Gas is approaching $4 per gallon, which means every car trip has to be justified, but there are plenty of reasons this week to travel through the Stanislaus District.
With the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs opening in some sports -- including today's golf tournaments in Angels Camp and Stockton -- and league titles at stake in others, there's no shortage of quality attractions as the high school sports year winds down.
It's been a remarkable spring for a number of teams, and athletes, and today begins a frantic four-week race to the finish.
Dozens of teams and more than 150 individuals will celebrate the end of the school year by winning section championships -- capped by the section Division I baseball finals May 30 and 31 at University of the Pacific.
The brightest stars include:
East Union ace Erin Arevalo, the state's strikeout leader for the second year in a row, has her final home start Tuesday, when the Lancers face Weston Ranch.
Downey's Karlee Bispo will try to put her name in the record book with two more titles -- giving her a record-tying eight -- at Saturday's section swim championships at Tokay High in Lodi.
Beyer scoring sensation Jennie Marshall, who has 104 career goals, will be center stage Friday as the Patriots host Pitman in a section Division I playoff match.
Orestimba's dynamic duo of pitcher Kara Spinelli and LSU-bound shortstop Juliana Santos, with a section-leading 10 homers, play their final regular-season game Thursday when the Warriors host Central Catholic.
This week's playoff action will whet your appetite, but the real buffet is next week with action in baseball, golf, softball, tennis and track and field.