Young men often turn to athletics in pursuit of confidence and camaraderie. Some simply want to have fun, but most athletes strive to compete and have a deep desire to win. They follow in the footsteps of their role models and try to emulate the things they've seen, hoping their efforts will parlay into future success.
I didn't know what to expect out of this year's basketball season; before December I hadn't watched a high school basketball game for at least four years. I did know that Turlock and Pitman would be in constant competition with each other for bragging rights and that Turlock, as defending CCC champions, would be the team to beat.
Turlock High's wrestling team continued its streak of success Wednesday morning during a four-way dual that included Freedom High, Oak Ridge High and Central Catholic High. The Bulldogs (19-1) dominated the event that lasted well over four hours, defeating the Falcons 47-9, the Trojans 51-24 and the Raiders 48-17.
One of Pitman High's goals coming into this year's basketball season was to earn a first place tournament finish before league play began. After finishing 3rd in the Frank Godinez tournament the Pride's last shot at their short-term goal was the Ceres tournament, where they got off to a shaky start.
Pitman, Beyer, Modesto Christian and Ceres High all gathered together Tuesday for this year's Ceres Basketball Tournament. Pitman (6-4) faced off against Modesto Christian (3-2) in the first game of the round-robin style tournament and was bested by the Crusaders 38-48.
Both Pitman and Turlock High will need to find head coach replacements for their water polo teams by next season.
The girls basketball team at Turlock High hosted its first home game of the season against a red hot Beyer High team Friday night. The Bulldogs (2-6) and Patriots (9-1) played a close first half but as the game progressed, Beyer gradually pulled away, handing Turlock its sixth loss by a score of 51-35.
Turlock Christian High (1-7) entered the first round of the Denair basketball tournament on Thursday pitted against an eager Hughson High (2-5). Both teams were looking for their second win of the season and a spot in the second round winner's bracket.
It wasn't looking good for Denair's boys basketball team (2-6) Thursday night when they faced Cristo Rey High (1-7) in the first round of their own tournament. The Trojans looked to be on their way to the second round after a dominate first half, but a Coyote comeback dashed their plans. Denair snatched the win from Cristo Rey by a score of 76-68 and advanced to the second round where they played Hughson High.
Hilmar High's wrestling team had to overcome two obstacles Wednesday night in their first dual of the season, a tough Hughson High team and a lack of preparation. With only a week of practice and conditioning Hilmar came up short, losing 33-39.
It was a dominate performance by the Yellowjackets Tuesday night when Hilmar High (4-3) traveled to Denair High (1-6) to face the Coyotes. Hilmar, led by Jesse Burke, outscored Denair 74-53. It was Hilmar's most productive night of the season.
It was as close as it could get Monday night when Pitman High's girls basketball team hosted Turlock Christian High. The Pride controlled most of the game but with 1:00 left in regulation the score was tied, 40-40, as the two teams engaged in a back and forth battle for the win.
The 35th annual Frank Godinez basketball tournament almost ended with a showdown of local rivals, Turlock and Pitman High. Although both teams played well in the tournament they both lost in the second round, setting up a championship game between Davis High (6-4) and Valley High (6-1) on Saturday. When it was all said and done, Valley emerged from the tournament as champions, defeating Davis 71-62.
Confidence is contagious. It motivates and inspires athletes to perform to their expectations, and sometimes beyond. Such was the case Wednesday night when Turlock High's wrestling team hosted the Los Banos Tigers in its first home dual of the season.
The boys from Pitman High's basketball team handed Ceres High a first round loss at the Godinez tournament on Thursday, 55-39.
Four second half goals from the Delhi High soccer team proved to be enough against Hilmar in Monday's non-league contest as the Hawks trounced the Yellowjackets 4-2.
Hilmar High's golf team hosted its annual Yellowjacket Invitational Monday morning at the Stevinson Ranch Golf Club where the 'Jackets finished 6th in team rankings out of an 11-team field.