The boys of fall are back at it. Triple digit weather cannot slow down the Oakdale High School Mustangs football program. This past week all three levels of the Oakdale Mustangs entered The Corral for practice and two-a-days in preparation for the 2018 season.
Two years removed from their state championship run, the varsity Mustangs turn their focus back to the field. Donning their black warm-up jerseys with inspirational messages across them, the Mustangs got to work. They did several drills and ran plays throughout the week.
Oakdale has a home scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 11 against Tracy. The scrimmage is scheduled for noon. On Friday, Aug. 17 the team hosts Sonora with a kickoff time of 7 p.m., following the junior varsity game. This historic rivalry dates back a century. Their busy preseason continues with a road trip to the Bay Area when they take on Archbishop Mitty in San Jose for an afternoon game on Saturday, Aug. 25. Back on the road on Friday, Aug. 31, the team travels to Merced for a game against El Capitan with a 7 p.m. start time. Oakdale completes the preseason when they welcome out of state Chaparral of Parker, Colorado at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7.
The Mustangs open Valley Oak League play on Friday, Sept. 14 at East Union in Manteca. Oakdale’s only other road game this season will be the highly anticipated game against the Buffaloes of Manteca on Sept. 28. Manteca defeated Oakdale 34-17 in the 2017 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs. The Mustangs did defeat the Buffaloes during the regular season 36-15 in October. Oakdale went 7-0 in Valley Oak League play in 2017. Oakdale’s bye week is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19.
As they do every year, the team lost key players to graduation. Some of those included Jace Krick, Josh Jacobson, Cam Cherry, Matt Kjeldgaard, Marc Dickson, Hunter Falconi, Junior Rodin, Jon Singleton, Levi Ichord, Jorge Barajas and Conner Reed. Finding replacements and filling holes is no easy task but the coaching staff for the Mustangs seems to find the right guys for the job each year.
Returning players and new faces include Caleb Kuppens, Max Moore, Oscar Ramos, Zeke Saffar, AJ Martinez Justin Jericoff.