The strength of the lineup represented by Oakdale High’s wrestling team will be on emphatic display on Feb. 2 at Lincoln High in Stockton, where only a miracle will prevent the Mustangs from nabbing a seventh Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV team duals title in eight seasons.
A Gilroy team ranked eighth in the state by the California Wrestling Newsletter got a taste of that strength during an exciting non-league dual with 21st ranked Oakdale in Gilroy on Jan. 25.
It didn’t taste so good.
The Mustangs won six of the 11 matches on the mat and eagerly accepted three forfeits en route to a 42-21 shellacking of one of the state’s best wrestling teams.
“Our team looked strong and did a good job controlling most of the matches,” Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. “We did a good job of keeping pressure on them and wearing them down.”
Gilroy has four wrestlers ranked top-15 in the state in their respective weight classes, but only three of them came away victors and only two did it in one-sided fashion.
Jesse Vasquez, ranked 15th in the state at 113 pounds, already posted a win over Oakdale when he edged Juan Garza (now not with the team) early in the preseason. He didn’t have the same luck against Oakdale’s Ronnie Stevens (ranked eighth at 120), who took a 5-2 win over their 120-pound bout.
Ronnie’s brother, Max Stevens, would go on to pin Victor Daza at 126.
Victory Olmos (ranked sixth in the state) pinned Oakdale’s Joey Jacobson a match later, but Jake Jacobson proved incredibly tough against returning state runner-up Paul Fox at the next weight. Fox struggled against the older brother, fighting for a stunning 9-6 decision win.
Returning state champion Nico Villarreal would pin Eric Amador in the ensuing match, but Tyler Noon got even a match later when he shut out Daniel Barboza at 152 pounds. Tyler Malone kept the success going by besting the Central Coast section’s top-ranked wrestler, Lupe Jimenez (state honorable mention) 6-5.
Frankie Trent and Bailey Dryden of Oakdale would lose the next two matches to top-30 ranked brothers Matt Penyacsek and Mark Penyacsek, but Hondo Arpoika (5-2 winner over Julian Carbajal) and Zack Fallentine (pinned Frank Martinez) won big matches to close the dual.
Oakdale received forfeits to Eric Barragan (heavyweight), Logan Eaton (106) and Trevor Williams (113) and did not need to wrestle Nico Colunga (ranked ninth in the state at 106).
Oakdale completes the Valley Oak League dual season with visiting Sonora today, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. The Mustangs will likely receive a first-round bye when the team dual playoffs begin at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 2. Their first match in the team dual semifinals will be against a league runner-up from the Solano Valley Conference, Western Athletic Conference or VOL at 12:30 p.m. The ensuing title match will begin at 4 p.m.