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New RHS Track Is Introduced With Dual Meet
Busy Pre-Season Week
Riverbank second baseman Briana Allen (33) attempts a double play during the recent girls softball tournament at Rainbow Fields. The Lady Bruins were on their way to a win against Downey following a base clearing triple put them ahead, but the increasing rain caused a delay, then a suspension of play on Friday. The tournament did not continue on Saturday. BY RIC MCGINNIS/THE NEWS


The Riverbank High School spring sports season was firmly underway last week, with scrimmages and non-league play the rule all around, but rain put a damper on the action by week’s end. Here is a brief recap of the teams that saw action.


RHS Track and Field

The inaugural meet on Riverbank’s new all-weather track facility met with raves from visiting coaches and competitors, according to Bruin Coach Monte Wood.

He said the March 1 meet went well for the home team, although several of his top athletes were out due to lingering injuries.

“We are getting back to being healthy,” Wood said. “I would rather be dealing with this now and not two months from now.”

Tuesday’s event saw several kudos for the new RHS state of the art facility.

“Several coaches and athletes made glowing comments about our facility,” noted Wood. “A coach from Downey said he thought he was walking onto a small college campus, with the gym and the new track facility next to each other.”

Sierra High School in Manteca has an all weather track, he added, and their kids “were in awe of ours.”

This week, the tracksters were planning the Bruin Team Challenge on Monday, March 7, weather permitting. It’s not an official meet, according to the coach.

“We divide our team into four (groups) and they compete in events they don’t usually compete in,” Wood explained.

Events include a 5-step long jump, 800-yard run, medicine ball throw, shuttle hurdle on the grass, and then a team relay at the end.

Bruins track and field doesn’t compete at home again until they host the Trans-Valley League Relays on Tuesday, March 22.


Bruin Baseball

The varsity baseball team hosted a scrimmage against Johansen High of Modesto, with the JV team traveling to Johansen, to take on the JV Vikings.

Here at home, they called the game where the Bruins were leading 12-0 after four innings. The JV team won 10-9.

The baseball teams travel to Summerville, Ripon Christian and Hilmar before hosting Hilmar on March 22.


Girls Soccer

The Lady Bruins girls soccer teams hosted Weston Ranch of Stockton to kick off their 2016 season, rounding out the three sport action hosted at RHS on March 1.

After playing most of the game with a tough defense, the varsity girls let one, then a second goal into the net late in the second half. The JV team lost by an identical margin.

On Friday and Saturday, the varsity girls were slated to compete in the Lady Buffaloes’ Tournament at Manteca High School.

On March 4, the varsity girls lost to Gregori High School of Modesto, 11-0. On Saturday, March 5, they went down to defeat to Argonaut, 2-1, then lost to Atwater, 6-0.

The Riverbank girls were to host Johansen’s Lady Vikings on Tuesday, March 8 after The News went to press. This weekend the varsity team plays in the Mother Lode Gold Cup at Amador High School in Sutter Creek.


Co-Ed Tennis

The Bruin tennis teams welcomed competitors from across the valley and foothills to the Riverbank Doubles Tourney, an all day affair spread across all the tennis courts in town.

In addition to the six courts on the RHS campus, teams played at the community courts next to the Cardozo Middle School campus downtown and the two courts at Zerillo Park in River Heights, on the north edge of town.

Unfortunately, what started out as a fairly nice day turned cloudy by noon, with a steady rain forcing an abbreviation of the schedule by 1:45 p.m., according to Coach Bruce Edwards.

He said the mixed doubles team of Martin Baltazar and Jessica Vasquez placed third in their category.

Bruins tennis is scheduled to host Argonaut High from Jackson on Friday, March 11.


Girls Softball

The Lady Bruins had a busy week before softball action was curtailed by rain last Friday.

On Tuesday, March 1, the girls traveled to Gustine, where they brought home an 11-1 victory against the Lady Redskins.

The Rainbow Tournament at Rainbow Fields was to run from Wednesday through Saturday, March 2-5, at the local complex.

The Lady Bruins were to play two tournament games on Friday, with the first against Los Banos.

With intermittent rain falling on the muddy infield, Riverbank fell to the Lady Tigers, 5-1. The second game was against Downey.

When play went into a rain delay, Riverbank led the Lady Knights, 8-3. Umpires called the tournament about 4:30 p.m. on Friday, with no further play due to the increasing rain in the forecast.

The softballers were to host the Summerville Bears from Tuolumne County this afternoon, March 9, then travel to Lathrop this Friday. Monday, play is to return to the home diamond, hosting Le Grand.