The very young, yet talented Hilmar High wrestling squad had their hands full on Wednesday night as they traveled to take on the senior-heavy Escalon High in a tight Trans Valley League matchup.
Despite an impressive showing from the youthful Yellowjackets, the experience of the Cougars proved too much as they fell 52-22.
“I knew we were in pretty deep because they [Escalon] have 10 returning wrestlers and state qualifiers so I knew we had big company,” Hilmar head coach Bruce Scott said. “When I have two varsity returning letterman and the other team has 10, things won’t be too pretty finishing up.”
The ‘Jackets showed a strong effort from the start as they managed to pull away with three wins after the first five matches, including two pins.
Sophomore Chase Betschart of Hilmar showed his vast improvement as he pinned Escalon’s Jonathan Dietzel in the 126-pound class.
This was followed by an impressive performance from Hilmar freshman Shane Desalles at the 132-pound weight class, who was able to pin Chase Thompson for the win.
The only other win that the ‘Jackets would come away with was at the 182-weight class after senior Antonio Melo defeated Matthew Gallego by a 15-5 decision.
“We went in with no illusions that we knew it was something we would sneak out, but we knew we would have to wrestle the best we could because they’re so experienced. But I was pleased with the points we earned, we did well and got some wins, and they all battled hard,” Scott said. “I was really pleased that they gave the effort that they did.”
Next for Hilmar will be a meet at Gilroy this weekend with a time yet to be announced.
“I think we are improving a lot from this and I am hoping this will pave the way to see how the good wrestlers did but they should learn from that,” Scott said. “Sometimes we take a lesson like this and they see what I mean afterwards. I wasn’t too devastated with the score. We went in with our eyes wide open, we knew they were really good and heavy.”