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A Game Of Their Own
Stampede Moms Get A Shot At Manteca
Lori Pickett rolls out and looks for the open target during Oakdale Stampede powder puff practice on Wednesday. Pickett and other team moms will take on mothers from the Manteca Jaguars in Manteca on Saturday. - photo by IKE DODSON/THE LEADER

Move over boys, it’s mom’s turn now.

On Saturday, Oct. 31, Oakdale Stampede Youth Football Team mothers will celebrate their Halloween with a veritable twilight zone of events — a game of their own.

The Stampede moms will take on mothers from the Manteca Jaguars in a powder-puff flag football game at 11:30 a.m. at East Union High.

“I’m hoping we are going to come out and smoke them,” quarterback Lori Pickett, 38, said after the team’s practice on Wednesday. “The moms in Oakdale are looking good and I think we have a good team together.”

The women on both programs will line up three lineman, two wide receivers, two running backs and a quarterback in eight-strong formations where everyone is eligible for a pass.

The team was deep into offensive play calling during Wednesday’s practice, under the tutelage of 39-year-old Stampede father, Rich Custer.

Custer, along with assistants Mark Haley, Justin Ivara and Ty Courtroul have the task of molding Oakdale’s talented moms into sharp offensive and defensive units.

“We are just working through some basic stuff, our sweeps, reverses and quick passes,” Custer said. “It’s cool that for once the boys will get to watch the moms play.”

Pickett is hungry for an opportunity to hit the field after spending most of her life heavily involved in sports, whether it be competitive volleyball, basketball or softball. The 18-year veteran of fast pitch softball wanted to join Modesto’s women’s tackle football team (Modesto Maniax) last year, but a busy schedule of classes at the Modesto Institute of Technology kept her from attending tryouts.

Saturday will be a chance for the Oakdale mom to prove her mettle against Manteca’s top mothers, a timely affair considering Oakdale High’s football team will take on Manteca the night prior in a huge Valley Oak League showdown.

Either way, Stampede players, coaches and parents are certainly looking forward to the contest that will kick off in between rookie and pee-wee action.

“All the parents support these kids a lot and the moms wanted to show that they know the game and they can play a little too,” Custer said. “I’m looking forward to it.”