The SJS Division I Section Finals were a success for both Turlock and Pitman High. After two days of competition at Elk Grove High, the Bulldogs advanced eight athletes to the Masters Meet Trials and the Pride advanced five.
Pitman High was elated at the end of the regular season, winning its first Central California Conference softball championship in school history. The Pride's (16-11 overall) enthusiasm was short lived, however, as Sheldon High (19-9 overall) destroyed their post-season dreams in the first round of the SJS Division I Playoff Tournament, 16-1.
Local athletes put in solid performances last week at the SJS Division IV/V Track Finals that were held at Modesto Junior College. Denair High, Turlock Christian High, and Hilmar high each brought athletes to the competition and experienced varying degrees of success. Hilmar walked away with the most success, however, finishing 12th as a team in the girls division and advancing five athletes to the finals of their respective events.
Turlock High's playoff run is over. After two emotional, sudden death, post-season victories, the Lady Bulldogs (13-3-7 overall) succumbed to Franklin High of Elk Grove, 1-0, on Thursday in the semi-final round of the SJS Division I Playoff Tournament.
Hilmar High traveled to Dixon High on Thursday, one game away from the SJS Division V Championship game. With a Trans Valley League championship already under their belt, the Lady 'Jackets strived to bring another section title to Hilmar, but in the end it wasn't meant to be. Hilmar and Dixon fought hard in regulation and overtime but it was the Rams who emerged victorious after a penalty kick shootout, 4-2.
Hilmar High's baseball team entered the first round of the SJS Division V playoff tournament with a chip on its shoulder. The Yellowjackets (14-7 overall), who ended their regular season with a pair of losses to rival Escalon High, stepped onto Billy Hebert Field in Stockton eager to show Linden High they were true contenders. The Lions (22-5 overall), Mother Lode League Champions and number one seed, were outmatched by Hilmar's pitching and fell 5-1.
Hilmar High entered the SJS Division V softball playoff tournament with high hopes after finishing second in the Trans Valley League. The Yellowjackets (11-8-1 overall) found themselves pitted against Marysville High (23-5 overall) in the first round of the tournament, and for the first couple of innings they played up to those hopes. Unfortunately, the Indians' offense ignited in the third inning, ultimately pressuring Hilmar into defeat, 8-1.
TWB, together we're better. It's written on the wrists of Turlock High's girls soccer team and it's a source of pride and inspiration for the Bulldogs. It can be seen not only on their flesh but in the style of play during any given Bulldog game, and Tuesday's SJS Division I quarterfinal matchup with Tracy High was no different.
Coaches can often be heard preaching to their athletes about the importance of details. "It's the little things that count" - a common cliché in high school athletics, but true all the same. On Saturday, during the SAL Track Finals at Joe Debely Stadium, several teams learned this truth firsthand and, for one team in particular, it meant the difference between second place and a championship.
Less than a week after defeating rival Turlock High for a spot in the SJS Division I Playoffs, Pitman High's baseball team took an early exit from the tournament after falling to Lincoln High. Tuesday's first round matchup was closely contested but a fifth inning surge from the Trojans (17-9 overall) proved to be too much for the Pride (20-8 overall) to handle. Pitman lost 6-3.
For 100 minutes, Turlock High and Beyer High battled under the lights in Joe Debely Stadium, showcasing a level of competition one would expect from a pair of playoff teams. The Bulldogs (12-2-7 overall) controlled the majority of the match with 22 attempts on goal versus Beyer's 5, but were still unable to score, forcing a decision via penalty kicks. After netting 6 of 7 penalty kicks, Turlock emerged as the victors, 6-5 over the Patriots, and found itself heading to round three of the SJS Division I Playoffs.