The preseason campaign starts this week for Oakdale Mustang football players, but they did get in some work with a scrimmage at Tracy on Friday, Aug. 12.
All three levels of Mustang football suited up for the scrimmage, with the freshmen and JV teams taking the field at 5 p.m.; varsity action starting at 7 p.m.
“Scrimmage went well,” varsity head coach Trent Merzon said of the workout in Tracy. “Quarterback Mick Merzon had two touchdown passes, to Mason Ahm and Jace Rau.”
Running backs getting into the mix were Rau, Zach Stott, Brian Delte, Garrison Gerber, and Cameron Guthrie, who scored a touchdown in the scrimmage.
“Our O-line is big and athletic,” Merzon added, pointing to key players on the line including Zander Espinosa, Charlie Kjeldgaard, Donnie Graham, Mathew Leonard, Rawlin Hixon and Gavin Gleason.
Defensively, the Mustangs will look for leadership from Brock Osmundson, Alex Thompson, Hunter Grubbs and Alex Jones, all bringing athletic ability and strength to the gridiron.
Delte, Stott and Gerber also take on the linebacker responsibilities and Merzon said the secondary has Mauricio Pena, Rafeal Rios, Deegan Sweet and Ryan Atack forming its core.
As the Mustangs fine tune some plays this week, they are gearing up for the traditional rivalry game to start the season. The JV and varsity will be traveling to Sonora for a Friday night, Aug. 19 clash with the Mother Lode League’s Wildcats. JV game is set for 5 p.m.; varsity at 7 p.m.
The freshmen will host Sonora in a 6 p.m. contest on Thursday, Aug. 18 at The Corral.
Merzon said he anticipates a solid season, maintaining a winning tradition on the gridiron.
“We have high GPA kids, super intelligent, high character kids; we will get better as the year goes because of our high character and tremendous work ethic,” Merzon predicted. “League (Valley Oak League) is loaded … it should be a fun, exciting year. We have great leadership from extremely selfless people.”
The Mustangs have averaged 10 wins a year for the last 27 years at the varsity level, one of the winningest schools in the state, especially among the public schools.
Volleyball was busy this past Saturday, Aug. 13 with the freshman, JV and varsity squads heading to Golden Valley in Merced for the traditional preseason opener, the GEBO scrimmage. Golden Valley, Escalon, Beyer and Oakdale meet in the round robin competition, each team getting a chance to play three matches, facing off with each of the other squads in the tournament. The girls are back on the road for a scrimmage at Waterford on Thursday, Aug. 18 and the varsity only travels to Turlock for the Foundation Game on Monday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.
The golf girls are busy with a series of scrimmages while the other fall teams – water polo, cross country, girls tennis – are still in practice mode.
OHS coaches for this fall season include: Football – Trent Merzon, varsity head coach; Matt Miranda, JV; Chris Lawrence, freshmen; Volleyball – Kaitlin Burke, head coach; Cross Country – Guy Fowler, Vic Moreno; Water Polo – Savannah Martin, boys head coach; Tyler Bolton, girls head coach; Girls Golf – Lee McGhee; Girls Tennis – Grant Miller.