry, and cement a foundation for success during league play.
Pitman High hosted Lincoln High of Stockton on Friday as the Pride looked to follow up their stellar opening day performance with another decisive victory over the visiting Lincoln High Trojans.
Last year the Central California Conference proved why it is one of the most dominant leagues in the state when it comes to boys soccer. Five of the six teams finished with at least four draws in league contests, while the first and second place teams - Turlock and Atwater - were only one game apart.
Delhi High wanted the 2013 season to be different; it wanted to taste sustained success on the gridiron and compete for the Southern League title. Last week the Hawks took their first step towards that goal with a shutout victory against Galt High, and then followed it up with a second, more convincing, step on Friday with a 48-18 victory over Big Valley Christian High.
With only nine players on its bench, Hilmar High's volleyball team mirrors the look and feel of its school-small. But what the Yellowjackets lack in depth, they make up for with consistency and power.
To say Pitman High was eager to get the 2013 high school football season started would be an understatement. They waited through the off-season, had to wait through opening Friday, and were forced to wait an extra half-hour due to a delay before their Saturday night home opener-but when the wait was over the Pride uncorked.
Turlock High kicked off the 2013 high school football season in grand fashion Friday night when it hosted Valley Oak League stalwarts and 2012 Division II State runner ups Oakdale High.
The Delhi High football team won its season opener at home in shutout fashion, dominating Galt High by a score of 20-0, after an all around impressive performance by the defense.
Fresh off a Division VI Sac-Joaquin Section championship run last season, the Turlock Christian volleyball team is hoping to capture the one title that was out of reach - a Southern League banner.
It was a rollercoaster last year in the Central California Conference for local high school volleyball teams. Pitman High blazed through the conference going undefeated with a 15-0 record, while Turlock went 1-13 and struggled with a young team going through a reconstruction phase in coach Amber Castillon's second year.
The Hilmar High varsity volleyball team placed second last year in the Trans Valley League with a 10-2 record; but this year they return with a vengeance with one goal in mind - dethroning Escalon. The Cougars were last year's conference champions, finishing with an undefeated record of 12-0.
Like many small schools, Turlock Christian High has had its fair share of problems when it comes to student enrollment and athletics. Typically, the resulting effect of low roster numbers is a decreased level of competiveness but other measures-such as the elimination of junior varsity programs- have also been taken in years past.
Case Hirdes' veins pump rodeo blood. The Turlock teenager has been enthralled with the sport and the lifestyle since as long as he can remember; following the dusty boot prints of his grandfather Les, father Ed and brother Blake. While his high school peers focused on sports like baseball and football, Hirdes soaked up all things rodeo as he competed in both amateur and high school competitions.
The valley's seemingly endless dry fall ended with a downpour on Friday. As the rain washed away harvest dust, it also took with it Turlock High football's dreams for a Central California Conference title - with just one play.
The Pitman Pride football team picked up another away game victory, beating out the Atwater Falcons, 20-7, in a rainy match at Atwater's home stadium Friday night.
Making the playoffs is a difficult task, but it doesn't seem that way for the Dehli High Hawks. The Hawks clinched a postseason berth for the seventh consecutive season on Thursday after notching a 2-1 win over Southern Athletic League foe Mariposa County High.
Pitman High girls water polo, which had already solidified a spot in the postseason, came in to Thursday's crosstown game against Turlock with a lot of confidence. That confidence was soon shaken, however, when the Bulldogs pulled off a 5-4 victory.
Turlock and Pitman boys water polo teams met on Thursday night at Pitman High for one final Central California Conference showdown.
Hilmar High is two matches away from finishing with an undefeated Trans Valley League record for the second straight year, and only one match away from clinching the outright 2014 TVL title.
Add another accolade and banner to Turlock High.
The Denair High Coyotes varsity football team is still winless in the Southern Athletic League after dropping its fifth straight league match last Friday.
Hilmar High's football team failed to play spoilers in their penultimate home Trans Valley League matchup against Hughson High, which ended with a 37-21 loss.
The Pitman Pride found redemption in this week's Central California Conference matchup against Golden Valley. Coming off a loss to Merced last week, the Pride held the Cougars to minimal yards and took the, 27-0, victory Friday night at Golden Valley High School.
Turlock High put in its best performance of the season Friday night during its homecoming matchup against Atwater High, dominating the Falcons 56-7.
Don't lose it. Keep grinding.
Q. What is the hardest part about playing water polo?
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