LEADER PHOTOS BY JEFF KETTERING
The wait is over. Football at Oakdale High School returns this Friday night, Aug. 18 as the Oakdale Mustangs take on the Sonora Wildcats under the lights. A new era of Mustang football kicks off this as first year head coach Garrett Martin takes over for longtime now-retired coach Trent Merzon.
In last year’s meeting, Oakdale defeated Sonora in a 27-21 thrilling overtime win on the road. Only time will tell what will happen this year in the historic rivalry. The action begins when the junior varsity teams take the field at 5 p.m. and varsity is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The 2022 season saw Oakdale finish with a 6-5 overall record and they placed fourth in the Valley Oak League. The once promising season saw Oakdale ride a five-game winning streak before it came to a screeching halt when they lost 35-7 against Central Catholic, their first of four straight losses to end the season. Oakdale reached the playoffs but lost to Roseville 28-21 in the opening round. Sonora went 10-3 overall last season and were the Mother Lode League champions.
The Wildcats shook off their opening week loss to Oakdale last year by winning seven straight games. Sonora lost to Escalon in the postseason 35-34 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 5 championship game.
Oakdale was on the field this past Friday night, Aug. 11, welcoming Tracy in for a scrimmage, but now look to open the preseason strong with a solid effort against a tough Sonora squad.