Oakdale Stampede parents and football fans alike arrived en masse at season-ending contests on Saturday, Nov. 20 in support of rookie and junior varsity bowl games in the Cen-Cal Youth Football League.
The JV team fell 56-12 to the Turlock 49ers in the Cen-Cal Super Bowl at Turlock High, while Stampede Rookies saw an 18-0 loss to the Merced Bears in the Friendship Bowl (third place game) at Modesto Christian.
“The good news is as an organization we do not always see success as wins and losses,” Stampede president and JV head coach Jeff Gottlieb said. “I don’t think one of our coaches would lie and say that they don’t want to win every week, but there is much more to what we do and what our team is all about.”
Stampede players were all about big plays and thrilling scores in a year that saw Stampede teams reach their deepest-ever postseason trips.
Gottlieb was more than thrilled to see a huge contingent of Oakdale faithful make the trip to contests all season, including the boisterous cheering sections Oakdale teams had for their season-ending bowl games.
“From the beginning we have been blessed with the best parents and fans of any team in the valley,” Gottlieb said. “No matter the weather, team records, or distance, our team is known for bringing a huge crowd that cheers on our boys and girls.”
Oakdale’s Cen-Cal runner-up JV program went 10-3 this season, with big wins behind a talented group of runners and a savvy offensive line.
Oakdale teams were mentored by a deep list of volunteer coaches, including several who either didn’t coach their child’s team or even have kids participating in the program.
It was a hugely positive year for the ever-growing organization.
“We teach our players to play with honor, integrity and to play as hard as they can when they are on the field,” Gottlieb said. “We teach them to take that same attitude into the classroom and into our community.”