Hilmar wrestling incoming coach Steve Vieira has been a longtime friend of last year’s head varsity wrestling coach Bruce Scott, and is familiar with the area. Living just five minutes outside of Hilmar High School, Vieira, a Hughson alumnus and recent wrestling coach for the Huskies, decided to apply for the vacant head coaching position and the rest is history.
“I spoke with Bruce and various people before and I also got an instructor position on campus in the special-ed department and I have lived near the Hilmar area for the last 15 years,” said Vieira. “So I am closer to home and I was grateful for the opportunity given to me at such a great program like Hilmar.”
Vieira has been a wrestling coach for 10 years and brings a wealth of knowledge to a ‘Jackets program that is looking to build off a progressive season a year ago.
Cody Rentfro (182) and Freddy Delgadillo (145) are among the many talented wrestlers coach Vieira will guide in his first season.
Along with the two experienced wrestlers should be Justin Rentfro (170), Wyatt Carter (126) and Marcus Alvarez (120).
Gabe Aguilar (195) and Jared Collier (220) should also do great things for the ‘Jackets as they prepare for the long season ahead in the Trans Valley League.
Cody Rentfro was without question the most successful of the bunch last year as only a sophomore and he was two matches away from qualifying for state.
“Cody (Rentfro) is a hardworking, hard-nosed kid so it gives the other kids an example on what to be and how to be and get to that level,” said Vieira about Rentfro. “We might have some master’s qualifiers and state guys.”
Along with Rentfro is a roster of 29 that include a multitude of upperclassmen who lack experience.
“It might cost us in the long run but it was good and just a lot of talent and athletic kids,” said Vieira. “We have a good mix of sophomores as well and we are pretty pleased and now it’s putting in the work and doing our job.”
Fall sports at Hilmar are coming off an unforgettable season. Three of the school's sports teams reached the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship match in their respective Divisions and there is no doubt that it seems to have carried over on to the mat.
“I think it’s great to see the school succeed, but these kids are there seeing their peers succeed and it brings everyone to that level,” Vieira said. “It rubs off the kids, when their peers are successful and involved it carries success and it will be a good thing.
“We will set some goals and continue to work hard, wrestling is a different sport because it requires unique devotion and practice, conditioning and dieting.”
Hilmar will host Denair High in a dual meet at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 16.