Last season Pitman High's girls claimed the Central California Conference basketball crown for the first time in program history, posted a season's best 11-4 record, and advanced to the post-season for the third year in a row. Now, the Lady Pride are back and ready to run the court again, equipped with new pieces to fit what they hope to be a repeat season.
High school coaches regularly deal with the need to replenish their teams each year as players are lost to graduation, but rarely do they find themselves in a position of replacing an entire starting lineup.
Pitman High's wrestling team is out to a good start to the 2012 season. With two returning Masters qualifiers, the Pride took first place in Saturday's Hilmar Irwin-Stevenson Lions Invitational, finishing undefeated as a team. Head coach Adam Vasconcellos believes Saturday's dual performance is the first in what will be a shockingly productive season.
There were smiles and a few tears, but mostly smiles on Wednesday when Pitman's Jordan Gonzalez and Hailee Baldwin signed their respective letters of intent to the University of the Pacific and Fresno State. Staying with Pride tradition, a large crowd gathered in the school's library to watch the culmination of the two athletes' energy, effort, and time and catch a glimpse of what their future might hold.
It's a season of renewal and transition for Turlock High's girls basketball team. After a late season slide in 2011 that saw the Lady Bulldogs lose five of their last six games, Turlock enlisted the help of first year head coach Michelle Bush to bring the team back to basics.
Turlock High is back for the 2012-13 Central California Conference basketball season and eager to climb its way back to the top. The Bulldogs are without their leading scorer of the last two years, Alek Carlson, but the return of seniors DaShawn Holcombe, Tyler Murphy, Darren Trainor, and Austin Bush has left head coach Doug Cornfoot with an optimistic outlook for the season.
Nearly 60 teenagers lined the walls of Turlock High's wrestling room on Monday. The large and enthusiastic crowd was there to compete within their individual weight classes in the first step towards an expected trimming of the ranks.
1st Team All-League
Delhi High's girls basketball team is on a quest for newfound status in the Southern Athletic League this season, eager to leave behind them the days of being dominated on the court. With new head coach Demetrio Quintrero at the helm, the Hawks hope 2012 will be the turnaround year the program's been waiting for- and if Quintrero's enthusiasm is any indicator it just might be.
Delhi High's boys basketball team had a decent run in the Southern Athletic League last season, finishing 8-6 and tying for third place. After losing all but two players to graduation, the Hawks are back in 2012 with both a new roster and new head coach in Eugene Drummond.
Three years ago Ray Cedres and Delhi High School decided it was time to breathe new life into a defunct wrestling program. After nearly seven years without wrestling as an athletic option, the Hawks are making strides, slowly but surely, down the road of reconstruction. Delhi enters this season with 11 wrestlers on the roster, a seemingly small number but enough to get head coach Cedres excited.
One inch and one point. That's all that separated Pitman High from its first Division I SJS semi-final appearance and post-season elimination.
Ask any Southern Athletic League athlete who Halie Bergman is and they're bound to know the answer. With only a season and a half under her belt, Turlock Christian High's Bergman has created a reputation of basketball dominance; scoring 969 career points and averaging 24.2 points, 3.65 assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.1 steals a game.
The girls of Turlock Christian High's volleyball team enjoyed an early Christmas on Thursday, earning the second section title in the program's history with a four set defeat of Roseville's Valley Christian High. The Eagles beat the Lions 3-1 (25-8, 23-25, 25-16, and 25-22) in the Division VI championship match at UC Davis in a final hurrah for three seniors and an impressive benchmark for first year head coach Ken Wynne.
Turlock Christian High's quarterback of the last three years, 17-year-old Chase Gonzalez, has been selected from a pool of more than 4,200 high school seniors to compete in the annual Blue-Grey National All Star Classic in Tampa Bay, Fla. on Jan. 12, 2013. Gonzalez is one of 90 seniors selected for the game and will join the North squad behind center.
The Pride of Pitman came into their second game of the 38th annual Frank Godinez tournament against Laguna Creek - which had to forfeit their first round game due to Thursday's storm -with hopes of turning things around after a crushing first round loss to Beyer High.
Another solid effort from Turlock High on the court has landed the Bulldogs in the finals of the Frank Godinez Boys Basketball Tournament for the third year in a row.
Things are finally shaping up for Denair High boys basketball coach RJ Henderson, with the help of assistant head coach Garett Elliott and the commitment from this year's team.
With football being such a rich and successful tradition at Hilmar High, it seems like the basketball program takes the back seat - especially after coming away with only one winning season since 2007.
Pitman High volleyball has been synonymous with dominance in 2014. The Pride steamrolled nearly every opponent they faced this season with its combination of size, power and speed. And when a team rose to the occasion to provide Pitman with a challenge, its girls seemed to persevere through sheer force of will.
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