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Oakdale Wrestlers Battle Through Busy Week
Jessica Jericoff, shown on top of her Sierra opponent, became the first female wrestler to earn a pin fall victory at home for Oakdale.Leader Photos By Dennis D. Cruz

It was a busy week for the Oakdale wrestling program. The boys and some female grapplers hit the mats for Valley Oak League competition, as well as tournament action.

On Wednesday, Jan. 3 Oakdale hosted Kimball and Sierra in a Valley Oak League dual meet. The Mustangs have won the Valley Oak League 11 straight years and are looking to make it a dozen, following their strong performance over the Jags and Wolves. The Mustangs made quick work of Kimball as Oakdale won 33-0. Victories by Ethan Holcomb (132), Ricky Torres (138), Francisco Perez (145), Josh Bates (160), Max Moore (160), and Eric DeGraff (heavyweight) helped carry Oakdale to the team win.

Oakdale’s females hit the mat against Sierra where Oakdale won 12-9. The biggest win of the day came from Jessica Jericoff when she pinned her opponent in the second round. Her victory not only helped power Oakdale, but has been noted as the first female wrestler to earn a pin fall victory for Oakdale at the new gym.

“It has not sunk in yet,” Jericoff said. “I just wanted to help out my team and get a win.”

Oakdale’s junior varsity defeated Sierra 43-4 with wins by Steven Graff (120), Holcomb, Perez, Bates, Jackson Ruvalcaba (160) and Beau Osmundson (180). Osmundson won his match in triple overtime with a 4-2 victory.

“I just kept thinking that I could not lose this match. I work too hard to lose,” Osmundson said.

The varsity boys only had three matches and won all of them via first period pins. Henry Porter (126), Seth Borba (138), and Bronson Harmon (160) were all victorious in the team’s win over Sierra.

Friday and Saturday saw the boys head to Clovis for the Doc Buchanan Invitational. As a team Oakdale placed ninth overall in the tournament with Colbey Harlan (195) as champion. His finals match was decided in overtime where he won 3-1. Other placers in the tournament were Gabe Martinez at fifth (170), Ricky Torres seventh (138), and Henry Porter eighth (120). Following the tournament, Oakdale is now ranked fourth in the state as a team.

Several members of the team also made the short trip to Escalon to compete at the Lloyd C. Engel Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 3 and 4. Seven Mustangs placed in the tournament. Harmon (170) and Jorge Barajas (220) each placed first. Dakota McNeil (160) earned second place for Oakdale. A trio of fourth place finishers were Justin Jericoff (160), Holcomb (126), and Osmundson (170). Freshman Gino Sarale (170) finished in fifth place.

Oakdale will prepare for another busy week as the team will travel down south to Temecula for Battle of the Belt in the two day tournament. The tournament begins on Friday, Jan. 12. Oakdale will return to Valley Oak League action on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at Central Catholic when they take on the Raiders. The dual is scheduled for 4 p.m.