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.
RIPON - The Southern League girls basketball title is likely to be shared by its two parochial schools for a second straight season.
It was all about control for Pitman High Thursday night when Atwater High rolled into town.
It was the final dual meet of the season Wednesday night and fans from both Turlock and Pitman High sat in the stands of Turlock's girls gym, giddy with anticipation and ready to watch the cross-town rivals compete on the mat. For a few Bulldog seniors it would be their last chance to wrestle in front of a home crowd-but some never got the chance.
Normally Pitman High's aim is a top tier finish at its annual home tournament, the Rumble in the Jungle, but with eight wrestlers sidelined due to match count the Pride hit the mat on Saturday with their sights set on individual success.
It was the matchup of the season Friday night.
It happens nearly every time they step on the same court.
Turlock High wrestling improved to 3-0 in the Central California Conference this week with dual wins over Merced High in Tuesday and Buhach Colony High on Wednesday. The Bulldogs defeated the Bears by winning 10 of the night's 14 matches and put down the Thunder by winning 12 of 15 matches.
Pitman High thoroughly beat Merced High on the baseball diamond Monday afternoon in the Pride's second Central California Conference game of the season. Four days removed from beating Golden Valley High 8-0, Pitman again pitched a shutout as they handed Merced its third consecutive loss by a score of 10-0.
Things have changed in the Central California Conference this year and this week marked the beginning of a three-game series, starting with game one at Turlock High as the Bulldogs hosted the Atwater Falcons.
The Central California Conference and the Modesto Metro Conference gathered together for Saturday's Nor Cal Relay at Johansen High with Turlock and Pitman owning the day on the pool.
It was a down game for the Hilmar varsity baseball team on Saturday afternoon when they hosted Sonora High.
The Hilmar High (6-3-1) girls varsity soccer team is only two wins away from tying last year's win total and league hasn't even started.
Four consecutive errors in the sixth inning gave the Hilmar High varsity softball team its second straight Trans Valley League loss on Friday afternoon as Riverbank played the spoilers in a 3-8 loss.
Denair High came close to earning its first win of the season this week in a two-game showdown with Le Grand High on Wednesday and Friday, but late-inning slumps in both games instead led to a pair of defeats and extended the Coyote's record to 0-8.
The sting of loss felt by both Turlock and Pitman High baseball teams in the second day of the Pedretti Tournament was quickly forgotten on Saturday, as each local team toppled their respective opponent to end with a win and 2-1 overall record.
The 2015 tennis season is shaping up to be a highly competitive one for Southern Athletic League teams, with Ripon Christian, Delhi and Denair High leading the pack. The Knights, as they did last season and in seasons past, sit atop the league standings while the Hawks sit with one loss and the Coyotes sit with two.
Just one day after placing fourth alongside Escalon High in the team standings of the 2015 Yellowjacket Invitational, Hilmar High suffered its first Trans Valley League loss at the hands of Ripon High on Tuesday. Despite beating Ripon by nearly 30 strokes on Monday, the 'Jackets found themselves on the losing end of a two-stroke game against the Indians, 237-235.
Last year Turlock High's varsity boys tennis team went a perfect 12-0 in the Central California Conference behind head coach Juana Alaniz, who after the season decided to call it quits while his assistant coach Bill Weber recently accepted the head coaching job at Denair High.
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