There was no shortage of motivation Thursday night when Turlock High traveled across town to face Pitman High in the final water polo match of the Central California Conference season. In addition to the in-town rivalry, the Bulldogs were eager to erase the memories from their last meeting with the Pride. Above all, however, Turlock wanted a win to keep its post-season hopes alive.
It was a shaky beginning to the Central California Conference season for Turlock High this year. In their first six games the Bulldogs surprisingly went 1-3-2, leading many in the league to believe the defending champs were in decline.
Hilmar High's hopes of claiming a share of the Trans Valley League volleyball championship evaporated Tuesday night when unbeaten Escalon High rolled into town. In a match reminiscent of the rivals' meeting earlier in the year, the Cougars beat the Yellowjackets 3-1 (14-25, 26-24, 25-27, and 25-19). Although missing out on the league title was a bitter pill to swallow, giving up their only losses of the season to Escalon was even tougher for Hilmar.
Turlock High's girls claimed their 9th consecutive Central California Conference Championship with an impressive showing at the Championship Tournament at the Merced Country Club. The Bulldogs finished the day with a team score of 439, 27 strokes in front of second place Merced High. Rival Pitman High finished third with 505.
Pitman High's Britney Leon spent last season competing on the tennis court in the doubles bracket but her sights were always set on singles glory. She worked on her game through the summer and when the 2012 season began she found herself representing the Pride as the number one singles player, positioning herself as the unquestioned leader of her team.
Turlock and Pitman High took part in the Delong Invitational in Stockton and Modesto this past weekend, their last tournament of the 2012 water polo season. The Bulldogs competed in the A bracket and the Pride competed in the B bracket but both finished 3-2 after two days, giving the teams a dose of confidence before their final cross-town matchup and the end of the Central California Conference season.
Friday night's Southern League matchup between Turlock Christian (3-5), and Denair (1-7), dealt TC its fifth straight loss as Denair picked up its second consecutive win.
With 5:47 left in the first half, Hilmar's Breck Smith went in from 2-yards out and the Yellowjackets added the point after, trimming the Escalon Cougars' lead to 14-7. Unfortunately for Hilmar, that was as close as they would get, and the host Cougars put the clamps on with a decisive 33-7 win on Friday night.
The Pitman High football team knew the Merced Bears were going to be a tough team to beat but the Pride didn't expect the mauling they received at home on Friday. The Bears (2-1 CCC) covered 459 yards through the air and on the ground on their way to a 44-13 rout over the Pride; it was Pitman's worst loss to date.
Turlock and Pitman High were originally scheduled to face-off on the tennis courts last week, but an unexpected downpour forced the rivals to push back the match until Monday. But even though the second meeting between the Bulldogs and Pride was delayed, there was no stopping the eventual outcome, an 8-1 Turlock win.
Turlock Christian High had a tough time responding to Ripon Christian High's power and persistence on Monday, sending the Knights (10-0 SAL) home with a still perfect record after a straight set loss (25-8, 25-15, and 29-27) for the Eagles.
Turlock and Pitman High took a weekend break from the Central California Conference water polo season to compete in the Girls Western States Tournament, finishing 25th in the A bracket and 6th in the B bracket, respectively.
Momentum is the seed of confidence in football; the ever important quality every team wants and needs, especially those looking to build on their first win. Delhi High knew it needed to get out to a quick start against Ripon Christian High if Saturday night was going to end in victory, and for the first two quarters the Hawks (1-3 SAL) did just that.
The Central California Conference volleyball season is two-thirds of the way through and Pitman High is standing at the top of the heap. The Pride (10-0 CCC) kept the ball rolling on their undefeated league campaign Thursday night, beating the Turlock Bulldogs in the second cross-town match of the year 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, and 25-12).
Turlock High's girls golf team defeated Pitman High for the second time this season 244-278. Thursday's matchup began moments after the day's downpour ended but the water was still a factor as both schools struggled with the conditions on the green. Turlock's Hannah Gong finished the day with a score of 43, the Bulldogs' best of the day, while Bergen Benedict shot a 48. Pitman's group failed to shoot below 51 but golfers like Sheyenne Sousa were able to make the best of the day by focusing on individual effort.
Denair High tennis head coach Bill Weber has his sights set on a long and prosperous future the Coyote program and he is off to a good start. After Friday's Southern Athletic League tournament, Denair can boast two league winners in the mixed doubles and the boys singles brackets.
Turlock High won the final game of its three-game series with rival Pitman High Friday afternoon, beating the Pride 8-3 after falling 0-7 on Tuesday and 5-6 on Thursday. But while Pitman walked away from Turlock's home field in the loser's column on Friday, its boys exited the week as winners, at least partially, of the Central California Conference with only one win needed to claim the outright championship.
A local face will be taking over the Denair High School football head coaching duties.
Hilmar High's Jacob Ahid has been a small-town, valley boy all his life. He's developed as a baseball player from child to adolescent, but for the next step in his baseball career Ahid will be leaving Hilmar and heading to Seaside where he will become the newest addition to California State University, Monterey Bay.
The Hilmar High boys varsity golf team failed to pick up a Trans Valley League championship this past Monday at La Contenta Golf Course.
Pitman, which has been neck and neck with Merced all season long, placed second for both the girls and boys in the Central California Conference Championship meet that took place at Golden Valley High on Saturday to finish just behind Merced in the CCC.
Turlock High's Ryan Asai went into Tuesday's Central California Conference singles tournament with high hopes. The Bulldog boasted an undefeated record heading into the tournament, but met his match in Merced's Juan Ciudad in the semifinal round.
The Turlock High boys varsity golf team has won its fourth Central California Conference tournament in the last five years after edging out Pitman and Buhach on Monday at the Merced Country Club.
It was a defensive deadlock for the majority of Tuesday's cross-town showdown between Turlock and Pitman High. After four innings of solid pitching from the Bulldogs' Nick Avila and Pride's Nick Jones, the scoreboard read 0-0 and everyone was left questioning, who would falter first?
After three years of getting dominated by Merced (10-2), the Pitman High (9-3) varsity softball team finally made history on Friday afternoon, topping the Bears at home, 3-2, and snapping an eight game losing streak that dated back to the 2012 season.
The Turlock Christian varsity softball team has now boasted back-to-back league wins after beating Stone Ridge Christian on Friday, 16-5.
The Turlock High (8-2) varsity baseball team has quietly yet steadily been creeping and stalling just behind or barely ahead of Pitman High for the top spot in the Central California Conference for most the year.
Friday marked the third time this season that both Delhi and Denair High met for one final showdown on the tennis courts as the battle for second place in the Southern Athletic League continued heading into the final two matches.
League championships for boys golf will be held on Monday for schools across the area. These tournaments are typically a place for teams to put in one final, solid performance in the hopes of qualifying for Divisionals as a team, but for Turlock and Hilmar High, its respective tournaments will instead be a formality as its boys have a ticket to Divisionals all but in the bag.
Alyssa Stockton has experienced her fair share of success during her 11 years in a softball uniform, but her biggest achievement was undoubtedly reached on Friday when she signed her letter of intent for California State University, Bakersfield where she will become one of the Roadrunners' pitchers.
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