HIGH SCHOOL NOTES: Bohlender has 1,200 victories

Johansen High's Brent Bohlender, the godfather of water polo coaches in the Stanislaus District, celebrated his 1,200th varsity win -- and his 57th birthday -- when his boys and girls teams swept Beyer on Tuesday to stay unbeaten in the Modesto Metro Conference.

The wins were welcomed following Johansen's 15th-place finish at Saturday's girls Northern California Championships in Palo Alto. The Vikings went 1-4 in the elite event, and district rival Pitman was 1-4 while placing 12th.

In the final, Sacred Heart Prep of Menlo beat Rio Americano of Sacramento 7-3. All 16 teams in the event will be at Johansen next week for the Western States Invitational. Johansen, Pitman, Merced and Turlock are the only district teams who agreed to play in the elite "A" division.

Top seeds in the 32-team "A" division include Sacred Heart, St. Francis of Sacramento, Rio Americano and Clovis West. Sacred Heart beat St. Francis 8-7 in last year's final, making it the seventh consecutive year that a non-district team won the event.

MARK THE DATE -- The Trans-Valley League volleyball title will likely be decided Oct. 17 when Escalon visits Ripon for their third league meeting. Escalon beat the Indians in five games last week, after losing in four games Sept. 12.

Escalon has won 10 consecutive matches, including wins over large-school powers Buhach Colony and Golden Valley.

SOCCER PAIRINGS -- The Modesto Metro and Central California conferences face each other Nov. 2 in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. While Modesto has taken control of the MMC, Buhach Colony, Atwater and Pitman are battling in the CCC. Each conference has two playoff berths. ...

A rash of forfeits has Oakdale comfortably atop the Valley Oak League, a position that brings a beneficial playoff spot. The VOL champ opens at home against a third-place team and, if it wins, has a semifinal match against a runner-up. The league's second- and third-place teams open on the road against league champs. ...

With only two from the Western Athletic Conference going to the Division V playoffs, the race is on between Hilmar, Livingston and Patterson. With a triple round-robin schedule, the battle will likely go to the final week. ...

The Southern League is sending three teams to the playoffs, and one could be Waterford. The Wildcats feature Carlos Navarette, second in the state with 36 goals. He trails only Edwin Meza of Calistoga, who has 41 goals. ... Pitman's Ruben Calderon is seventh in the state with 21 goals, while Ripon's Joel Robles ranks No. 1 in California with 19 assists and Atwater's Jorge Carmona is tied for second with 17 assists.

PLAYOFF POINTS -- The trip to the section Division I South golf tournament will be a short one for district golfers, since it's being hosted by Creekside Golf Course in Modesto on Oct. 22. While VOL schools will go to Sacramento for Division III play at Teal Bend, the Valley Foothill League schools will be at the Diablo Grande Ranch Course in Patterson.