Brian VanderBeek

September 10, 2008

Oakdale Mustangs

Beek's Blog

Sports news scattered with occasional travel, music

Last season: 12-1, Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champ. VOL: 7-0, league champ.

Coach: Trent Merzon, ninth year (74-20-1)

Top returners: RB Nicky Batteate (5-10, 180); FB/DL Isaiah Mendez-Borba (5-8, 185); RB/DB Donnell Young (5-8, 170); WR/DB Logan Bruce (6-1, 185); WR/DB Tyler Murdoch (6-1, 200).

Key newcomers: DB Daniel Gazdik (Jr., 5-9, 150); LB Charlie Gilstrap (Jr., 5-10, 210); RB/LB Tim House (Jr., 6-3, 225).

Season outlook: The Mustangs are riding loads of momentum from their section championship season last year. A handful of starters from that team return, led by the shifty Batteate, who is just as dangerous catching the ball as carrying it. Several talented running backs will help carry the load. While there isn't a ton of varsity experience, there's a lot of talent. This group is still the top contender for the VOL crown.

Worth Noting: All 22 starters are multi-sport athletes. Junior Tanner Combs looks like the starting quarterback. His brother, Devin, was an All-District QB last season. Oakdale plays the first game at West High's new football stadium in Week 2. McClymonds of Oakland comes to The Corral in Week 3.

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