If the term “Dynasty” can be used after three titles, should we consider the Oakdale High School Mustangs varsity wrestling team a “Tri-Dynasty”? Wednesday night Jan. 28 the Mustangs hosted undefeated Central Catholic in a clash of unbeatens to decide the 2015 Valley Oak League championship. The Mustangs overcame a slow start to the evening to run wild on the Raiders to win 51-15 to claim their ninth consecutive VOL championship.
Prior to the two varsity teams locking up, the junior varsity teams took to the mats with Oakdale winning in convincing fashion, 51-4. Following the JV dual, 11 OHS wrestling seniors were honored as part of Senior Night 2015.
Oakdale then got off to a sluggish start, dropping the first two matches of the evening, with both matches going the distance, but were outscored 12-3 earning Central Catholic the early advantage.
The Mustang fortunes took a turn for the better when 172-pounder Abel Garcia pinned his opponent Luke Navarro with 1:39 remaining in the second round, giving Oakdale its first victory of the evening.
“I put a lot of hard work in this week. We were down early but as a team, we put together a good run and came out on top,” shared Garcia.
Frankie Trent went on to defeat Miguel Hernandez in a physical battle that featured the two 184-pounders going the distance. Trent won the match 3-1.
If there were ‘Match of the Night’ honors handed out, it would belong to Miguel Ibarra and Central Catholic’s Monte Bland. Bland took control of the match early, jumping out to quick 5-0 lead. Bland came close to putting away Ibarra in the second round but the swiftness of Ibarra allowed him to get out of the near fall. With 44 seconds left in the match, Ibarra caught Bland off guard and got the upper hand, pinning Bland in dramatic fashion to get the win at 197 pounds.
“Unreal tonight. What a feeling to win that way in front of the home crowd. It means a lot to me that we achieved this (nine straight VOL championships) on Senior Night,” shared Ibarra, one of the dozen seniors recognized on the night.
With momentum on the Mustangs side, a pair of quick pin victories fell the home team’s way after Ibarra’s wild finish as Wyatt Hjelm and Matt Kjedgaard each scored first round pin fall victories for the Mustangs.
Cody Williams also earned a win by pin for the Mustangs in the second round in his 115-pound clash with Central Catholic’s Adam Nicholson. Capping off the night were Logan Eaton, Nico Colunga and Trevor Williams all earning victories for Oakdale.
“It was a lot of fun, no regrets. I have my sights set for state now,” said senior Nico Colunga.
The Mustangs will first head to Lincoln High School of Stockton for Section Duals on Saturday, Feb. 7 with a start time of 9 a.m.
Oakdale has claimed eight straight Section titles and are looking to add their ninth.
Over the weekend – though coaches did not return calls to The Leader for comment or results – the Mustangs claimed the team title and some individual championships at the prestigious Rumble in the Jungle hosted at Pitman High School in Turlock.