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Oak Grove senior defensive tackle Izaya Sabedra is gearing up for one last ride as a high schooler.
Sabedra is doing it all to prepare his senior campaign at Oak Grove – lifting, running and showing up at the Grindmode Elite Sports workouts in Menlo Park.
“I’ve put on some weight, put on some muscle,” Sabedra said. “Hopefully put on more muscle, just get faster and stronger.”
Entering just his fourth year of football, it didn’t take long for Sabedra to notice he could become a special player on the gridiron and do something with the sport.
As a sophomore, Sabedra recorded more than 10 sacks on the junior varsity squad, and from there the roots were planted about football being something he could excel at.
“After my freshman year when I just started playing, and then my sophomore year I just had about 11 sacks,” Sabedra said. “So I was like, ‘Alright, I’m going to pursue it now.’”
Turn around to his junior year, and Sabedra and Oak Grove both provided dominant campaigns in what would become the program’s deepest run since 2015 – a season when the Eagles won a Central Coast Section Division II title five years ago.
Sabedra notched more than seven tackles for loss, also causing a fumble and hauling in an interception. With Sabedra making significant contributions, the Oak Grove defense held opponents to just 16.3 points per game, with six of the 13 teams on the schedule scoring in single digits and three of those teams failing to get on the scoreboard.
And behind that stellar defensive showing, the Eagles compiled a 10-3 overall record and a perfect 7-0 record in Mountain Hamilton League play to capture the league crown before advancing all the way to the CCS Division II championship game, where they fell to Los Gatos.
The campaign marked history in a number of ways, including it being Oak Grove’s first league title since 2016 – a year when it also went undefeated with a 7-0 record against league foes – along with its 10-win campaign being its highest win total since it won 11 games during the section title run in 2015.
“We’re all a family,” Sabedra said. “We run together. We’re whole.”
Now Sabedra is generating some college interest, hearing from a Division III school a two states north in Washington.
For what is now the 2021 season, Sabedra and his Eagles counterparts have some more lofty goals in mind. After coming oh-so-close to hoisting up a CCS trophy last year, they have their eyes set on becoming the team that does so in the spring.
They are coming for more.
“(We want to) try and win CCS,” Sabedra said. “Try and get a ring.”
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