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Coyotes edge out Hawks in Southern League showdown
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A Delhi and Denair wrestler battle it out during Wednesdays Trans Valley League dual meet. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/ The Journal

It was pin or be pinned Wednesday night when Denair High hosted Southern League rival Delhi High in the third dual meet of the season. All 11 of the night’s matches were determined via pin with Denair claiming six individual wins and Delhi claiming five individual wins, a practical even split.

With the six bonus points from their extra pin and an additional 18 points from a three forfeits, the Coyotes walked away with their second SL dual win of the year, 54-40.

“It was good for the team. I told them it wasn’t the same Delhi team we’ve been used to, they were going to come after us, and they did,” Denair head coach Don Helnore said.

Though the Hawks fell short, their five pin victories was their best performance to date.

“We’ve been progressively getting better, and that was by far the best performance we’ve put on the mat,” Delhi head coach Ray Cedres said. “It just shows that they’re working hard in practice. I feel great about it.”

Brendan Curnow (106), Brian Sanders (132), Indiana Olave (138), Richard Richards (145), Samuel Davison (170), and Luis Mendoza (220) were the night’s Coyote victors, contributing 36 points to their team’s total score.

“Our bonus points were good, but we’re trying to limit the bonus points for the other team,” Helnore said.

As for the Hawks, they earned 40 bonus points with wins by German Orozco (113), Samuel Cortez (120), Geraldo Santana (126), Thoma Cano (181), and Jesse Flores (HVY). The output was a big turnaround for a Delhi team with a history of less than stellar performances on the mat, a product of a more complete roster and more enthusiasm for the sport.

“Everywhere we go we’re underdogs; we’re not expected to win a match,” Cedres said. “We just need more experience. Most of my wrestlers are young first year wrestlers.”

“Kids like Samuel Cortez and German Orozco have been wrestling at the middle school level for the past few years, so I knew they’d be good wrestlers,” Helnore said of the Hawks.

Now, Delhi looks to replicate Wednesday’s performance with a strong showing against Big Valley Christian High at home on Wednesday in its final SL dual of the season.

“A win would mean everything to us. We’re competing and that’s half the battle,” Cedres said.

As for Denair, its wrestlers will be searching for their team’s third league win of the season against Waterford High on the road.

“I think we have to wrestle the best we have all season. They’re the best team in our league in my opinion,” Helnore said.