Hilmar High hit Saturday’s Trans Valley League Tournament by storm as it qualified nine wrestlers—its entire varsity lineup— for the Division V Tournament while two of its wrestlers walked away from the mat as champions in their respective weight classes.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all; it was a pleasant surprise, for sure,” Hilmar head coach Bruce Scott said of qualifying nine of nine. “It feels good. I’m extremely proud of the whole team. They’ve showed a lot of improvements and a year’s worth of hard work.”
Hilmar’s 184-pounder Antonio Melo earned his second consecutive TVL championship as he took the first step towards his ultimate goal of a State qualifying senior year.
“I can’t be any happier for him. His work ethic is a good as anybody’s I’ve ever coached,” Scott said of Melo.
The other Yellowjacket champion, Elijah Moon (160), improved on his fourth place finish in last year’s TVL Tournament with a championship run that coach Scott expects to extend into the post season.
“He’s starting to really improve now, at the end of the year he’s getting better,” Scott said. “I see him as a dark horse in a kind of way. He’s dominating people he used to not dominate as much, he’s going to surprise some people.”
Hilmar’s other qualifiers include Cody Rentro (154) and Shane Salles (126) who placed second, Travis Hettesdorf (108), Wyatt Amaral (121), and Bobby Jughes (225) who placed third, and Ken Barranger (195) and Matt Fitzgerald (113) who placed fourth.
The Yellowjackets will now face the next level of competition at the Division V Tournament at Delhi High on Friday and Saturday.
“I’m hoping they meet the higher level of competition head on,” Scott said.