The cage sat in the middle of the room, under vaulted ceilings and bright lights, occupied by modern day gladiators and surrounded by spectators. Those in attendance at Stockton's Memorial Civic Auditorium gathered to watch Mixed Martial Artists fight, eager to see strikes, submissions, and if they were lucky, blood. Split between the balcony and the floor, a sizeable group of Turlockers sat in anticipation, waiting for Brandon "The Fireman" Bettencourt and "Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez to make their way into the cage.
"Lethal" Lewis Gonzalez is ready to step into the cage once again, as he should be. On Friday, Gonzalez (3-0) will take on Lamar Reed (1-0) at the Stockton Memorial Civic Center as part of Up and Comers 10. Six months removed from his last fight, Gonzalez is looking for his fourth professional win as he continues to further his MMA career.
Escalon's Eric Holmes made a valiant dash for the front in the late going of Saturday's Pick-N-Pull 150 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Stockton 99 Speedway, but was ultimately forced to settle for a hard earned second place finish behind young gun Dylan Kwasniewski.
It was a homecoming of sorts on Monday night for former Pitman High standout baseball player Bradin Hagens. Hagens, a current member of the Visalia Rawhide, was back in the Valley to face the Modesto Nuts.
With some of the toughest rodeo animals in the West - and cowboys of the same caliber - the 61st annual Oakdale Rodeo promises competition, thrills, and a showcase for some of the top rodeo riders.
Ish Monroe has been fishing practically his entire life. As the Hughsonite grew up, joined the workforce and enrolled in college he would still turn to his favorite passtime to relax. The simple act of throwing a line in the water from his boat was enough to make him happy.
Soccer fans rejoice; Turlock is now home to its first professional sports team, the Turlock Express. In their first year at the professional level the Express (6-3) are in second place of the Professional Arena Soccer League's Western Division and undefeated at home. Turlock will try and extend their perfect record at home Friday when they host the Tijuana Revolucion at the Turlock Indoor Soccer facility.
Since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos, Turlock's Tom Brandstater has had a career of uncertainty. Less than a year after signing a four-year contract, Brandstater was waived by the Broncos when they drafted Tim Tebow and acquired Brady Quinn from the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 season.
As people sat at tables and slot machines trying to earn a quick buck on Saturday, Lewis Gonzales was downstairs earning his money, fighting fellow welterweight Justin Baesman at Oroville's Gold Country Casino and Hotel.
In a small town like Turlock, that rarely garners national attention and where time moves at a steady pace, people are quick to claim any source of pride they can find. Recently, the ascension of Tom Brandstater, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Mendonca to the professional level of their respective sports has become the main source of pride for many Turlockers.
Jeff "Hellbound" Hougland announced Tuesday he will not fight in Saturday's UFC Live 6 due to torn tendons in his hand. The mixed martial artist will undergo surgery for the injury, sustained during training, next Tuesday.
SAN FRANCISCO - Colin Kaepernick had to stop getting dressed. He was already in a pair of jeans, a T-shirt and a gray hat representing the San Francisco 49ers. He was looking for his shoes. But that task had to be put on hold, as about dozen members of the media wanted a piece of him.
Former Cal State Stanislaus standout pitcher Andrew Stueve had an eventful weekend as he nears the end of his first professional season. On Saturday, he was named the Pitcher of the Year for the Arizona Rookie League Royals after he appeared in 22 games and threw 43 innings to earn a 2.09 ERA while striking out 40 batters and collecting six saves.
The trip from Denair to Las Vegas isn't an arduous one, for most. It's just eight hours of leisurely, albeit monotonous, highway driving.
Since his selection in the 2009 NFL Draft, Tom Brandstater has put on various team uniforms.