The deeper a football season goes, the larger a toll it has on winter sports programs.
Oakdale High’s varsity wrestling team sent a lineup to the John Zehnder Duals in Elk Grove on Saturday, the same day that Oakdale competed for a state football championship.
The absence of Mustang football players from the wrestling lineup was evident as Oakdale forfeited three weights in every match and struggled to a 3-2 record and third place finish among some of the top teams in state.
Buchanan of Clovis, a perennial Central Section power, was the only team to go undefeated. Their closest victory was a 41-27 defeat of Oakdale.
Oakdale also fell 39-18 to host Elk Grove, but bested College Park 40-32, eased past Rodriguez 49-19 and battered fellow football state bowl qualifier Granite Bay 51-0.
Logan Eaton (106 pounds), Nico Colunga (113), Juan Garza (126) and Ronnie Stevens (132) went undefeated throughout tournament action to lead the team. Tyler Noon (152) lost just one match, to returning state qualifier Braden Henderson of Elk Grove.
“The competition was very tough and most of the teams except Granite Bay brought full lineups,” Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. “It was a very tough situation having to forfeit so many weights as well as plug in wrestlers.”
Oakdale was forced to wrestle freshmen Trevor Williams (120) and Eric Amador (145) at the varsity level, while Garza and Ronnie Stevens moved up a weight from their division at the James Riddle Classic to better Oakdale’s lineup.
Oakdale also tackled opposition at the G.W. Wingo junior varsity tournament. There, Quinton Castenada (160) and Gregory McMahon (195) each landed a first place honor. Nate Higgle (160), Hunter Burford (145) and Christian Alexander (152) placed second while Carlos Lopez (106), Gabriel Higuera (126), Justin McMahon (132B), Tyler Scott (132), Salem Moore (145) and Christian Johnson (170) ended third. Jerrad Paine (106) was also fourth.
Oakdale is at the Los Banos High Classic on Saturday, Dec. 22.