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Coyotes in position to challenge for share of league title
Sam Davison earns near-fall points against Delhi's Daniel Cortez during Denair's dual win on Wednesday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Denair High's wrestling team has once again gained control if its destiny with Wednesday's 57-18 win over Delhi High. Having lost their first dual of the season to Waterford High, the Coyotes (2-1 SAL) were pleased to find out that the Wildcats were handed their first league loss by Mariposa High on Wednesday. Denair is now in position to claim a share of the Southern Athletic League Championship if it can beat Mariposa when the two schools meet next week.

“If we beat Mariposa and points are just right, we can still win league,” Denair head coach Don Helnore said.

The Coyotes won five of the seven matches wrestled with the Hawks while picking up five forfeits. Denair's Saul Mendoza (170) and Kyle Perkins (220) both came up big with pins in the first period, but it was the freshman Kyle Cervantes' (113) comeback win via pin in the third period over Delhi's David Chavez that was arguably the biggest win of the night.

“I thought that the matches we wrestled, we wrestled well,” Helnore said.

As for Delhi, Samuel Cortez (138) and Russell Samuel (182) emerged as the only Hawk victors via a 6-5 decision and a first period pin, respectively.

“We wrestled hard, trying to make up forfeit points,” Delhi head coach Ray Cedres said. “Most of it had to do with forfeits, but we lost a couple of matches I thought we should have won.”

Wednesday's dual was also notable for a match that didn't happen as Delhi's heavyweight and defending league champion Jesse Flores did not wrestle. So far Flores has wrestled only five matches all season, all of which happened in the same tournament.

“We have such a small league, not having heavyweights is something you have to deal with,” Cedres said. “It is concerning. We're looking to get into two more tournaments...just to get matches in for him, and better competition.”

Delhi hopes to get Flores his first league match next Wednesday against Orestimba High.

Denair, on the other hand, will be plotting on a league title when they travel to Mariposa next Wednesday where a loss would result in an outright SAL championship for the Grizzlies.

“I think we have some good match ups. If we can wrestle as good as we did against Waterford we have a good opportunity to beat them,” Helnore said.