It was a successful day Wednesday for the wrestlers at Turlock, Pitman and Hilmar highs. The three teams won their first league duals against Merced, Atwater and Orestimba High, respectively.
Turlock High's first league opponent was Buhach Colony High, one of the projected front runners for the CCC title this season. The Bulldogs faced the Thunder Wednesday night at home in a confidence building 62-56 win.
The beginning of league play can be a stressful time for teams in the Valley. Although the first couple of games won't break a team's chances at a league title, they can serve as the foundation for future success and indicate what the rest of the season holds.
After 20 years at Denair High School Therion Gregory has retired. Gregory turned in his resignation in December and has since moved to Utah where he plans on finishing his education.
Denair High's girls basketball team had an easy time defeating Waterford High Tuesday night. The Coyotes finished 49-22, securing the win in their first league game.
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.
Pitman High entered Friday's home game against Downey High with a team characterized by its youth. With only two returning starters from last year's squad and the bulk of its roster comprised of juniors, the Pride knew that the Knights, back-to-back winners of the Modesto Metro Conference title, would be a difficult challenge to overcome in their season opener.
Turlock High began the 2014 football season the way every team hopes to -with a win. The Bulldogs traveled to Modesto to face Enochs High and came home with a tight 25-20 victory.
Denair's volleyball team has been through a rough patch the last three years, but 2014 is a whole new season.
Ty Pettigrew's girls golf squad has won three of the last four Valley Foothill League titles, and the Hilmar Lady Yellowjackets are looking to make it four out of five after the 2014 year concludes.
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