As a first year head coach you can either flourish or struggle. Some would say the first year path depends on a coach's ability to bring a team together and set a clear goal but the truth is the players and their will tend to be the determining factors.
The girls tennis team at Pitman High accomplished a stunning feat last year, winning more matches than all of the program's previous seasons combined. Things are different this year, however, as nine of last year's top players have moved on from Pitman as well as Jeff Hayes, the Pride's former head coach and tennis mainstay.
Ken Wynn has spent the past five years as an assistant for Turlock Christian High's volleyball team, helping guide the Eagles to a state appearance and numerous post-season appearances. This season Wynn continues his work on the court with TC but he does so with a different title preceding his name - head coach.
Turlock Christian High suffered through a long run last year, failing to win a single match in regular season play. The Eagles hope 2012 will produce a different narrative, one which includes victories and cements a foundation for future success.
For the last three seasons Delhi High's boys soccer team has done considerably well, finishing in the upper tier of the Southern Athletic League standings and earning post-season appearances. But as a wise man once said, "If you're not first you're last," and that's exactly how head coach Armando Salazar feels this season.
The volleyball team at Delhi High School faces many challenges each year in the Southern Athletic League. In terms of competition, Ripon Christian High poses the greatest test for the Lady Hawks but there are other obstacles that Delhi and third year head coach Adriana Nunez must overcome. Lack of height is certainly an important one but for Nunez the most difficult task has been instilling a sense of commitment and dedication in her team.
The year following a championship season can be hard for high school teams who must deal with losing team leaders while attempting to maintain consistency. But sometimes those worries don't exist; sometimes the tides align in a way that seems almost too perfect. Such is the case for this year's Turlock High girls golf team.
With five consecutive undefeated seasons and five consecutive Central California Conference Championships on display there's no questioning the success and ability of Turlock High's girls tennis program. As the 2012 season begins to heat up the only real question to ask is, "can they do it again?"
Pitman High steamrolled Chavez High on Friday, vanquishing the Titans 54-13 in the second game of the season.
The Turlock Bulldogs and Sonora Wildcats met on the gridiron for the first time in 23 years on Friday, where they traded shots and lit up the scoreboard at Joe Debely Field. After an underwhelming performance against Oakdale High a week ago Turlock bounced back, unleashing a multitude of weapons in a 432-yard offensive effort that resulted in a 35-27 victory for the Bulldogs (1-1).
It was sunny but the occasional breeze helped lessen the heat on Wednesday at Donnelly Park. Still, there was no avoiding sweat and fatigue as runners from Turlock and Pitman High took three laps around the park for the Cross County Turlock Scrimmage.
A second place Trans Valley League finish and a first round playoff appearance were the fruits of Hilmar High's boys soccer team's labor last season but for head coach Louie Bettencourt and his players it wasn't enough. Now, with four returning starters, the Yellowjackets are back and ready to take another crack at the TVL championship.
Pitman High made history last season, earning its first Central California Conference volleyball championship since the school's induction. After sending several players from last season's team to collegiate programs the Pride are back with another talented cast on the court and they're thinking repeat.
Hilmar High's volleyball team is back and, for the first time in a long time, the Yellowjackets have height on their side. After tying with Ripon High for second place in the Trans Valley League last season, Hilmar is on a mission for first place and its girls have the weapons to achieve.
Turlock High's volleyball team returns with three experienced starters this season, one for each Central California Conference match the team won last year. Those Bulldogs - Courtney Crivelli, Sarah Day, and Amy Chiesa - are second year head coach Amber Castillon's foundation for 2012 as Turlock attempts to turn the corner after two less than stellar seasons.
Delhi High has a new volleyball coach for the 2014 season. Valley local, Lauren Ruell, who graduated from Buhach Colony in 2005 and then went on to play volleyball at Merced Junior College, is the Hawks' new head coach.
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