The weather may have been wet and wild outside the gym at this year’s Section Dual Tournament, hosted at Lincoln High School of Stockton, but the Oakdale Mustang wrestling team shined inside of it. With over 35 schools from Northern California showing up, the Oakdale Mustangs put on a clinic and took care of business to claim a Section blue banner on Feb. 8.
The tournament got under way early Saturday morning and continued until 4:30 p.m., ending with the Mustangs proudly holding up the Les Schwab Tires 2013-2014 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV banner.
Oakdale – which had a first round bye due to its top seed – got off to a quick start as they began the afternoon taking on the Cosumnes Oaks Wolf Pack of Elk Grove. In fast paced, dominant fashion, the Mustangs opened up with three consecutive pin fall victories. Oakdale took care of business the rest of the way and cruised to the next round. Cosumnes Oaks defeated Central Catholic in their opening round, 42-34, but were overwhelmed in the semifinals by the stacked Oakdale grapplers, 62-9.
With a short break in between matches, the Mustangs were then faced with the task of wrestling Central Valley, squaring off with the Hawks from the Ceres area school. The boys once again rose to the challenge and again got off to a quick start. Using their speed, strength, agility and tenaciousness to overpower the undersized Hawks, the Mustangs captured the title and are now focused on the Valley Oak League Championships, set for Saturday, Feb. 15 at Sonora High School.
Senior Joey Jacobson, who won both of his matches at the Feb. 8 tournament, said “Our confidence level is at a real high. We trained and prepped really hard for this tournament and our hard work and efforts paid off. Now we need to carry this momentum into Sonora for the VOL Championships.”
He also gave his advice to the underclassmen: “Put your best effort into every practice, every qualifying match, and every tournament match, because time flies and the season is over before you know it. You don’t want to have regrets about yourself or the season.”
For the coaches, it was also a satisfying outcome on Saturday, with another blue banner to add to the growing OHS collection.
“I’m very proud of our boys. It’s nice to carry on the tradition,” head coach Steve Strange said after the win on Saturday. “But it’s back to work come Monday.”
The Valley Oak League Championship meet is scheduled for a 9 a.m. start on Saturday.