All those Oakdale High seniors who have sat out Valley Oak League duals to prepare for big tournaments far away from home will give Mustang fans a special look at their top lineup for a senior night conference meet against visiting Sonora on Wednesday, Jan. 26.
Mustang coach Brian Stevens said he will attempt to work Oakdale seniors into most of the 14 weights for the team’s final VOL contest of the season.
Oakdale, which has yet to be tested in a league dual (even with second-team varsity participants), should cruise through their final VOL bouts, before a projected No. 1 seed into the Sac-Joaquin Section Team Dual Championships at Lincoln High in Stockton on Feb. 5. Oakdale set a Division IV SJS record by wining back-to-back dual titles in 2009 and 2010.
The upcoming schedule of D-IV opponents for the next 30 days means Oakdale has basically a whole month to rest after tackling the top teams in California across all divisions in five consecutive weeks during late December and early January.
The latest test was the 90-team Tim Brown Memorial Invitational in Sacramento on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 22.
Oakdale, ranked No. 4 in the state as a team by The California Wrestler Newsletter, sent six wrestlers to the finals and landed 227.5 team points to snare a first place title. Chico, ranked No. 13 in the state, finished second with 161.5 points. Oakdale also easily outscored No. 15 McNair (74 points), No. 20 Clovis East (141 points), No. 24 Elk Grove (145) and No. 26 Orland (126).
And it wasn’t Oakdale’s best tournament by any means.
They dropped five of the six finals matches, and showed some of the wear and tear you’d expect after a gauntlet of extremely tough tournaments miles and miles from their home gymnasium.
“I’m not making any excuses — because all these other teams have to deal with similar things — but all the travel, going to be bed late after long first days and waking up early for the second days of these tournaments is wearing on us a bit,” Oakdale coach Brian Stevens said. “The kids look pretty tired and it’s going to be nice to get a little bit of a break in the next couple weeks.”
Trent Noon didn’t show much wear and tear in his 171-pound bracket at the Tim Brown. He won his way to the tournament finals, where a pin over Ricky McDonald secured him championships honors.
David Ferry injury defaulted out of his anticipated re-match with Jake Elliott of Oakmont at 145 pounds (Elliott won the first meeting), but should be back in action this week.
Garrett Fortado had a strong tournament, but was pinned by reigning state champion, Nashon Garrett of Chico, in the 112-pound finale.
Shane Tate (ranked No. 4 in the state) made the 135-pound finals, but fell, 4-2, to returning state placer Adam Hendrickson of Healdsburg (No. 6 at 140).
Dustin Harris rebounded from a rough tournament outing at Temecula Valley to win consecutive matches and appear in a 152-pound finale at the Tim Brown. There, Harris (No. 32) dropped a tightly contested 3-2 match to No. 15 Kevin Burrage of Del Oro to finish second.
A.C. Brown (No. 7) reached the finals in a 215-pound bracket containing seven state ranked wrestlers. He finished ahead of No. 3 Malique Micenheimer of McNair, but was downed in overtime after a 3-2 score by Austin Lobsinger of West Valley (No. 13).
Juan Garza placed fifth at 103 pounds while Tanner Feuerstein ended fourth at 130. Ronnie Stevens was one win from placing in the third consecutive week, but finished 4-2 in a tough bracket. Tyler Malone (140), Hondo Arpoika (189) and Dillon Tomasovich (160) won three matches each, while Jake Jacobson and Miko Arpoika (160) nabbed two wins each.
Oakdale also saw 10 medals from a junior varsity tournament at Enochs. David Vierra, Karrel Estell and Joe Jacobson were first, second and fourth, respectively, at 112. Robert Barnhardt won a 125-pound bracket while Tanner Morgan took the same honor at 140. Bailey Dryden was third at 152 while Duncan Fenley (first) and Jeremy Brandau (third) both medaled at 171. Zack Fallentine won the 189-pound class while Eric Barragan was fourth at 275.
Oakdale JV wrestlers will kick off Wednesday’s home meet against Sonora at 4 p.m.