High School Football

How Turlock High’s senior class president led the team to a big win over Tracy.

Before Thursday’s game against Tracy, Turlock senior Anthony Frias had an Associated Student Body meeting during third period and one during lunch to discuss rallies, various clubs, and other things happening at the East Canal Drive campus.

Frias is the senior class president and is one of the voices of the school, a significant job with an enrollment close to 2,500.

When he wasn’t in meetings or in class, Frias said he was thinking about Friday’s big game between The Bee’s two top 20-ranked teams.

“When I was in class, I am focused on class,” he said. “When the bell rang after the final period, my mind started thinking about game day.”

Hours later, the leader off the field was a one-man show on it.

The 5-foot-10 running back had nine carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns and two receptions for 83 yards as No. 12 Turlock rolled over No. 13 Tracy, 43-16, at Joe Debely Stadium.

“My speed was looking a little better,” Frias said. “I have been working on getting more explosive during the week. I was really impressed with the offensive line (team rushed for 325 yards). They opened up big holes and I was just able to hit them.”

Turlock’s offensive line created massive holes for the entire running game as Frias wasn’t touched by an opposing defender in his touchdown runs of 79 yards in the first quarter and 42 yards in the third.

More impressive was that the home Bulldogs were missing one of their starting lineman, senior guard Andrew Baucom.

Baucom had to go to the hospital for undisclosed reasons on Thursday and coach James Peterson said he was doing OK and doctors wanted him to stay overnight for observation.

Turlock (1-1) also used senior Ryan Burch as a rallying point.

Burch found out this week he suffered a torn ACL in last week’s loss to Clayton Valley and he will miss the entire year.

“At practice on Wednesday, the team was keeping him up (in spirits),” Peterson said. “He came up to me tonight talking about certain plays and what he was seeing (from the sidelines).”

After Tracy (1-1) scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Logan Fife to senior wide receiver Trevor Pope with a little under nine minutes left in the first, Turlock answered with 29 unanswered first-half points.

Frias had two first-half touchdown runs and senior quarterback Brock Paslay had a 32-yard touchdown pass to senior Holden Baldwin and Paslay added a 17-yard run for a score.

“Offensively, we just have to come out and execute,” Peterson said. “I feel like we can come and do that (Thursday’s performance) every week.”

With new cleats he put on after warm-ups, Frias said he could cut better and Peterson said his running back put a lot of hard work in the off-season.

Now, it’s back to work for the school’s president: He has speeches to write.

“Hopefully I don’t mess up,” Frias said. “I know my boys will get on me if I mess up. But, it’s just brotherly love.”

Julian A. Lopez has been covering local sports for The Modesto Bee since August 2018. He graduated from Arizona State in 2016 with a BA in Journalism.