In 2006, the hottest quarterback prospect from the Valley was Hilmar High's Nate Costa. With a combined 6,861 yards and 63 touchdowns to show for his junior and senior year efforts as a Yellowjacket, Costa was a highly coveted recruit, who garnered attention from the likes of the University of Utah and Boise State University before finally settling on the University of Oregon.
From mid-November to early January, Colin Kaepernick revived a storied franchise, energized its loyal fan base, and sent his hometown of Turlock into a frenzy of excitement and pride with his impressive play as San Francisco's starting quarterback. He gained notoriety within the league and beyond as his name became known around the country and the world.
A few weeks ago I was surprised with an invitation from Tony Merafuentes to be a guest on the panel for his 5th Dan Black Belt exam. As Master of the Merafuentes Tae Kwon Do Academy of Martial Arts in Turlock, Tony and I had spoken about his students and their accomplishments in the past. He had relayed to me the tenants of tae kwon do and I had formulated a rough understanding of the art, but even that did not prepare me for the demonstration I was slated to witness.
The City of Turlock was recently awarded the James Farrell Award for its successful hosting of the Girls 16 & 18 and Under Fast Pitch Western Nationals in July 2012-one of the highest rated National Tournaments of the year with a score of 99 out of 100.
Last year Joey Henley and Doug Kitchens were in the early stages of creating a local semi-pro football team to compete in the San Joaquin Valley Football League. They dubbed the squad The County Regulators and invited players from all around the Valley to try out.
Turlockers got the chance to meet their first cycling team during the Festival of Lights in downtown Turlock on Friday. Armed with water bottles, Christmas cookies, and posters, the members of Bell Real Estate Cycling helped spread the word about the newest edition to Turlock's athletic scene.
High school athletics provides young athletes with the opportunity to compete and perform in front of their peers as well as form bonds with their coaches and teammates, but what happens after graduation? Some athletes go on to play at the collegiate level but many don't get that opportunity and even if they do, that time is limited.
Thirty-six teams from Southern to Northern California, Oregon and even Hawaii gathered at Pedretti Field on Tuesday to kick of the 2012 Western National Championship Softball Tournament. Teams from two divisions, 16 and under and 18 and under, competed in the first of two pool games, the second of which will be played today, to determine tournament seeding and get a feel for their opponents.
The Stanislaus County Fair asked visitors to "imagine the fun" this year but many opted to experience the fun instead, and nowhere was that more evident than in the Food Maxx Arena. During the fair's 10-day run spectators witnessed two destruction derbies, monster trucks, freestyle motocross and flat track events - but the concluding night of motor sports was arguably the most fun.
The sun was out but the heat wasn't a factor at the Stanislaus County Fair on Sunday. To compensate, people from across the Valley and beyond piled into the Food Maxx Arena for high octane entertainment at the Truck and Tractor Pulls.