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Pitman, Hilmar football face off in preseason scrimmage
pitman hilmar scrimmage
Hilmar High running back Isaac Sharp carries the ball during the first series of Friday’s scrimmage against Pitman from Joe Debely. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

The official start of high school football season is still one week away, but on Friday Pitman High played host to Hilmar and Summerville squads for a three-way scrimmage.

The Yellowjackets of Hilmar are coming off a memorable season that saw them play four more games than last year’s Pride squad, which included winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI title last fall.

“I don’t believe in the divisions too much, because it is just a number and it is about athletes and I think this year we are very fortunate to have really good athletes and so do they,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. “It was a battle and I really enjoy going against them, it was a good scrimmage for us to see what we need to see and overall a good night for us.”

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The Pitman Pride and Hilmar Yellowjackets varsity football team’s scrimmage from Joe Debely Stadium on Friday afternoon with Summerville High joining the three-team scrimmage. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

Pitman is coming off their first season where they failed to achieve a winning record, going 5-5.

Last year aside, the Pride looked ready in the scrimmage on Friday that included Summerville, a team that Hilmar beat in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Summerville saw their team tested time and time again as they took on Hilmar and Pitman—two established and winning programs—some of the best in the section.

“Real happy to see what we did and I thought we played okay at times on offense,” said Pitman head coach Tom Tyler. “But I think we just need to get more tough up front, but I think we will get there just a matter of working on some things and working on the personnel.”

Another positive from both sides of the ball was no apparent injuries occurred and everyone left the game healthy.

A total of 55 plays were ran by each offense. It was split into sessions of 15, 15, 15 and then 10 plays.

All three teams ran at least 55 with Pitman’s backup offense running the final 10 plays against Hilmar’s backup defense.

The first series included 15 plays ran by the Hilmar offense against the Pride’s No. 1 defense.

No touchdowns were scored by the Hilmar offense and Pitman’s offense failed to score against Hilmar’s No. 1 defense.

Hilmar’s defense had multiple sacks and nearly had two interceptions against the Pride offense.

Against Summerville’s first offense, Hilmar held them to negative four yards, including three sacks and two interceptions returned to the opposite end of the field.

“I was really happy that our defense played outstanding at all levels,” said Marques. “Offensively, we did some things and we had a script that we follow and really good to see two good coaches and friends in Coach Tyler and Coach Leveroos, and just very thankful that we are able to bring our team in and for allowing to play against them, overall it was a great night.”

Pitman’s defense bent, but didn’t break and it is expected by a team who has never seen a losing season in program history.

The Pride handled Summerville on the offensive side with Payton Bass and Treyton Fair being part of a couple touchdowns—pass and rush.

Hilmar will kick off the season down the road from Delhi High at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“It is a typical scrimmage going into week one, we are in a good place, but the preseason is over, but I see the season in many levels and now it is for real,” Marques added. “Everything is on the line and we are taking this first week game like it is a championship game and it has to be because we only get to play 10 games a year so can’t take them for granted.”

Pitman starts off the year with a home contest from Joe Debely against Napa High at 7:15 p.m. Friday.

“Never feel like you are completely ready but give us three or four days to work on it and we should be okay,” Tyler added.