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
The talents of Oakdale High athletes were on display during a barrage of recent action in girls soccer, swimming, boys tennis, boys golf and baseball. Following is a summary of contests.
A battle of Valley Oak League juggernauts swung violently in favor of visiting Sierra High on March 20 as the returning Sac-Joaquin Section runner-ups delivered a 5-0 thumping of the same Oakdale softball program that beat them in the 2012 SJS finals.
Oakdale High junior Dezirae Pennington had better tie those laces tight, because she's bound to leap right out of those shoes.
Seven innings of spectacular pitching provided a unique marvel on March 8, as Oakdale High pitcher Bryce Dyrda tossed a complete game no-hit shutout over Johansen.
The spectacular teamwork of Oakdale High tennis players Trae Folla and Miguel Rosales has been a spectacle to behold thus far in 2013. The pair landed landmark wins over Weston Ranch and Manteca to start the year, then rallied to batter East Union and Lathrop's top doubles pairs with more terrific play.
The girls soccer team that escapes Valley Oak League play with a conference championship this year is going to enter the Sac-Joaquin Section postseason like an apple that hit every branch on the way down.
The state medal draped around the neck of Oakdale High sophomore Nico Colunga couldn't fit better if it was sized and measured at the Men's Wearhouse.
You don't need shoulder pads or a singlet to showcase new muscles. Sometimes you just need a forehand or backhand.
Six Oakdale High students extended their Winter sports season into March by claiming advancements from the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships to the state meet.
A 6-3 win by Oakdale High senior Eric Barragan landed the Mustang wrestler a first place finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championships in Los Banos and avenged a prior loss at the Valley Oak League tournament.
It happens every year.
The 11 Valley Oak League individual titles won by members of Oakdale High's wrestling program on Saturday, Feb. 9 set a school and conference record at Tracy's Kimball High.
Scoring 35 points in one game is a lot like committing a felony. Both garner the attention of the community and both are likely to land your mug shot in the newspaper. Oakdale High senior Austin Archuleta put up 35 in a thrilling Homecoming win over Kimball on Feb. 1.
The wrestling chapter of the Oakdale High record book is guarded by a heavy padlock these days, as annual supremacy has surrendered some the most dominant performances in Valley Oak League history.
Senior wrestlers in the Valley Oak League must have night terrors about wild horses.