This year saw plenty of noteworthy sports moments in Turlock and the surrounding areas. Here’s what stood out for the sports department as some truly remarkable feats.
Pitman High reigned supreme on the volleyball court in 2014. The Pride went 37-1 through the regular season — 35 in straight sets — before winning their fourth consecutive Central California Conference title and their first Division I Sac-Joaquin Section championship in school history. Pitman continued to dominate as it moved through the Nor Cal tournament where its girls claimed the Division I championship in a five-set battle with Menlo-Atherton High and punched a ticket to the State Championships. Despite losing to Redondo Union High and finishing the season as state runner ups, the volleyball team exited 2014 as Pitman's best team — ever — with an overall record of 44-2 and a state rank of 18.
CSUS men's basketball
The 2013-14 season was a historical year for the California State University, Stanislaus men’s basketball team. The Warriors managed to top out with a 23-9 overall record for the year after making their way into the Division II NCAA West Region Championship, also known as the Sweet Sixteen. Despite winning nine of their final 10 contests, the Warriors unforgettable run ended at the hands of their CCAA rivals — Chico State — after falling by one point, 80-81.
CSUS women's soccer
Without their best player in school history, Karenee Demery, the California State University, Stanislaus Women’s soccer team still managed to pick up where they left off after tallying a 16-4-2 overall record and making it all the way to the Division II Quarterfinal game. Unfortunately for the Warriors, their unbelievable year was put to an end against Colorado School of Mines in a 3-4 shootout but it was still the team’s best season to-date, making it all the way to the Elite Eight.
Turlock Christian volleyball
Turlock Christian High's volleyball team entered 2014 with a new head coach and a crop of new players, but that didn't stop the Eagles from replicating their past success at the net. Though they failed to earn a league title at its new home in the Central California Athletic Association, TC squeeked into the postseason where its girls did the improbable and made a run at the Division VI Sac-Joaquin Section championship. The Eagles upset Stone Ridge Christian High to win their third consecutive DVI SJS title and advanced deep into the Nor Cal tournament where they were eliminated in their semi-final match by Anderson Valley High.
Pitman High has long played second fiddle on the wrestling mat to rival Turlock High, but in 2014 all that changed. Equipped with a combination of experienced seniors and promising young prospects, the Pride rolled their competition en route to their first Central California Conference championship in school history. Pitman followed its history-setting performance by sending four wrestlers to the state tournament — another first for the program — to officially mark 2014 as the best year for Pitman wrestling.
The 2014 Turlock High baseball team was another great year for the Bulldogs who finished their year posting up a 23-7 record including their second consecutive Central California Conference title. Although for the first time in school history the Bulldogs beat St. Mary’s High in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, they fell in back-to-back games to Tokay and then in the second meeting against St. Mary’s the Bulldogs unfortunately were booted after a 0-12 loss.
Turlock girls and boys golf
The Turlock High girls’ and boys’ golf teams have been owning the Central California Conference for over a decade and in 2014, for the 11th time, the Bulldog boys and girls claimed yet another banner for the CCC. The lady ‘Dogs were able to capture the CIF Division I South Section Championship along with a NorCal appearance. The boys dominated their opponents en route to a team section appearance but with a heavy load of competitors they could not make it past the first round in sections.
Hilmar High owned the Trans Valley League when it came to volleyball in 2014. For the second year in a row, the Yellowjackets waged an undefeated league campaign to win back-to-back TVL championships. Hilmar clawed its way through the Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section bracket and found itself in a rematch from 2013 as it faced off against Sonora High for the DIV SJS championship. Unfortunately for the 'Jackets, they again failed to best Sonora and their season was ended shortly after in the first round of the Division IV Nor Cal tournament.
Turlock girls tennis
For the eighth straight season the Turlock High girls’ tennis squad captured a Central California Conference title and earned spots in both the CIF Division I Sac-Joaquin Section singles and doubles tournament. After such a successful year the ‘Dogs were eliminated from the D-I SJS tourney by Rocklin High.
2014 marked the Pitman High softball teams’ most successful year to-date. In his first season as the head coach for Pitman, Joe Lewis managed to make history for the Pride after taking his team to their first playoff victory since the school opened up back in 2004. Their 5-3 win over Tracy’s West High in the opening round of the Division I Sac-Joaquin paved their way into the second round only to lose to the fifth team in state — Vacaville. The Pride still posted a 15-13 overall record and 9-6 in league.
After suffering what very well could have been career ending injuries in a 2013 boating accident, Tyler Murphy defied the odds with his return to the pitching mound in June of 2014 for the Stanislaus Cardinals. Murphy, who was an ace pitcher during his time at Turlock High and earned a scholarship to St. Mary's College, suffered significant damage to his hand and leg when he was struck by a boat's propeller and was forced to undergo several surgeries and procedures. Although his future as a baseball player looked bleak, Murphy pushed through treatment and will be suiting up for California State University, Stanislaus in 2015.
2014 was a good year for former Pitman High pitcher Bradin Hagens who was called up to the Arizona Diamondbacks major league team in mid-August. Hagens was only with the Triple-A affiliate, the Reno Aces, for about six days and made only one appearance before receiving a call that he had made it to “The Show.” Hagens was drafted by the D-backs in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft from Merced College.
Albino Orozco made the best of his senior year at Turlock High with a 7th place finish at the state wrestling championships in the 170-pound division. After suffering a loss in the quarterfinals of the tournament, Orozco earned his place in the top 8 with an overtime win over Will Sumner of Nevada Union High, who had defeated Orozco in Masters competition, to add his name to the long list of Bulldogs with a state medal.
The Houston Astros chose former Turlock High pitcher Vince Wheeland as their first pick in the 24th round in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft (706th overall) out of Oklahoma State, helping to fulfill one of the former Bulldog's long-time dreams. In his final year at Oklahoma State, the 22-year-old Wheeland finished with a near perfect record at 10-1, a 1.52 ERA in 31 games (three starts), including 45 strikeouts in 83 innings and a .226 average against which was good enough to earn him Big 12 Pitcher of the Year honors.
From freshman year to senior year, Logan Wolfley was a mainstay on Pitman High's varsity wrestling squad. Wolfey was the Pride's anchor during their 2014 campaign, helping his team win their first league title, but it's his individual accomplishments that land him on this list. With an undefeated record in dual matches as a senior, Wolfley ended his high school wrestling career with a 40-0 record in dual matches. The Pride wrestler also made his state debut at 160 pounds where he fell just short of a top 8 finish.