Leading Off

Oakdale ranked 18th by

Oakdale High, which hosts private-school power Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa on Friday, debuted in the Northern California rankings Wednesday at No. 18. The Mustangs (2-0) have won their games by an average of 31 points and are No. 2 in the state Division III poll, behind defending state champ Oaks Christian. Valley Oak League rival Manteca (2-0) rose two spots to No. 5 in Division III. Central Catholic (0-1-1), which has given up 80 points in two games, fell from the top spot to No. 3 in the Division IV poll. Patterson (2-0) moved up two spots to No. 6 after its 28-13 win over Escalon, which was No. 5 in the Division IV poll. Merced, after struggling during its 16-6 win over Sonora, rose two spots to No. 4 in the NorCal overall rankings.

Turlock-Modesto moved to Downey

The Turlock vs. Modesto high school football game Friday has been moved from Modesto Junior College to Downey High School. Kickoff at Chuck Hughes Stadium is at 7:30 p.m.

Earnhardt will drive No. 88 for Hendrick

Months of speculation ended Wednesday when Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver, announced deals with PespiCo. -- the maker of Mountain Dew and the brand's AMP energy drink -- and the National Guard to sponsor his No. 88 Chevrolet next season at Hendrick Motorsports. Dale Jr. isn't the first Earnhardt to drive the No. 88 in NASCAR. His grandfather, Ralph, drove a

No. 88 Oldsmobile 88 for Petty Enterprises in the 1957 Virginia 500. Junior's memory of No. 88 includes drivers like Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett, whose last win at Talladega in 2005 was the last for a No. 88 car. "This number is very respected," Earnhardt said. "Numbers have personalities. Numbers do talk. Numbers do kind of reach out and grab you." Earnhardt has driven the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet full-time for DEI since 2000, and he tried to take the No. 8 with him to Hendrick. But stepmother Teresa Earnhardt refused to give up her rights to it.

Bonds: HR record ball owner an 'idiot'

Barry Bonds said the man who bought his 756th home run ball and announced plans to let the public decide its fate is an "idiot." Fashion designer Marc Ecko, 35, had the winning bid Saturday in the online auction for the ball that Bonds hit last month to break Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. The final selling price was $752,467, well above most predictions. Bonds said Ecko could have found a better way to spend three-quarters of a million dollars. "He's stupid. He's an idiot," Bonds said. "He spent $750,000 on the ball and that's what he's doing with it? What he's doing is stupid."