While Riverbank has struggled on the field, coach Jimmy Oliver knows there's more to success than touchdowns and tackles. After taking over the program last year, Oliver launched what he hopes will become a tradition dads and legal guardians visiting their sons in the locker room prior to games. "We allow a father and a son to speak in the locker room to talk about their relationship," said Oliver, who believes the approach will help his players bond with their fathers. "We want to promote fatherhood and set an example for our players, so that they will grow to be good fathers."
Hilmar secured the school's second Sac-Joaquin Section title in the last four years with a dramatic 20-17 victory over Escalon with what coach Frank Marques calls a once-in-a-decade group of seniors. That doesn't mean the well has gone completely dry. Hilmar returns only three regulars from last season's championship squad, including outside linebacker Victor Teixeira and two-way lineman Corey Bayer. Both start their third seasons on varsity, but not many others have first-team reps. Marquez has three players battling to replace quarterback Andrew Olson: returner Tyler Freitas, Beau Balswick and Dustin Fantazia.