Looking to improve on past success in the Cen-Cal League, the Oakdale Stampede organization will not be taking any shortcuts in its pursuit for a shot at the title at all levels of youth football this season.
The Stampede has kicked off the 2009 campaign with opening workouts on the practice field, preparing for their upcoming preseason scrimmage against the Waterford Sabercats.
Oakdale had a scrimmage initially planned with the program out of Sonora, yet circumstances put the battle with the rival town on hold for a season. Now the squad will get its first chance to bang helmets against a non-teammate when they make the trip to Waterford on Aug. 15.
Oakdale’s schedule will look somewhat different than it has in season’s past, as the AFC underwent a realignment process that will add three new faces to the Stampede’s schedule.
A pair of teams from a season ago, the Gustine Redskins and Salida Steelers, were released from the Cen-Cal League. Both squads played in the AFC, allowing new teams (Sabercats, Ceres Seahawks and Livingston Wolves) a shot at claiming the AFC crown.
The Waterford scrimmage will be followed the next week by Oakdale hosting one of three league-wide round robin tournament style scrimmages.
The Stampede will play host to the Turlock Vikings, Modesto Broncos, Wolves and Seahawks, while the Sabercats will roll out the welcome mats for the Merced Bears, Turlock 49ers and the Manteca Jaguars.
The Los Banos Wildcats will host a third round robin and they will suit up against the Hilmar Packers, Atwater Falcons, Buhach Thunder and the Merced Cougars.
All three round robins will be played on Aug. 22 and will be the final Cen-Cal tune up before the season openers Aug. 29.
Oakdale will open their 2009 season on the road, making the drive to Turlock to take on the 49ers at Turlock High. The squads will have their home opener the following weekend (Sept. 5) when they host the Hilmar Packers at the Corral.
Buhach Thunder will make their way to Oakdale the following weekend, Sept. 12, followed by back-to-back-to-back road games in the middle of the season.
The Stampede will make trips to Merced, Ceres and Turlock to take on the Cougars, Seahawks and Vikings, respectively, followed by a return to the Corral Oct. 10 to face the Modesto Broncos.
Oakdale will stay on the gorgeous Corral surface for its next two games as they play host to the Wolves of Livingston followed by a contest versus the Sabercats.
The Stampede close out the regular season on Halloween with a trip to Manteca to face the Jaguars.
A strong showing throughout the regular season and a couple of victories in weeks one and two of the postseason could land the Stampede in the Superbowl, to be played Nov. 21 at Livingston High School.
The Cen-Cal season will come to a close with the league’s customary all-star game being played at Atwater High.