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Response To Coronavirus Curtails RHS Spring Sports
The Bruins’ Abel Bravo, 14, spikes the ball back over the net in varsity boys volleyball scrimmage action against the visiting Coyotes of Denair. Riverbank won in five sets, 3-2.
Riverbank pole vaulter Aiden Little approaches the pit during last Tuesday’s track and field competition on the RHS campus. Athletes from Amador and Big Valley Christian high schools visited for the pre-season scrimmage meet. The scheduled All-County Track Meet set at RHS on Friday was canceled by authorities as school systems began to grapple with appropriate responses to the coronavirus outbreak.

Sports activities at Riverbank High School last week trickled to a stop in the wake of the coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak and officials’ response to the dangers it presents.

Games and meets continued through Thursday evening’s boys volleyball game but the scheduled All-County Track Meet that was to be held last Friday and hosted at RHS got canceled in the middle of the week. By late Friday, all plans for high school sports were canceled, according to RHS Athletic Director John Bartlett, at least through March 31. On Sunday, additional word came down that all Stanislaus County school districts are closing schools effective Thursday, March 19 for an undetermined amount of time. There is no projected return date for spring sports at RHS, but here is a recap of the events of the past week.


Lady Bruin Softball

Girls softball kicked off the week on Monday, March 9 with Riverbank falling to the visiting Ripon Christian High School Lady Knights taking the preseason game, 11-3. On Tuesday, Grace Davis High School of Modesto came to town, with the host Lady Bruins taking a close 14-13 win. Denair visited on Wednesday, March 11, also leaving with a loss to Riverbank, as the home team earned a 16-5 victory.


Boys Volleyball

Riverbank hosted the Denair Coyotes in a varsity boys volleyball match on Thursday, March 12. It took five games, but the Bruins came out on top, 23-25, 26-24, 25-10, 18-25 and finally prevailing 16-14 in the last game. It was the last sports activity for the high school, with the cancellation of Friday’s scheduled all-county track meet that was set for the RHS stadium.


Co-Ed Tennis

Bruin and Lady Bruin netters were able to get in their first home scrimmage matches against Orestimba High School of Newman on Wednesday, March 11. The Riverbank team took the match, 6-3.

Boys number one seed, senior Eric Pantoja, beat his opponent in two sets, 7-6 and 6-3. Coach Bruce Edwards said that last year, he lost to the same opponent and noted that both have improved a lot but Pantoja took the win this time around.


Bruin Baseball

The varsity boys baseball team traveled to Modesto on Tuesday, March 10, to take on Big Valley Christian, losing 11-1. They returned home the next day to host Grace Davis of Modesto on March 11, taking a 15-5 loss against the Spartans.