If the high school wrestling season is a roller coaster, then Friday and Saturday's action at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis caught Oakdale at the lowest point they may reach this season.
The lanky figure of Justin Martinez doesn't just help him get that can of beans from the top shelf. Oakdale's imposing center on the varsity basketball team has emerged into a serious and dynamic role on the prep court this season.
With the No. 5 ranked team in the state looming across Oakdale High's home mat on Dec. 23, Mustang wrestlers knew they needed some significant upsets to stay unbeaten in dual action this season.
A dominant second quarter gave Los Banos High's varsity boys basketball team a three-point lead over Oakdale at the half and momentum for a potential run at the 42nd Annual Oakdale Rotary Classic finals, but Mustang seniors Justin Hernandez and Nathan Van Ryn were not to be denied a championship rematch.
Summer sports and the start of a new school year meant plenty of action for the Leader's sports section.
If Oakdale High wrestling fans wanted an improbable upset victory for Christmas, than Santa granted their wishes during unlikely dual meet at the Mustang gymnasium on Dec. 23.
A valiant fourth-quarter comeback nearly closed the gap, but Oakdale High's varsity girls basketball team (4-8) slipped to a 41-36 defeat to talented Hilmar (11-2) in the third-place game of the Ripon Christian Tournament on Dec. 29. Oakdale beat Delhi in the tourney opener, but dropped their next two contests to Hughson and Hilmar. The Lady Mustangs were forced to finish tournament action without starting point guard Blanca Lara, who spent her New Year's holiday in Mexico. With Lara absent from the lineup, Oakdale struggled against Hilmar's full-court press that gave the Yellowjackets a 17-6 advantage in ...
A 63-48 victory over Pacheco on Dec. 21 put a nice polish on Oakdale High's varsity basketball preseason, but today's start to the 42nd Annual Oakdale Rotary Classic (Dec. 28) represents the last test drive before conference play.
Oakdale High's junior heavyweight on the varsity wrestling team, Zack Fallentine, exploded onto the prep wrestling scene with a 5-2 win over Buhach Colony's Michael Escobar to claim first place honors in the 36th Annual James Riddle Classic earlier this month at OHS.
Only six high school wrestling teams attended the 2011 John Zhender Duals at Elk Grove High on Dec. 17, but they were six very good teams and Oakdale was the cream of the crop. Oakdale went 5-0 across a full day of action against five of the best teams in the Sac-Joaquin Section and the North Coast Section.
A last-moment three-pointer gave Downey High's varsity girls basketball team brief hope for a late comeback, but Oakdale maintained the final possession for a 40-37 victory over the host Knights on Friday. The win improved Oakdale to 3-4 in non-league action with a solid 255-280 scoring differential between opponents. The games have been a nice way to open the year after blowout losses of 20 or more points in five of Oakdale's last games of the 2010-11 season.
Oakdale High seniors McKenzie Willet and Justina Keith signed their names to written commitments on Dec. 11 to attend the University of California, Merced on partial volleyball scholarships. Both will join the seven-year-old university for its second ever National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics season in 2012.
With five likely starters expected to miss the mat this season and another three football players still awaiting service on the active roster, Oakdale High's rag-tag collection of varsity wrestlers wasn't expected to continue the tradition of dominating their host tournament to open the season.
With fall players finally landing spots on the winter sports rosters, Oakdale High varsity basketball teams saw an influx in production and victories over the past week.
Top 10 teams
It had to end sometime.
A herculean heave of the discus by Oakdale High freshman Hannah Chappell is the top headline amongst a heavy field of talented spring athletes at OHS. Following is a summary of recent results.
In a week where the top honor could have easily emerged from several spring sports athletes, the Oakdale High baseball team made it impossible to single out any individual. The team rallied behind tremendous pitching and timely hitting to complement flawless defense en route to back-to-back victories over previously unbeaten Manteca.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE - The fate of Oakdale High's varsity girls soccer team will be decided during Tuesday's showdown, April 30, at rival Sonora.
The situation was dire, but clear as the iridescent blue water contained within the Oakdale Aquatic Center on April 19.
It doesn't get much better than this.
The Sonora-Oakdale High rivalry has only one year left, and Mustang swimmers made the most of their most recent meeting with boys and girls victories on April 19 to award the program sole rights to the Valley Oak League boys title and a girls co-champoinship with Ripon.
If Oakdale High's varsity softball team had played Sierra's No. 17 nationally-ranked squad in the pages of a cascading flipbook on April 12, they wouldn't have had a chance.
Only Vizzini from the 1987 film The Princess Bride could accurately explain the latest escapades of Oakdale High's softball program.
April games in the 2013 Crown Classic baseball tournament hosted by Valley Christian High were like dependable tires - no blowouts.
The winter sport season lives for Oakdale High senior DeWayne Finney on April 13.
With Sonora High soon bound for the Mother Lode League via Sac-Joaquin Section realignment, Oakdale squads need to get their licks in while they still can.
Just a few weeks into the spring season, Oakdale High track and field athletes have already heaved objects into oblivion. Varsity and junior varsity competitors have landed stunning marks, accolades and a bounty of medals during a host of nonleague action. While varsity stars Kyle Peterson and Hannah Chappell have soared to some of the best marks in the state, Oakdale's other throwers have followed suit with their own impressive tosses.
The imposing form of Oakdale High senior first baseman Ericksen Dickens has loomed over Valley Oak League plates like an ominous shadow. The slugger has hit safely in each of Oakdale's four conference contests with two home runs and nine RBIs recorded.
On an Oakdale High School girls soccer team loaded with underclassmen, nothing is more vital than the stellar play of OHS senior Jill Kahler. The talented forward has scored in bushels throughout the season and forced conference opponents to surrender goals her way in each league outing.