Just one day after placing fourth alongside Escalon High in the team standings of the 2015 Yellowjacket Invitational, Hilmar High suffered its first Trans Valley League loss at the hands of Ripon High on Tuesday. Despite beating Ripon by nearly 30 strokes on Monday, the 'Jackets found themselves on the losing end of a two-stroke game against the Indians, 237-235.
“We just didn't play very good today. I don't think I had any of my guys shoot their average today,” Hilmar head coach Ty Pettigrew said. “I don't know if they overlooked them or what happened, but it was kind of disappointing.”
The loss drops Hilmar to 3-1 in the TVL and intensifies an already close race with rival Escalon for this year's league title.
“That definitely puts us in a hole for the league championship,” Pettigrew said of the loss.
But with a team of returners and a pair of players with post-season experience — senior Landon Azevedo who made it to Masters and Hector DeLeon who made it to Sections — the 'Jackets are in good position to win-out and vie for the TVL title.
Azevedo in particular, who's signed to play golf at Sacramento State and took the top spot at the Yellowjacket Invitational with 71 strokes, is expected to be the driving force behind Hilmar this season as he attempts best his performance from a year ago.
“He plans on getting out of Masters. He missed it only by a few strokes last year; he didn't have a great day and missed it by four strokes,” Pettigrew said.
Hilmar will compete against Modesto Christian High on Thursday and at the Mid Year Tournament on Monday before coming face to face with Escalon on Tuesday. Though Tuesday will mark the first TVL match between the rival schools, the two have met in two tournaments already with the two tying a the recent Yellowjacket Invitational and Esaclon finishing 8 strokes ahead of Hilmar at the Oakdale Tournament earlier in the year.
“We probably have to win out now, and hopefully Ripon will beat Escalon. Then we'll have to beat Escalon again at the league tournament,” Pettigrew said.