For over a decade, the Oakdale Mustangs have dominated the Valley Oak League wrestling mats. On Saturday, Feb. 11 the boys went to Central Catholic High School for the annual Valley Oak League Championship tournament and continued that dominance.
The Mustangs sent 13 varsity wrestlers to compete in the eight-team tournament. Out of those 13, 10 went on to claim championship glory, two came in second and one earned third place honors.
First place went to Walter Lemons (108), Dustin Chavez (120), Jake Abeyta (126), Ricky Torres (132), Gabe Martinez (152), Bronson Harmon (160) Abel Garcia (170) Colbey Harlan (182), Luis Ayala (170) and Jorge Barajas (220). Second place honors went to Jake Ryan (147) and Matt Kjeldgaard (225) and taking home third place was Ronnie Ochoa (138). The junior varsity also saw success as Ethan Holcomb, Drew Warren, Jackson Ruvalcaba, Dakota McNeil, Justin Jerricoff, Beau Osmundson and Trey Smith were named champions in their respective weight classes.
“Today solidified our legacy as a team. Our goals are not done though; there is still a lot of work to do for us as individuals to become State Champions,” said 152-pound champion Gabe Martinez.
Head coach Steve Strange was pleased with the way his boys performed at Central Catholic as well.
“We wrestled well and are where we are supposed to be heading into the postseason. We’re excited,” Strange said.
Last year five Oakdale wrestlers qualified for the CIF State Championship in Bakersfield. There is still plenty of wrestling left before the State Meet next month, though, and first up for the Mustangs is the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisionals at Vista del Lago High School beginning on Friday and continuing on Saturday.