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.
Sean Downs cut against the momentum of the defense, breaking hard into the middle of the field before a quick dash to the end zone and a game-tying score.
Corey Bayer, Tyler Freitas, Victor Teixeira, and John Brindeiro led Hilmar High onto the football field for the first time in eight months on Friday. The Yellowjacket captains stared down their Livingston High opponents from the 50 yard line, they were ready to get the game started and so was everyone in attendance.
Pitman High didn't have the boys soccer season it had hoped for in 2011, but head coach Oscar Mercado and his new squad isn't dwelling on that fact. What they are doing is learning from last season's mistakes and forging a new path for the Pride, one rooted in youth and, hopefully, headed towards the post-season.
Last year, the Denair High School boys soccer team just missed the Southern League playoffs (10-10-2, 7-6-1 SL).
Four years ago Courtney Nutcher was a server for Denair High's volleyball team, running up and down the court as the Coyotes tried to best Ripon Christian High and the rest of the Southern Athletic League. Now, after a two year stint as a Modesto Junior College player, Nutcher is back on the courts of Denair only this time she's the head coach.
Stevinson Ranch hosted a celebration of the first Youth on Course program on Saturday, capping 20 weeks of lessons and hands on experience from golf pros to Delhi High students. Family and friends were welcomed with an opening ceremony where participants were awarded certificates of completion and Northern California Golf Association cards allowing them to play at local courses at discounted prices.
When the Southern Athletic League's football season begins this month there will be some new faces on the sidelines. The majority of those faces will belong to players who have stepped up to fill the roles of last season's seniors but in the case of Turlock Christian and Denair High new faces will also belong to their head coaches.
They've lifted tires, weights, and even sandbags; ran laps, sprints and plays. They've spent summer days competing and sweating under the heat of the sun. Coaches have yelled, offered reassurance, and even a congratulatory nod, all in the vein of motivation and preparation.
Historically, the Turlock Journal has covered Turlock, Turlock Christian, Pitman, Hilmar and Denair High athletics as well as other youth athletes from these areas, providing our readership with up to date results and information for everything from football to swimming.
Stanislaus County continued its streak of dominance over Merced County with an 8-0 shutout in the Merced-Stanislaus County All-Stars game on Sunday.
Turlock has owned the tennis courts for the past four years against Pitman High and the streak continued on Tuesday for the defending Central California Conference champions.
The streak continues for the Pitman High Pride who recorded their 22nd consecutive straight-set victory on Monday with a 25-17, 25-17, and 25-4 win over Turlock High. Now ranked 74th in the nation and 14th in the state of California, the Pride comfortably sit atop the Central California Conference standings while Turlock sits in second place.
For the second consecutive year, head coach Tom Tyler has led the Pitman Pride varsity football team to a 3-0 start to the season - last year the Pride managed a 4-0 start.
The Hilmar volleyball team is on a 12-game winning streak, and that success continued Monday with a 3-0 victory over the visiting Turlock Christian Eagles.
Turlock golf maintained its successful ways, as the Bulldogs won the Central California Conference Mid-Season Tournament last Thursday at Rancho del Rey.
Southern Athletic League rivals Delhi and Denair High opened league play Friday night with a slug fest that was reflective of the two teams' equal standing. Entering the game with identical 2-1 records, the Hawks (3-1 overall, 1-0 SAL) and Coyotes (2-2 overall, 0-1 SAL) took turns thrilling their crowds with big hits on defense and scrappy play on offense.
Turlock High battled till the end on Friday night, but finished its preseason league play with a 41-43 home loss to Tracy.
Q. You were a standout sophomore on the court for Hilmar volleyball. Have you made any changes to your game for your junior season?
Delhi High's volleyball team fell short against Le Grand High in the Hawks' second Southern League matchup of the season on Tuesday. The Lady Hawks tested the Bulldogs through four sets, but ultimately walked away from the court with a 3-1 loss (13-25, 25-14, 21-25, and 13-25).
The undefeated streak for the Pitman Pride's varsity volleyball team continues.
The Turlock Bulldogs beat out the Pitman Pride, 214-249, during the first girls golf rivalry match of the season on Tuesday at the Turlock Golf & Country Club.
Pitman High's Fernando Maldonado scored a hat trick, securing the Pride's roll over win against crosstown and Central California Conference rival Turlock, 5-0, in a matchup at Warrior Stadium on Saturday.
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