Just before heading out for the long Thanksgiving Week break, Escalon took 10 varsity hopefuls 10 – some of them quite inexperienced – to an extremely tough scrimmage at Oakdale High. The competition featured state top 20 teams including Oakdale, Del Oro, Turlock, Pitman, De La Salle.
“Considering the toughness of the event we wrestled well and were encouraged,” said head coach Derek Scott. “Wrestling well were Luis Garcia, Brad Hagglund, newcomers JW Mills and Christian Rowe.”
Also winning matches were Casey Vassallo and Austin Roberts.
“I thought the two best matches at the scrimmage were first, Jacob Redding losing an 8-4 decision to a very good state level wrestler from Del Oro. Redding took him down and controlled the last round. With three weeks of practice and Jacob’s lack of experience, we were thrilled with his performance,” Scott noted. “We get some experience under his belt he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with this year. Also looking great in a 5-4 loss to a state level kid from Oakdale was Aidan Krieger. We are right there with many of these upper level guys we just have to believe in ourselves and stay with our techniques.”
The scrimmage was coached by Derek Scott and assistants Eric Rowe and Ray Krieger.
“For only three weeks of practice and our lack of experience compared to some of these other teams, we were extremely encouraged,” Scott said.
Earlier, 22 wrestlers traveled to Rio Vista High School for a Nov. 17 scrimmage that included 18 teams. The scrimmage featured varsity, JV boys and girls.
Looking good in their first EHS action were JW Mills, Christian Rowe, Hunter Budd and Alysha Herrera, said Scott.
Returning looking ready to take the next step were Luis Garcia and Austin Roberts, and Pietro Orlando.
“Looking good after a year and a half off was Nicholas Freeseha,” Scott added.
Key returners rounding back into shape to make a state run are Brad Hagglund, Aidan Kreiger, Julia Casillas, and Kaylee Freeseha, with Casillas already making the trip to Bakersfield last year.
Dominating all three of his opponents going undefeated showing he’s ready to be a stand out varsity wrestler this year was Jacob Redding. Outworking his three opponents for an impressive undefeated day was Manuel Diaz. Also going undefeated was the soft spoken but powerful Sean Vassallo.
“If Sean ever gets mean and realizes how strong he is, he is a force to be reckoned with,” Scott said.
Coaching the scrimmage were Derek and Ray Scott, Johnny Costa, Eric Rowe, Erica Lopez, Bill Davis and parent helper Jeremy Mills.