Grab your peanuts and Cracker Jacks folks; it's time for baseball in the Valley. Turlock and Pitman high's players are swinging their bats and warming up their arms in preparation for the 2012 season. The Bulldogs and Pride are projected to be teams to beat in the Central California Conference alongside Buhach Colony High and Merced High in what is sure to be an exciting season for players and fans alike.
Four local standouts -in football, wrestling and soccer - signed letters of intent to play at the collegiate level this week.
Turlock Christian High is just one game away from the Sac-Joaquin Division V Section Championship after a 61-42 victory over Central Catholic High on Thursday.
Turlock High's success on the mat continued at the Masters Tournament this past Thursday and Friday. The Bulldogs finished in fifth place as a team and had five wrestlers earn medals, four of which will continue on to the State Tournament next weekend.
Pitman High missed its shot, literally and figuratively, against Sheldon High on Wednesday night. The Pride met the Huskies in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Division I Section Playoffs in what became a catch-up game. Sheldon won handedly 78-43.
Turlock High's 2011-12 boys basketball season officially ended Wednesday night at Franklin High. The Wildcats (22-5 overall) thwarted the Bulldogs' (15-13 overall) post season aspirations for the third year in a row with a 61-37 victory in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Division I Section Playoffs.
Every time Pitman High (7-7 CCC) and Turlock High (10-4 CCC) have stepped onto the same basketball court this season those in attendance have been treated to highly entertaining and extremely competitive games. Monday's matchup, the fourth meeting of the season and third in the CCC, once again delivered the drama as Turlock squeaked by Pitman in the final seconds,47-46.
The Pitman High girls basketball team created a two-way tie for first place on Tuesday night with a 47-44 victory over Buhach Colony. The Pride (10-4 CCC) and Thunder (10-4 CCC) now sit side by side at the number one position in the CCC.
Turlock High solidified its position as the Central California Conference's 2012 wrestling champions on Friday with another dominate performance in the league team duals at Buhach Colony High, accumulating 225 team points. The Bulldogs advanced 11 wrestlers into the finals, producing six individual champions (Rico McCombs, Rafeal Herrera, Isaac Bertalotto, Albino Orozco, Erick Parsons, and Ernesto Guiang) and five second placers (Julian Talamante, Jason Valdavinos, Kevin Scroggins, Ricky Flores, and Ricardo Garcia). Turlock also had wrestlers finish in third (Trevor Gray) and fourth place (Isaiah Mendoza).
The Turlock High boys basketball team completed a clean sweep of the Merced High Bears on Wednesday with a 50-46 victory. The Bulldogs (9-4 CCC) were challenged early and often by a Merced (3-9 CCC) team with nothing to lose in another victory that was too close for comfort.
After a three game slump Turlock High's girls finally got back to their winning ways with a 50-44 victory over Atwater High (2-11 CCC). The Bulldogs (9-4 CCC), who were without head coach Salinda Mabie for the third time, rallied behind assistant coach Marjorie Walker in a must win game.
Pitman High held a signing day for four of its student-athletes on Thursday. Vicki Rouse, Marissa Marable, AJ Derr and Steven Kha all signed letters of intent in a library packed with coaches, teachers, teammates, family and friends. Tears were abundant as the parents of each player sat next to him or her, watching them take their next step in life and athletics.
Halie Bergman entered the ballgame midway through the third quarter with Turlock Christian trailing Ripon Christian 19-16 in Thursday's encounter between the Southern League's two best girls basketball teams.
Pitman High's girls basketball team might have come into Tuesday night's game against Atwater High expecting an easy victory but what they got was a highly motivated group of Falcons hungry for a third win. The Pride triumphed in the end, 51-45, keeping their hunt for the CCC title alive.
Denair High knew Monday's matchup with the girls of Ripon Christian High was going to be a challenge. Instead of accepting defeat the Coyotes (5-6 Southern) challenged the Knights (10-1 Southern) early, using their defense to open up scoring opportunities and build confidence. In the end Ripon Christian was too much though, and Denair fell to the Knights 60-28.
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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