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.
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.
The valley's seemingly endless dry fall ended with a downpour on Friday. As the rain washed away harvest dust, it also took with it Turlock High football's dreams for a Central California Conference title - with just one play.
The Pitman Pride football team picked up another away game victory, beating out the Atwater Falcons, 20-7, in a rainy match at Atwater's home stadium Friday night.
Making the playoffs is a difficult task, but it doesn't seem that way for the Dehli High Hawks. The Hawks clinched a postseason berth for the seventh consecutive season on Thursday after notching a 2-1 win over Southern Athletic League foe Mariposa County High.
Pitman High girls water polo, which had already solidified a spot in the postseason, came in to Thursday's crosstown game against Turlock with a lot of confidence. That confidence was soon shaken, however, when the Bulldogs pulled off a 5-4 victory.
Turlock and Pitman boys water polo teams met on Thursday night at Pitman High for one final Central California Conference showdown.
Hilmar High is two matches away from finishing with an undefeated Trans Valley League record for the second straight year, and only one match away from clinching the outright 2014 TVL title.
Add another accolade and banner to Turlock High.
The Denair High Coyotes varsity football team is still winless in the Southern Athletic League after dropping its fifth straight league match last Friday.
Hilmar High's football team failed to play spoilers in their penultimate home Trans Valley League matchup against Hughson High, which ended with a 37-21 loss.
The Pitman Pride found redemption in this week's Central California Conference matchup against Golden Valley. Coming off a loss to Merced last week, the Pride held the Cougars to minimal yards and took the, 27-0, victory Friday night at Golden Valley High School.
Turlock High put in its best performance of the season Friday night during its homecoming matchup against Atwater High, dominating the Falcons 56-7.
Don't lose it. Keep grinding.
Q. What is the hardest part about playing water polo?
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