Hilmar's varsity football team looks very capable of making 2016 a memorable year. This after the Yellowjackets kicked off their 2016 season with a scrimmage against a Division-I school in Los Banos High this past Saturday on the road.
The 'Jackets were able to shutout Los Banos with their first team defense and provide some sparks on offense.
“I was real pleased with how our linebackers played,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques. “The backers' play was great and the defensive line was great and the front eight were outstanding, putting pressure on the quarterback and overall the linemen, just an outstanding job.”
It was a total of 30 plays by Hilmar's first team defense where the 'Jackets swarmed the ball with their relentless quickness and ability to dive at the ball.
Team effort and determination have allowed the 'Jackets to make three out of five Section Championship games for a school that has an enrollment of under 700 — and this season appears to be heading in the same direction.
“I like that defensively we swarmed at the football and were real aggressive and the way we swarm and made big plays and was very special,” said Marques.
Offensively, the team seemed to be just as in sync with their ability to ground and pound with Josh Jennings and Cody Rentfro, both of whom scored on their 30 total plays.
“Running game was great, offensive line did a great job and can't help to say the line did well honestly,” said Marques.
Sophomore linemen Nick Aguilera and Jared Collier provided Marques with a glimpse of what they are capable of. Joey Pereira at right tackle and new center Bryan Walley also looked to be playing in comfortable positions.
The offense scored the first time in the 15 plays, then followed four consecutive scores in under 15 plays ran afterwards.
“With our starters, we just moved the ball and sustained drives,” said Marques. “It wasn't any major plays, just drove it and plunged it in and had good ball control.”
The offense was consistent and maintained a clean sheet with no turnovers in their 30 plays.
Luckily for a team with a slimmer roster — compared to other area schools like Turlock and Pitman — Hilmar also managed to come away from the scrimmage injury-free.
“I was extremely pleased with both sides of the ball did real well and now have to prepare for Beyer but we were pleased for sure,” said Marques.
Hilmar will host Beyer out of the Modesto Metro Conference in their season home opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We are expecting a team of a great caliber like Beyer to come out and play tough,” Marques added. “We love the tough schedule cause that is the only way you get better. Win or lose I know we will be a better team afterwards. They are big and physical; it will be a great battle, just ready to put our guys out there, we are ready.”