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The Hawks and Coyotes take their young talent to the mat
Denair wrestling pic
Denairs top two wrestlers, Trevor Colvin and Richard Richards grapple during a Tuesday afternoon in the Coyote wrestling room. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/The Journal

Delhi and Denair High have young up and coming wrestling teams but it does not mean that they lack talent, because they don’t.

In fact, both teams come into the new season looking at the future in the Southern Athletic League and hope to make a run for a section title, but Denair who has no seniors on the roster knows it will not be an easy task.

Denair went up drastically in numbers after totaling 12 kids in the roster last year, as opposed to this year’s total of 25.

“Last year we were down in numbers but had a lot of returners who were building from the last few years,” Denair head coach Don Helnore said. “I really want us to compete in league. I am not sure if we can win it or not but we want to compete.”

Richard Richards III who was the league champ in his respective weight class of 145 also went on along with three other Coyotes to compete in the very strong divisional championships.

“We did ok, we also made it to see what it is like and to get that experience under their belts,” Helnore said.

Returning as sophomores after an outstanding freshman campaign will be Indiana Olave in the 138 weight class and Bryant VanFleet who will compete in the 126s.

“We have grown and are pretty happy from last year. We had a lot of freshman last season,” Helnore said. “We started a junior program about four years ago and now finally I am starting to see some of the three year kids coming through the middle school and as freshman they are very good.”

Some up and comers will be Brenden Curnow, who is a real good athlete and should be a varsity guy as a freshman. Freshman Kyle Prock and junior Tyler Colvin will compete in the 120s and they should fight it out for a spot.

As the top heavyweight wrestler, junior Luis Mendoza placed a 1-2 record at the divisional meet and will be a top dog for the Coyotes this season.

“Hopefully these kids are competitive this year, more than previous,” Helnore said. “My main thing is to be a competitive team because we didn’t have the numbers. There should be three or four of these guys that could make masters. Let’s see what happens at the end, because you never know.”

The future is a lot brighter, just looking at what the Coyotes have coming in from the middle school and the potential of the kids, there should be a positive and great outlook all around.

“I just hope that this season will be a positive for the schools, hoping these kids will strive for success and positive things and hopefully there will be some surprises,” Helnore said.

Delhi wrestling was one of the smallest teams last year as they were only able to amass six wrestlers, consistently struggling to fill in the weight classes when competing.

Now, this season the numbers are up to 14, twice as many students as last year and head coach Ray Cedres feels that with some returners and a youthful team, things are certainly beginning to look bright for the Hawks.

“Now we have returners, some from last year and some seniors it’s their first year wrestling,” Cedres said. “Now we have most of the weight classes full. Couple weights that are not filled in.”

Cedres is looking to make the program grow and will look to win a couple matches not just fill the weight classes.

Gerardo Santana who made all league in the 126 weight class returns for his final year as a senior. Freshman German Orozco in the 115 weight class was in a junior program for four years and should be a tough wrestler.

The only girl’s wrestler, Sara Cruz will compete in her final season as she has been with Cedres since her freshman year.

“We are excited to have our own team to compete and actually go to southern league standings we can actually wrestle our own destiny to move on and grow as a team,” Cedres said. “With the bigger team and goals we have we are also hosting the D-V sectionals and hope to get all eight classes to compete here at home.”

The Hawks schedule is set to come out later this week.