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.
Pitman High passed its first playoff test on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over Franklin High's girls soccer team. The Pride controlled the majority of the game as they battled the Yellowjackets from Stockton under the glowing sun.
It was a war of attrition on Tuesday as Pitman High hosted Turlock High in their third and final matchup of the season. The Bulldogs (8-7 CCC) and Pride (9-6 CCC) had split their first two meetings of the year but Tuesday's matchup was about more than bragging rights, it was about third place in the Central California Conference and playoffs.
After dominating its conference competition and finishing the 2012 season as undefeated champions, Turlock High took part in Monday's Divisional Tournament, teeing off against the likes of Golden Valley High, Modesto High, and St. Mary's High. The Bulldogs finished the day in third place with a stroke count of 414, two strokes behind second place Modesto. St. Mary's took the top spot with a 390.
League singles champion Scott Gray of Turlock High had high hopes for this year's Sac-Joaquin Section tournament, but a rematch with Napa High's Stewart Miller in the semi-final round didn't go Gray's way.
Three more students from Pitman High signed letters of intent on Wednesday to play at the college level. Ashley Solis, Julia Brewer, and Kamau "Tiqi" Brown committed to their respective colleges as their parents, coaches, teammates, and friends shared the moment, and in some cases tears, with the soon to be collegiate athletes.
The third time was the charm for Turlock High's girls soccer team. After two ties the Bulldogs finally defeated rival Pitman High on Tuesday in their third conference matchup of the season, 2-1. The victory brought the Central California Conference crown back to Turlock and denied the Pride back to back championship seasons.
Turlock High's boys golf team put the cherry on top of their stellar 2012 campaign with a first place finish at the Central California Conference Tournament on Monday. The Bulldogs finished the day with a score of 419, a full 28 strokes ahead of second place Golden Valley High, solidifying their position as outright CCC champions.
Conference competition has ended for Turlock and Pitman High's swim teams with Saturday's conclusion to the 2012 CCC Conference Meet. Pitman's girls were the big winners between the cross-town rivals, finishing second in the meet and second overall in the Central California Conference.