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Oakdale Football Mustangs Gear Up For New Season
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OHS varsity football players put in some time with conditioning drills this past week, including high stepping over the bags. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER
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Sophomore quarterback Jackson Holt hands the ball off to his running back. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

This past week the Oakdale High School varsity football team began practice. The boys went straight to work. Under the late summer sun this year’s Mustangs did calisthenics, utilized the blocking bags and also worked on some plays.

“It’s a great time of year. The boys are getting ready, ready to play. August is an amazing time of year, we are undefeated right now and you can’t get any better than that;” said head coach Trent Merzon with a laugh. “They’re a great group of kids, great work ethic, on the field and in the weight room. They’re buying into what we are selling. They’re getting the big picture early and that’s great to see.”

Oakdale’s offense will be led by sophomore quarterback Jackson Holt.

“Jackson has a great head on his shoulders and is very coachable,” said Merzon.

The running game, which has been the Mustangs’ identity in the past few years, will feature Zeke Saffar, Ryan Kerr, Leo Ayala, and Christian Oaky. Their offensive line is anchored by Owen Pena and Diego Valdez.

“Our O-line is impressive. It starts and ends with them,” Merzon added.

Oakdale’s defense will feature returner Peyton Bradford leading the charge.

The 2019 campaign is rapidly approaching. Oakdale opens their season with a scrimmage on the road against Tracy on Saturday, Aug. 17. On Friday night, Aug. 23 the team heads to Sonora and then the Mustangs host Liberty on Aug. 30. Valley Oak League action opens on Friday, Sept. 20 when they host East Union. Kickoff for all games is scheduled for 7 p.m., following the junior varsity games.