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Ripon edges Denair on the mat
Forfeits put victory out of reach for Coyotes
denair wrestling
Denair's Jordan Cervantes positions himself for the pin against Ripon's Anthony Latno on Wednesday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Denair High nearly upset Ripon High on the wrestling mat Wednesday night, out-pinning the Indians four to six, but 18 points from a trio of forfeits was too much for the Coyotes to overcome. With holes at the 106-pound, 160-pound and Heavyweight weight classes, Denair dropped its first dual meet of the season, 30-41.

“If a couple of guys wrestled a little better and we didn't give up the 18 points, I thought we should have beat them,” Denair head coach Don Helnore said. “But that's wrestling. Guys are still working their way to their weight classes and we're a small team. It takes some time, but we're hoping by league we'll have a full line up.”

After giving up a major decision loss in the first match of the night, Denair pinned its next three opponents. Brenden Curnow (120), Jordan Cervantes (126) and Indie Olave (132) each earned their pins in the first round and gave Denair an 18-10 lead.

“The crowd got energized and we were pretty pumped up to have a lead on the board there for a while,” Helnore said.

But the lead wouldn't last for long. A battle at 138 pounds between D'Mitri Maciel and Brent White proved to be the difference of the night as Ripon's White earned a one point win, 5-6, over the sophomore Coyote.

Ripon held the lead for the rest of the night.

“A sophomore kid against a senior kid who's wrestled a few more years than him, and D'Mitri stayed in with him. That was a surprise match I think for me and for them. I don't think they thought that's how that match was going to go,” Helnore said.

Ripon's remaining matches were won via two pins and a decision. Denair won its remaining matches via two decisions and a pin with Richard Richards (152) winning 6-4, Saul Mendoza (182) earning the pin and Luis Mendoza (220) winning 3-2.

“We would have liked to get the win, but we knew going in down 18 was going to be tough,” Helnore said.

Denair will continue to improve on the mat and work its way to a full roster with appearances in tournaments in both Hughson and Rocklin over the next three days. The Coyotes' first league dual will take place at home against Orestimba High on Jan. 7.

“They're working on it and I'm positive by league we'll have our full lineup,” Helnore said.