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Hello Oakdale, Nice To Meet You
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There’s a new sheriff in town.

Okay, maybe not a sheriff or even a CAPS volunteer, but I’m the new sports writer at The Leader, which means it’s my handsome face you will be forced to talk to when your team wins, loses or even postpones a contest because of a power outage.

I have been in the business for seven years, covering Manteca sports for both the Lathrop/Manteca Sun Post and the Manteca Bulletin — which means I’ve seen my share of one-sided Oakdale football, baseball and wrestling matches against less than fortunate Manteca teams.

It’s going to be nice to be on the other side of those blowouts, and I’m certainly looking forward to a chance to cover Water Polo for the first time.

I’ve always been a big sports fan, and between Sunday Ticket football games at home, impromptu golf matches with co-workers and softball leagues at Big League Dreams in Manteca, I always managed to stay involved in it.

I played sports in high school, was an assistant wrestling coach in Ripon, and was even once the recipient of a pass from Peyton Manning (I was shooting a 49ers-Colts game and he threw it away to my post on the sideline).

I’m going to do my best to accurately report sports in Oakdale, with an eye on potential feature stories and quality photos in daily activities.

Feel free to approach me at any time with any feedback on The Leader’s sport pages. I have a tough skin, so don’t be afraid to yell at me if I accidentally misspell your child’s name. Details are important, and clippings are only as good as the accuracies within them.

I’m looking forward to covering sports in a town so heavily enriched in athletic accomplishment, and I already can’t wait for the next football game. I got goose bumps before Oakdale vs. Central Valley last Friday, and I will probably be as lumpy as bubble wrap this week, too.


Ike Dodson is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. He may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.