In their final dual meet of the year, the Hilmar High Yellowjackets wrestling team was one victory away from potentially finishing second in the Trans Valley League but things didn't go as expected for the shorthanded team and instead with a score of 9-60, the 'Jackets dropped to third in the TVL.
“Final score sounds like we got ran out of the gym, if you look at the score,” said Hilmar head coach Bruce Scott. “Hard sell to make it look legitimate but with how hard we wrestled, I was proud. When we’re out-manned the kids give their all and best they have.”
Hilmar now falls to 4-2 in league after winning only two of 14 matches at home on Wednesday night.
Escalon jumped out to a 27-0 lead after third match and by then it looked too far to reach with four matches ending by way of forfeit.
“With four forfeits that is 24 points right there and when you are down by that much it is really hard to bounce back and pick up the win, no matter what team you are,” Scott said. “From the score it says we got beat, but I liked how we hung in there.”
Travis Hittesdorf (106) and Alfredo Delgadillo (138) were the lone victors of the night for Hilmar.
Although they came out with losses, Cody Rentfro (182) and Wyatt Amaral (132) put up some very impressive performances against their respective opponents, losing by only a combined three points.
“Even though we have been really banged up since December and most of our guys have losing records they did not show that last night,” Scott said. “If it was not one thing it has been the other and injuries really took a toll on us here late in the year.”
Hittesdorf scored the 'Jackets first points of the night in the fourth match as he came in with one goal—to win.
He had no problem handling Escalon's Troy Bedell after taking a 7-2 lead during the match then in the second period with just over a minute to go, Hittesdorf pulled an impressive pin to close it out and get six for his team.
“Travis showed great improvement and won by a pin. I thought he was just outstanding and the star of the night for us,” Scott said about Travis. “I think we might have been out horsed in a lot of weights but we had morale victories because we had some real young kids wrestling against some good wrestlers and I feel we hung in there.”
Kelby Peres (145), who had been competing in two other weight-classes, put up a grand fight after moving up two spots in his weight class and only fell by two points to Escalon's Christian Manzo, 5-7.
“What an admirable job since he’s up in weight but is forced to go up if everybody is down so I thought he wrestled quite well considering that,” Scott said of Peres.
Hilmar's regular season is over but the TVL tournament will be held at Hilmar High at 9 a.m. Feb. 14.
“Everybody goes to league and then after that, top four qualify for divisional, then top four go to masters,” Scott added.