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Round Robin Final Tune Up Before Season Opener
Brock Whiting bounces a run to the outside during action in the Oakdale Stampede’s Round Robin scrimmage at The Corral on Saturday, Aug. 22. - photo by JAGADA CHAMBERS/THE LEADER

The Oakdale Stampede hosted four teams for one of three Cen-Cal Round Robin scrimmages that went off throughout the Central Valley on Saturday, Aug. 22 for each squad’s final tune-up before the season opener.

Oakdale played the gracious host, accommodating hundreds of fans that flocked to the Corral to support the Ceres Seahawks, Livingston Wolfpack, Turlock Vikings and Modesto Broncos.

All four levels of Stampede players got in some action on the Corral’s main field, giving some of the younger players their first jaunt on the recently updated state of the art facility.

The Stampede pee wee squad put together a solid effort in their first action of the season, giving the youngest group of players something strong to build on heading into their season opener.

“We were extremely pleased with our pee wee squad,” head coach Derek Lasiter said. “From start to finish the team played very physical and hard all day long. Even with some injuries to the team and last minute lineup changes the players responded and gave 100 percent until the last snap of the day.”

It was a typically hot day for the round robin, holding true to the format that has been the case since the 2006 event at T.L. Davis.

The junior varsity squad looked good in action throughout the day of scrimmages, but the squad understands that the true test will come when they make the short trip to Turlock to take on the 49ers to truly kick off the 2009 season.

“We will take full advantage of practice this week,” JV head coach Jeff Gotlieb said, “to give our team every advantage possible. The 49ers are usually one of the better programs in Cen-Cal so I expect them to be a challenge.”

Oakdale will definitely have to play a good brand of football to get out of Turlock with a win at any level, especially on the pee wee level where the 49ers have grown into a postseason regular.

“The 49ers at the pee wee level, have made it to the Super Bowl two of the last three seasons,” Lasiter said. “This will be a great early test for our team. We will be ready and I expect our team to play physical and more importantly to have fun.”

The varsity and rookie programs will obviously get a stiff test from the 49ers as well, creating a strong football atmosphere in just the squads’ first regular season week with their trip to Turlock High.

“We are all looking forward to this Saturday’s match up with the 49ers,” rookie team head coach David Schlosser said. “Most of our guys have never played football before, so it’s going to be exiting to get them ready for their first game.”