In a season that was injury plagued, the Oakdale Mustangs football team never used that as an excuse. Instead they buckled their chin straps and battled on the gridiron and 95 percent of the time, came out as victors, going 12-2 overall in 2015.
Their only two losses came to Central Catholic, one in league play and one in the Section title game.
With eight teams in the competitive Valley Oak League (VOL) the head coaches gathered recently and made decisions on who would be honored as the VOL’s best, with a coach not able to vote for their own players.
The Mustangs were recognized by the seven other coaches and were well represented by the end of the voting process. Senior fullback Brad Aquino was named Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year for 2015 and also earned honorable mention in the All Sac-Joaquin Section team.
Ten varsity players were also tapped for 2015 VOL All-League Football Honors. On the offensive side of the ball, six seniors earned first team honors: quarterback Adam Olsen, center Alex Pena, lineman Louis Marsella, lineman Zac Cordoza, tight end Gregory Hickman and running back Austin Burke.
Senior wide receiver Logan Hall was named to the second team All-League.
Members of the Mustangs defense were also recognized for their hard hitting efforts during the season. Inside linebacker junior Cullen Bearden, outside linebacker senior Robby Bagley, defensive lineman Marsella, who was also named honorable mention for the All Sac-Joaquin Section team, and sophomore Matt Kjeldgaard round out the defensive first team honors. All VOL kicker senior Lane Trapp was also named to first team All-League and All Sac-Joaquin Section honorable mention.
As he has for the past 16 seasons, Mustangs head coach Trent Merzon has been the face of the team and is now among the honored coaches of the VOL. Merzon was named Co-Coach of the Year along with Central Catholic’s Roger Canepa.