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Friday Night Football Scheduled, Season 1 Continues
Cougar Eli Lattig gets ready to send off the serve in Friday afternoon action against visiting Oakdale. Lattig fell in a tiebreaker in singles play, then teamed with Dylan Criteser for a doubles victory. Marg Jackson/The Times

Escalon is hoping to be on the football field Friday night, March 19 – if all goes as planned, they will take on the Oakdale Mustangs at The Corral in Oakdale. JV kickoff is set for 5 p.m.; varsity about 7 p.m.

There are no general admission tickets as only a limited amount of fans will be allowed in the stands.

Head coach Andrew Beam said his varsity squad was not able to scrimmage this past weekend as originally scheduled, with an event at Chavez in Stockton canceled. He tried to quickly fill in with another opponent but only the JV team was able to take the field; scrimmaging against fill-in opponent Edison on Saturday at Escalon’s Engel Field.

“Our varsity was there to cheer them on,” the coach said.

Beam added that all varsity players tested negative for COVID-19 last week and they will undergo another test this week prior to the scheduled Friday contest under the lights in Oakdale.

“We are going in with a lot of unknowns,” the coach admitted of facing off with the powerful Mustangs. “We have 18 new starters …. We were really looking forward to that scrimmage to knock some of the rust off, work some of the nerves out.”

As much as players might be feeling the pre-game jitters, Beam said there is also a high level of excitement, both for coaches and players, to get back on the field.

“We know this is a heck of a match up,” he said. “Towns just a few miles apart, similar in what we run … this is exciting, not just for the teams but for everybody.”

Varsity kickoff is scheduled for around 7 p.m. on Friday, March 19.

It is to be the first of a five-game schedule for the Cougars.



A win against normal Trans-Valley League rival Ripon and a loss to new Valley Oak League opponent Oakdale kept the tennis boys busy this past week.

Winners against Ripon included Evan Shafter 6-0, 2-6, 6-1; Eli Lattig, 0-6, 6-6 (8-6), 6-2; Dylan Criteser, 7-5, 6-2; and Michael Megenney, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in singles play. Doubles action saw Criteser and Nikolai Lorenzo win 6-2, 6-1; Shafter and Megenney teamed up  for a win while the only loss on the afternoon came for Josh Schut and Michael Baptista, falling 3-6, 5-7.

That match was on Thursday, March 11.

Back on the court for a Friday, March 12 contest, Escalon hosted Oakdale.

Lattig fell in a hard-fought match, going to a tiebreaker while Criteser, Schut, Baptista and Lorenzo all fell in straight sets to the VOL’s Mustangs from Oakdale. Lattig and Criteser did score a 6-2, 6-2 win in doubles for Escalon’s lone match victory; Baptista and Lorenzo lost their doubles match in straight sets.

“I was pleased we beat Ripon, since they were in our league last year,” said coach Jackey Blakeley, adding that though the team lost against Oakdale, it was a good experience for her players to face off against a tough opponent.

This week, the boys were scheduled to host Ripon Christian and travel to Kimball.



Escalon hosted Oakdale in cross country action Wednesday, March 10.

“We had three races, frosh/soph boys, varsity girls, and varsity boys,” head coach Rick Heflin said. “Even though everyone on our team had a personal record that day, Oakdale won all three races. We were able to mostly dodge the rain. Luckily only a little came down during the races but the girls’ start did have a cool rainbow.”

Top performers on the day for the frosh/soph boys were Jacen Peoples 13:31; Josh Churchill 13:36; Jose Calderon 14:21; Marcos Grajeda 14:37; Jacob Beneux 14:49.

For the varsity girls, leaders were Karla Cordova 23:31; Laura Thompson 23:43; Belen Lechuga 25:44; Gorette Coelho 25:46; Samantha Torres 25:56; Ryan walker 27:03.

Leading the way for the varsity boys were Dillan Booth 20:38; and Grady Fugett 22:42.

This week, the Cougars are scheduled to travel to take on Manteca High School.



Rainy weather on Wednesday did wash out the scheduled match for Escalon; it has been rescheduled for March 31 at Manteca Golf Course. This week, weather permitting, the girls are scheduled to play Oakdale and Ripon Christian.

Escalon’s Dylan Criteser makes the return during a March 12 contest against Oakdale. He and Eli Lattig teamed up for a win in doubles play. Marg Jackson/The Times