Two years, two championships is not an easy feat at any level. However, for the Oakdale Junior High School girls’ basketball team that’s exactly what the talented young group did. As seventh grade girls the team went undefeated in 2016-2017 and then as eighth graders the team did it again in 2017-2018.
The Oakdale Junior High School Lady Rams showed their dominance with wins by an average of 20 points including against talented teams Mark Twain Junior High School, Modesto City Schools and others in the surrounding area. Coached by Bobby Cole, the eighth grade team remained focused and determined to play well as a team.
“I credit the girls for a lot of the success. They wanted to come to practice, they wanted to win and most important, they wanted to learn,” said Cole.
The coach has brought his basketball knowledge to the program and the girls have bought into his philosophy.
“The girls are very coachable and that makes it so much easier on me and my staff. Their will to learn and work hard has been unmatched,” Cole praised.
One of the defining moments from the team this year was a road game at El Portal Middle School in neighboring Escalon where the girls went into halftime tied. The Oakdale girls opened the second half on a 15-0 run and put the game out of reach.
“I think the girls realized at halftime that their run was in jeopardy. They came out in the second half fired up and I really think that was the team’s biggest moment of the season,” Cole recalled.
In the championship game the girls capped off their junior high careers with their second Mid Valley Athletic League title when they defeated Salida.
“I noticed that the girls played their best in big moments. Whether it was a championship game or a tournament game or even against a team that thought they could beat them and were vocal about it, the girls responded and finished their career 35-0,” Cole said.
The roster included forwards Madison Brown, Abby Cogburn, Hannah Beth Norman, Roxy Anderson, Maci Soares and Micaiah Richison; point guards Alexcia Verduzco, Jade Manriquez and Ruby Fink; guards Savannah Borba and Alivia Antinetti; guards/forwards Tori Cadwell and Karli Jericoff; and centers Kenadie Patterson, Jackie Tennis and Katelynn Silva.