Wednesday marked the start of Southern Athletic League play for the Denair High wrestling team which welcomed a thin Orestimba squad at home.
In a dual meet where Orestimba found themselves down six wrestlers in their respective weight classes, Denair took full advantage by winning all but two of the matches as they dominated their league opener by a score of 66-12.
“We went out and did what we were supposed to do against a smaller team and we are looking forward to facing Waterford next week,” Denair head coach Don Helnor said. “In our league we have some teams with full lineups and few that are not complete, but I liked how we performed because we went out and beat the guys we're supposed to.”
Of those, five was the number of matches won by Denair's Richard Richards (152), Gio Flores (195), Luis Mendoza (220), Kyle Perkins (285) and Brenden Curnow (120) along with the six forfeits.
Denair is now 1-0 to start off league play and is 4-4 in dual tournaments.
The Coyotes started off the early night with four forfeit wins before Richards (152) pinned down Pedro Deloera for the first win by decision.
“Brandon [Curnow] wrestled a solid match,” said Helnor.
Denair's Sam Davison (170) and Saul Mendoza (182) were the only losses of the night and at the 160-pound-class the match resulted in a double forfeit.
“They have two solid wrestlers that will do some things later on as the season moves on,” Helnor said of Orestimba's Angel Reynoso (170) and Noah Winters (182). “I thought Mendoza hung in for a while with Orestimba's guy who is really good and Sal gave a good effort.”
One of the most exciting matches of the night was the 195-pound match win for Flores over Evan Davis of Orestimba.
Flores was down by two points with 20 seconds left in the third period when he was able to get a takedown then a pin right before the buzzer.
The next dual meet for Denair will be at home against Waterford High at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We have a lot of work to do because Waterford has been doing very well and I have watched what they are doing and for us to challenge them we have to do a lot better — but we are getting there,” Helnor said.