Coaches can often be heard preaching to their athletes about the importance of details. "It's the little things that count" - a common cliché in high school athletics, but true all the same. On Saturday, during the SAL Track Finals at Joe Debely Stadium, several teams learned this truth firsthand and, for one team in particular, it meant the difference between second place and a championship.
Less than a week after defeating rival Turlock High for a spot in the SJS Division I Playoffs, Pitman High's baseball team took an early exit from the tournament after falling to Lincoln High. Tuesday's first round matchup was closely contested but a fifth inning surge from the Trojans (17-9 overall) proved to be too much for the Pride (20-8 overall) to handle. Pitman lost 6-3.
It was a tough Thursday for Pitman High's girls soccer team. Just two days removed from a first round playoff win, the Pride fell flat against Enochs High, losing 3-0.
For 100 minutes, Turlock High and Beyer High battled under the lights in Joe Debely Stadium, showcasing a level of competition one would expect from a pair of playoff teams. The Bulldogs (12-2-7 overall) controlled the majority of the match with 22 attempts on goal versus Beyer's 5, but were still unable to score, forcing a decision via penalty kicks. After netting 6 of 7 penalty kicks, Turlock emerged as the victors, 6-5 over the Patriots, and found itself heading to round three of the SJS Division I Playoffs.
Championships are prized and elusive. Athletes dream of them, work towards them, and rejoice if they manage to earn one. And they are never forgotten.
Pitman High passed its first playoff test on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over Franklin High's girls soccer team. The Pride controlled the majority of the game as they battled the Yellowjackets from Stockton under the glowing sun.
It was a war of attrition on Tuesday as Pitman High hosted Turlock High in their third and final matchup of the season. The Bulldogs (8-7 CCC) and Pride (9-6 CCC) had split their first two meetings of the year but Tuesday's matchup was about more than bragging rights, it was about third place in the Central California Conference and playoffs.
After dominating its conference competition and finishing the 2012 season as undefeated champions, Turlock High took part in Monday's Divisional Tournament, teeing off against the likes of Golden Valley High, Modesto High, and St. Mary's High. The Bulldogs finished the day in third place with a stroke count of 414, two strokes behind second place Modesto. St. Mary's took the top spot with a 390.
League singles champion Scott Gray of Turlock High had high hopes for this year's Sac-Joaquin Section tournament, but a rematch with Napa High's Stewart Miller in the semi-final round didn't go Gray's way.
For the first time in school history, Pitman High's softball team is number one in the Central California Conference.
Three more students from Pitman High signed letters of intent on Wednesday to play at the college level. Ashley Solis, Julia Brewer, and Kamau "Tiqi" Brown committed to their respective colleges as their parents, coaches, teammates, and friends shared the moment, and in some cases tears, with the soon to be collegiate athletes.
The third time was the charm for Turlock High's girls soccer team. After two ties the Bulldogs finally defeated rival Pitman High on Tuesday in their third conference matchup of the season, 2-1. The victory brought the Central California Conference crown back to Turlock and denied the Pride back to back championship seasons.
Turlock High's boys golf team put the cherry on top of their stellar 2012 campaign with a first place finish at the Central California Conference Tournament on Monday. The Bulldogs finished the day with a score of 419, a full 28 strokes ahead of second place Golden Valley High, solidifying their position as outright CCC champions.
Conference competition has ended for Turlock and Pitman High's swim teams with Saturday's conclusion to the 2012 CCC Conference Meet. Pitman's girls were the big winners between the cross-town rivals, finishing second in the meet and second overall in the Central California Conference.
Cacey Clark will soon be making a big move from the small, quiet town of Denair to another small, quiet town - Crete, Neb. Clark, a three-year starter on Denair High's soccer team, recently received a full ride scholarship from Doane College, fulfilling a dream eight years in the making.
There's nothing like a long-standing rivalry on the gridiron.
Barn burner, slobber knocker or nail biter. All three could be used to describe Turlock High's 48-47 victory over Buhach Colony High at Joe Debely Stadium on Friday night.
Q. What do you like most about the game of golf?
The second time two teams meet rarely results in the same outcome as the first matchup.
Though its girls can no longer claim to be straight-set winners through all of their matches, Pitman High is still undefeated and seemingly on its way to its fourth consecutive Central California Conference volleyball championship.
The Pitman girls tennis team came up short against a visiting Merced Bears team, 2-7, on Tuesday bringing the Pride's league record to 4-5.
The Turlock High football team broke its recent lull and with a hard-earned victory on the road, defeating Golden Valley, 50-29, in Friday's Central California Conference opener.
Q. What does it mean to be a team captain for Denair High varsity soccer?
Pitman High continued its winning ways Friday night with an old fashioned, defensive beat down of Buhach Colony High in the Pride's Central California Conference home opener at Joe Debely Stadium.
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