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Denair, Hilmar wrestling teams preparing for success
Hilmar wrestling pic
A pair of Yellowjackets stare each other down during wrestling practice Tuesday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

It’s a new season for Hilmar and Denair high’s wrestling teams. Time to lace up their shoes, snap on their head gears and get ready to grapple with anyone who steps on the mat.

The Coyotes had a chance to test their mettle on Monday when they faced Hughson High. Although they lost, they still had a chance to earn some much needed experience.

“We’re a real young team, mostly freshman this year,” head coach Don Helnore said.

Hilmar on the other hand has yet to wrestle in a tournament or dual. In fact, a majority of Hilmar’s wrestlers have only recently entered the gym, a result of the football team’s section championship run.

 “They did make playoffs and took sections, but wrestling’s a little bit different fitness,” first year head coach Howard Tremble said.  “Most of these kids coming in have the mental skills and they know the moves; it’s just going to be really hard come third period.”

Whereas Hilmar will struggle with its fitness and delayed schedule, Denair will have to overcome its lack of experience.

“Some of the freshmen have experience wrestling in middle school but it’s a brand new sport for a lot of them,” Helnore said.

Luckily for the Coyotes, they will be able to lean on returners Jordan Titus, Alejandro Gutierrez and Chase Helwin for stability.

Hilmar will also enjoy the experience of its returners, Tony Delgadio, Tyler Junker and Tyler Silva, as the team adjusts to a season without former coach Dave Exline and a short schedule.

“I try to keep the routines the same with my own flavor,” Tremble said.

The Coyotes will continue to build their experience Wednesday when they face Orestimba.

The Yellowjackets’ first outing will be next Wednesday against the Hughson team that beat Denair.

To contact Frankie Tovar, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.