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Mustang Squads Gear Up For Fall Sports Season
The girls tennis team opens up VOL competition on Tuesday, Aug. 28. Shown is a young player working on her return volley. Dennis D. Cruz/The Leader

This week many Oakdale High School fall sports begin their seasons.

OHS has seven sports slated in the fall and each of them are looking forward to a busy Valley Oak League campaign. Football, girls golf, girls tennis, cross country, volleyball, girls water polo and boys water polo will all be in action over the next three to four months.

Last season the football program won the Valley Oak League championship by going 7-0 in league play. The varsity team saw many of their players, 31 of them to be exact, graduate. Coach Trent Merzon and his staff face this every year, as do all high school sports, and turn their attention to those who are suiting up this fall. Oakdale hosts rival Sonora in the preseason opener on Friday night, Aug.17 at 7 p.m.

Girls golf went unbeaten last year and many of their golfers are returning to the course. This will be a busy week for the team, as they host Livingston in a non-league round on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at Oakdale Golf and Country Club. Thursday, Aug. 16 the girls will play at Creekside to take on Gregori in another non-league contest. Coaching the girls team will be both Lee McGhee and Jeremy Fields.

Judy Vejar returns as head coach for the girls tennis team. In 2017 the girls were competitive and this year they look to improve. The girls are scheduled to travel to Pacheco for a scrimmage on Tuesday, Aug. 21 and return home for a scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 23. Both scrimmages are scheduled for 3 p.m. Oakdale opens the regular season on Tuesday, Aug. 28 on the road against East Union.

This Friday afternoon, Aug. 17, the cross country team is off and running when they host the annual Red and Gold Fox Trot Scrimmage. The scrimmage is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Oakdale High School. Cross country travels all season and the ‘fox trot’ is their only home race. They begin league action when they travel to Tracy for the Jaguar Invitational on Thursday, Aug. 30. The race is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Volleyball action is scheduled to return on Tuesday, Aug. 21 when Oakdale travels to Hughson. The freshmen will take the court at 4:30 p.m., junior varsity to follow at 5:30 p.m. and varsity scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Two days later the girls continue their road trip against rivals from up the hill, Sonora. The Thursday match will be scheduled at 4 p.m. starting with the freshman team. Last year the varsity girls went 11-3 in league play, placing second. They advanced to playoffs but were eliminated in the opening round against Beyer. All three levels were able to participate this past Saturday, Aug. 11 in a round robin scrimmage hosted at Escalon High School, facing off against Golden Valley, Beyer and Escalon.

Coach Diane Kline will be coaching both the boys and girls water polo teams, like she did in 2017. This Saturday, Aug. 18 the girls host a scrimmage and will travel next weekend to Clovis for the Central Valley Showdown. The girls will host Rio Americano on Tuesday, Sept. 4 for their first regular season game. The contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. In 2017 the team finished with a 4-2 league record and lost to Davis in the CIF Section quarterfinals.

For the boys team, 2017 was a turnaround year. They reached the playoffs and advanced to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section semi-finals where they lost to Christian Brothers 5-3. Oakdale begins their season with a scrimmage against Atwater this Saturday, Aug. 18 and will be on the road for their first seven games. Oakdale will have a home game against Lodi on Sept. 20 for their home opener.