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MJC football reloads as it looks to continue success starting with Saturday’s home opener

in Community/Entertainment/Students

In Modesto Junior College head coach Rusty Stivers’ first season, he didn’t send any players to Division I schools. That was in 2015.

“My first year, we had zero Division I recruits, and that year, (San Joaquin) Delta had a running back go to UNLV,” Stivers recalled at MJC Football’s media day. “I told our recruiting guy, ‘I would do anything just to get one guy to go to a Division I school.’”

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High school football rankings: After Week 2 losses, where do top teams stand?

in Events/Sports/Students

The Top 10 finished Week 2 with a record of .500 as five teams won and five lost. Downey continued its hot start, putting up 56 points on East Union. Ceres, Hughson and Ripon Christian joined the Knights in scoring more than 35 points in Week 2 wins.

Central Catholic and Escalon lost nail-biters to some of California’s top programs. The Raiders lost to St. Francis, a top 5 team in its area, according to the Bay Area News Group.

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Some 2022 high school football schedules released

in Sports

Multiple high schools in the south Placer area have finalized their football schedules for the fall 2022 season and this week, we wanted to take a look at some of the matchups to look forward to for next fall.

Sierra Foothill League

The Rocklin Thunder is the defending champion in the Sierra Foothill League, following a 12-1 2021 season. The Thunder is preparing to have their first two games on the road as their track and turf are being redone at the football stadium. The Thunder will open their season on Aug. 19 away against Turlock. Their first home game will be on Sept. 2 against Capital Christian, a team that Rocklin defeated 43-14 in 2021.

Rocklin will be a part of the 2022 Honor Bowl, an annual showcase that features some of the best teams in Northern and Southern California. The Honor Bowl started at Del Oro High School and the Honor Group mission is to educate athletes and coaches about patriotism while also raising money for wounded veterans. This year, the two-day event will be hosted by Oak Ridge High School on Sept. 9 and Sept. 10.

The Thunder will have their bye week on Sept. 23.

The Granite Bay Grizzlies were second in league play last season and are looking to build off of that performance when they start competition against Elk Grove on Aug. 19. They will follow that up with two straight home games against Davis and Vista Del Lago before playing in the Honor Bowl on Sept. 9 against Spanish Springs. The Grizzlies will finish non-league action against Vacaville on Sept. 16, a team they defeated 14-9 in 2021, before having their bye week on Sept. 23.

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‘Dogs dominate Pride in CCAL opener

in Sports

The Harvest Bowl may have taken place in October instead of November on Friday night, but one thing remained the same: the Turlock High varsity football team defeated Pitman High 35-0 en route to their eighth-straight victory over their crosstown rivals.

The Bulldogs (2-4 overall, 1-0 CCAL) and Pride (1-4 overall, 0-1 CCAL) kicked off Central California Athletic League play against each other this week with the 18th annual Harvest Bowl — a rivalry game which brings the two adversaries together during what is typically the last league game of the season. This year, however, it was the first.

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Pitman, Turlock ready to break Harvest Bowl tie

in Sports

As the Sac-Joaquin Section heads into its final week of high school football, Denair is looking to end the season on a positive note while the crosstown rivalry between Turlock and Pitman heats up ahead of the first Harvest Bowl to take place in the spring. 

The Bulldogs (4-0) continued their undefeated season last Friday night with a 35-13 victory over Gregori, which head coach James Peterson said was a tougher game than the scoreboard showed. Turlock tallied 355 total offensive yards during the game, while Gregori was right behind them with 338.

“Defensively, we gave up quite a few yards but were able to keep them off the board. It felt like a tougher game than what we were used to this season,” Peterson said. “The offense came out and did their thing and put the points up we needed to win the game.”

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Turlock football continues dominance in historic Modesto rivalry

in Sports

The Turlock High varsity football team defeated longtime rival Modesto High on Friday night in a blowout victory, 74-13.

The Week 2 matchup between the Bulldogs and the Panthers was the 122nd time the two Central California Athletic League competitors have faced off on the gridiron — a rivalry which was renewed in 2018. 

Both Turlock and Modesto were charter members of the California Central Conference back in 1957 and played against each other until the 2003 season, when the following year it was announced that Modesto would join other schools in its city to form the Modesto Metro Conference. With the 2018 season’s Sac-Joaquin Section realignment, the former rivals were reunited in the CCAL.

Since then, the Bulldogs have outscored the Panthers 157-26 in league play. On Friday, Turlock led 62-7 by halftime. 

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Bulldogs bulldoze Knights in season opener

in Sports

The Turlock High School Bulldogs made their highly-anticipated return to Joe Debely Stadium Friday night, kicking off the shortened COVID season with a dominant 56-24 victory over Downey High School.  

“The biggest thing is the heart. The guys came together as a unit and they rebounded as a unit,” head coach James Peterson said. “They’ve been through a lot of adversity…morale has been down and guys were looking at me just beat up, but tonight was so uplifting and we saw a lot of smiles on faces. 

“I know they’re happy about the ‘W’ but it’s really about the hard work they’ve been putting in.”

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209 Seahawks open season with 12-7 loss

in Sports

The Ceres-based 209 Seahawks Football Club’s newly-formed 10-and-under team competed for the first time this past weekend.

The 209 Seahawks lost 12-7 to the host Sacramento Kings on Saturday.

“I wasn’t expecting us to play as well as we did knowing this group of kids haven’t played a game in a year and a half,” head coach Jose Ortiz said. “They went above and beyond my expectations. The most enjoyable part was watching them have fun.”

Sean Nunez accounted for the 209 Seahawks’ lone touchdown.

He returned a fumble, which was forced by Elias Harris, for a TD.

Continue Reading on Ceres Courier

Seahawks compile 1-1 record

in Sports

The 209 Seahawks Football Club had one team compete at an undisclosed location in Northern California this past month. The 14-and-under squad won one of its two games.

Ceres earned a hard-fought 14-6 win over the Bay Area 300 Legacy on Jan. 24. Jeremiah Stine accounted for both of the Seahawks’ touchdowns. He had rushing TDs of 70 and 10 yards. Ceres lost 12-6 to the Sacramento Raiders on Jan. 23.

Stine scored a rushing touchdown in the first half for the Seahawks.

“Travel ball is a lot different,” said Willie Solorio, club founder, who also doubles as president of the non-affiliated Ceres Seahawks Youth Football & Cheer Organization. “The competition is way better.”

The 209 Seahawks Football Club is fielding a total of four teams during its inaugural season, including 10-and-under, 12-and-under, 14-and-under and 17-and-under.

Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier

Joseph Bello’s Second Act | A Turlock Journal Mini-Doc

in Sports

It's been seven years since the 2013 Hilmar High varsity football team lost its bid for a Sac Joaquin Section Division IV Championship, ending the season for one of the more memorable teams in Hilmar High history.

But for all their on-field success, the '13 Hilmar squad is often remembered for the tragic circumstances that befell defensive captain Joseph Bello just two months after his final game as a Yellowjacket. With a combination of archival footage from Bello's senior year and exclusive interviews, this Mini-Doc explores his journey from a captain on the football field to a leader within the wheelchair community.

Directed/Narrated/Edited By: Frankie Tovar With Help From: Angelina Martin Special Thanks To: Joseph Bello, Frank Marques and the SCI Active Network

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