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Mustangs Facing Competition In League, Tournament Action
Oakdale’s Hunter Grubbs, 56, makes the tackle and jostles the ball loose to force a fumble against Miramonte on the road Friday night, Sept. 16. Oakdale ultimately won the high-scoring contest, 64-42. Photo By Jeff Kettering

Now that the fall season has truly kicked off, with all Mustang teams getting into their league schedules, there is plenty of action to highlight. All squads have been busy in September with plenty of victories to report.



A road trip to the Bay Area on Friday saw both the varsity and JV football teams come home with victories.

“Great road win,” varsity head coach Trent Merzon said of the64-42 shootout win for the Mustangs, defeating host Miramonte.

There were no passing attempts in the game, as the Oakdale squad kept it on the ground.

Brian Delte had 14 carries for 101 yards and four touchdowns. Cameron Guthrie added a pair of scores on 18 carries for 225 yards and Jace Rau also scored two touchdowns, getting 197 yards on 15 carries. Mickey Merzon scored a touchdown and had eight carries for 47 yards from his quarterback position. Gabe McDonald had 18 rushes for 95 yards.

“Total rushing, we had 73 for 665,” said Merzon, indicating that is 15th all-time in state history, according to Max Preps.

Next up, the Mustangs face a 2-2 Enochs team that is well coached, said Merzon, and can score a lot of points.

The JV score was 42-18 in Oakdale’s favor against Miramonte.

Meanwhile, the freshmen are currently 3-1 with wins against Lincoln of Stockton, Hughson and Sonora. Their only loss so far has been to Merced.

“We lost a very tough Merced game in the last minute but I feel it may have helped our team in the long run,” said head coach Chris Lawrence.


Girls Golf

The team just completed its first VOL Tournament and took first place honors after play was completed. The match was shortened as not all players were able to complete 18 holes in the first tournament before the tournament was stopped. The first league event was held at Manteca Park Golf Course with Oakdale carding the low team score of 227. They were followed by Kimball, 264; East Union, 300; Manteca, 334; Central Catholic, 341; Sierra, 343.

Earlier, tourney action kept them busy.

“Our girls finished in second place out of 24 teams in the Yellowjacket Invitational held at Turlock Golf and Country Club; solid rounds from all of our players on that day and especially Kaylie Parola with a one under par round finishing second individually as well,” said coach Lee McGhee. “As a senior she has started off the season showing her leadership and as a fourth-year player in our program she has put forth a high level of effort with practice to be able to be near par or below par when she plays. Her hard work is paying off and we look to continue those efforts with her and all of our players to keep improving each and every day.”

McGhee said the team has had contributions to its team scores throughout the lineup.

“Hannah Herschbach has played solidly as well as Xcaret Duque. Two freshmen that have contributed early this season are Reagan Shatswell and Aubrey Thompson. They both had their best showing at the first league tournament,” said McGhee. “Another senior that has played well starting off the season is Janelle Velazquez. We look forward to contributions from each of them during the season.”

The second VOL Tournament will be hosted at Oakdale Golf and Country Club on Thursday, Sept. 22 with all VOL teams competing in an 18-hole tournament.


Girls Tennis

The first two matches were blowouts and on Thursday the team had a barn burner, said coach Grant Miller.

“We beat East Union 9 to 0 on Monday, and we beat Kimball 9 to 0 on Tuesday. The barn burner against Sierra was on Thursday. We won 5 to 4,” Miller explained.

Scores were: Madison McTague defeated Jaden Alton 6-2, 6-1. Kennedy Jones defeated Maryn Peterson 6-1, 6-4. Kaylee Schauer defeated Grace Langeneld (7-3)7-6, 6-1. Rielly Jones defeated Navleen Dosnjh 6-4, 7-5.

“And the last match to clinch was a three setter that went to Riley Coviello-Miller. She won 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. She was down 2-4 in the third and won 4 straight games to clinch,” said the coach. “The clinch is a weird thing. You need all the victories to win, but the pace of the matches can really drive extra tension into that final match.”


Cross Country

Head Oakdale High School Cross Country coach, Guy Fowler summed up the first Valley Oak League meet of the season, on Wednesday, September 14 very simply: “We took care of business today.” Indeed, both the girls’ and boys’ teams stormed to first place finishes in each of the head-to-head sub-meets combined in the first of three VOL umbrella meets of the season. To save both money and time, the league continues to sponsor three league umbrella meets, where all athletes of a particular division run together and then the scorers sort out who wins the 5 incorporated dual meets, rather than require teams to either host or travel five different times. The freshman/sophomore boys’ team finished third overall while the Mustangs lacked sufficient freshman/sophomore girls’ runners to form a team (still, frosh/soph girls did compete as individuals).

As did the varsity boys, the varsity girls went 5-0 on the day in the meet held at Ripon’s Mistlin Park. Senior Kassidy Fmura, running in her first meet of the season, covered the 5-kilometer (3-mile) course in 21 minutes, 52 seconds to earn an overall first place in the meet.

For the boys, senior Dax Daley won his second meet of the season (out of three thus far) running the 5-kilometers in 18 minutes, 33 seconds. Finishing second and third in the same time as Daley were sophomore Jacob Cavanaugh and junior Jackson Oliveira, while senior Gabe Archuleta, in finishing fourth overall, was a mere second slower than his three teammates in what was a race that can only be summarized as complete domination by the Mustangs who defeated each of their VOL opponents (5-0 record).

Late Friday, Sept. 16, the Mustang boys’ team, competing in the most high-status cross country meet in the history of Oakdale High School, the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in Irvine, CA, finished 22nd out of 29 teams representing 5 different states in the Doug Speck Sweeps, the meet’s final and most prestigious event. The top three placing teams were from Utah, Oregon, and Texas respectively. Daley covered the 3-mile course in a personal record time of 14 minutes, 43.8 seconds to earn a placing of 53rd out of 229 runners.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, another group of Mustangs traveled to Angels Camp for the annual Bret Harte Frogtown Invitational cross-country meet. The Mustang girls finished ninth out of 16 teams, while on the boys’ side, the Mustangs finished 14th out of 22 teams.



So far this preseason, the varsity volleyball girls have faced Gregori (winning 3-0), Sonora (losing 1-3), Livingston (winning 3-0), Patterson (winning 3-0), and Escalon (losing 1-3).

The varsity traveled to Reno for the High Sierra Tournament in early September, where they finished with three wins and five losses.

Varsity Team Captains are senior Emily Meyer and junior Paige Taylor. They have just gotten started with their Valley Oak League schedule.


Water polo

Coach Savannah Martin said the squads have had a very busy preseason, hosting teams from all divisions in order to prepare for the league season.

“We have a couple of new coaches on staff: Tyler Bolton heads the varsity girls, Neesa Deleon assists with the girls and Jared Kahler assists with the boys. Jared and Neesa are both Oakdale High graduates and Tyler was a star player of the Modesto area,” Martin explained. “All have post-high school playing experience and are helping to raise the competitive level of all of our teams.”

The squads are wrapping up the preseason schedule and move into league play this week.

The varsity Lady Mustangs had a busy preseason and have spent the last few weeks fine tuning their game, looking to get some wins as they start the tough Valley Oak League schedule. Photo By Jeff Kettering