Right now the world's best athletes are chasing their Olympic dreams in London, putting years of hard work to use as they compete for themselves and their countries. Like them, local youth athletes are also working hard towards their own goals, not quite international endeavors, but important nonetheless.
The Modesto Babe Ruth All-Stars got out to a rocky start in Weimer, Texas this past weekend, losing to the New York All-Stars, 8-6, on Saturday and the Tri-Counties All-Stars of Texas, 11-9, on Sunday in the first pool games of the 2012 Babe Ruth World Series. Despite the rough start, Modesto rallied back on Monday to defeat the Bismarck All-Stars of North Dakota, 8-2, before beating the Alabama All-Stars 4-3 on Tuesday.
Cleats, cones, whistles, and proud parents; this was the scene at Pitman High this week as Turlock Youth Football's Vikings and 49ers held their annual try-outs and Trans Valley's Titans practiced under the sun.
The 10-year-old American All-Stars picked up where they left off in the first round of the California Division II All-Star Tournament, stringing together hits and playing solid defense for a 12-1 win over the Eel River All-Stars.
The 11-year-old Turlock American All-Stars had a great 2012 season, earning District 73 and Section 6 Championships, but their run was cut short on Tuesday in the California Division II All-Star Tournament. After falling to River Park 15-1 on July 21, the American All-Stars were eliminated by Vacaville Central by a score of 8-1.
The Modesto Babe Ruth baseball travel team has earned state and regional championships in 2012 but their thirst for victory has yet to be quenched. Less than a week after defeating Watsonville in the Pacific Southwest Regional Championship, the Modesto All-Stars were at John Thurman field, being honored by the mayor of Modesto, several congressmen, the Modesto Nuts, and their fans for advancing to the 2012 World Series in Texas.
The Turlock National All-Stars came up short for the second time on Tuesday, losing a close 4-3 game against the Lakeside All-Stars in the 12-year-old Northern California Divisional All-Star Tournament. Turlock bounced back with a competitive six innings against Lakeside after a crushing 17-0 defeat to the Petaluma All-Stars in the first round of the tournament.
For the first time since 1975, the Turlock Sea Dogs can call themselves champions. After a season of success in the water the Turlock team finished strong at the Mid Valley Swim League Championships at Ripon High on July 14, taking the first place position with a total of 1,090 points.
Turlock High's Rafael Hererra, Isaac Bertalotto, and Albino Orozco experienced mixed results at the USA Wrestling National Tournaments in Fargo, ND this week. All three competed in the Cadet Freestyle Tournament, but Bertalotto and Hererra also competed in the Cadet Greco Tournament. The Bulldog grapplers made their way to the national level after a rigorous summer schedule and generous donations from the community.
The stakes were high during Wednesday's Section 6 All-Star Championship game between Turlock American and Delta. Both teams ran onto Julien Field determined to end the day with a trophy and banner in their hands, but only one could prevail.
The Turlock American All-Stars started and ended their Section 6 Championship run with close games against the Manteca All-Stars of District 67. Turlock American squeaked by Manteca on July 14, earning a 17-16 win in the ninth inning, and won a war of attrition on Tuesday, claiming their second tournament championship by a score of 6-4.
Tuesday marked the second time in three days that the Turlock National All-Stars and the Hoover Tyler All-Stars met face to face on a baseball diamond. After falling to Turlock in the semi-finals of the Section 6 All-Star Tournament, 4-3, Hoover Tyler battled through the losers' bracket and found themselves in the championship game. The two teams once again engaged in close competition - but in the end Turlock claimed the District 6 crown with another one-run win. The final score was 7-6.
After steam rolling East Sacramento on Saturday, 11-1, and defeating San Gabriel Valley on Sunday, 3-1, the Modesto Babe Ruth baseball team edged out Watsonville in the Pacific Southwest Regional Championship game, 5-4.