PHS Wrestling

The holiday season is upon us, but for many athletes at Patterson High this time of year also marks the beginning of the 2019-20 winter season campaign.

The winter season features three sports, whose seasons will carry them into February. Patterson’s five teams have already begun their season, and by December will be in full swing.

All the programs will be looking to find their way in the second year of Patterson joining the Central California Conference.

Wrestling

With a total of 43 players on the roster, head coach Artie Rivera and company are hopeful that they will be able to fill a wrestler for each weight class during the head-to-head dual meets in the CCC, which will be a change from last year’s dynamic, where Patterson was often forced to forfeit at several weight classes.

The Tigers sent seven wrestlers to the Master’s Meet last year, including notably now-graduated state finals qualifier Noah Mirelez.

Five of those seven wrestlers that qualified for the Master’s Meet will be making their return to the program this winter which includes Adrian Barrera, Chase Mirelez, Brisa Salas, Aaron Botkin and Jesse Cota.

Despite only sending seven wrestlers to the 2018-19 CIF Sac-Joaquin Division III finals, the Tigers managed a fifth-place finish in the tournament standings.

The wrestling program began their season in traditional fashion with the Crimson and Grey Scrimmage on Nov. 19, before attending the Central Valley Hawks Nest Tournament at Central Valley High in Ceres on Nov. 22.

The Hawks Nest tournament was open to any wrestler that has not previously placed in varsity competition. Patterson took 26 wrestlers to the tournament, to help build their experience.

The Tigers will continue the early part of their season by attending the Buddy Bash Tournament held at Merced High on Nov. 30.

Girls Basketball

A 13-12 record overall and a 5-6 record in conference play left the Tigers on the outside looking in for playoffs, as their fourth-place finish in the standings pushed Patterson out of the playoff picture. This was the first time the Tigers had not qualified for playoffs under head coach Elizabeth Tolleson since 2010-11 season.

With eight returning players (Shaila Chowdaury, Kaliyah Daniels, Kiana Kainoa, Emma Medina, Amirah Okitukunda, Jordan Patterson, Aniyah Thomas and Kealohilani Tufono), Patterson will look to build on the season that eluded them last winter.

Patterson has already hosted a matches against Pitman before defeating Los Banos 63-47 to start the season. They then traveled to play Bret Harte on Nov. 26 after press time. They will stay on the road for games against Kimball on Nov. 30 and Beyer on Dec. 3. The Tigers will not host a home game again until Dec. 10, against Livingston High.

Boys Soccer

Coming off a 9-6-4, 4-4-4 season last year, the Patterson High boys soccer team has six returning players from the 2018-19 squad.

Those returning players are: Miguel Cortez, Nathanael Farah, Jonathan Gallardo, Ricardo Jimenez, Adrian Melesio and Rafael Villasenor.

Patterson was left wondering what could have been after missing out on the playoffs last year with a fourth-place finish in the CCC, but will no doubt seek to get back into playoff contention this winter.

The Tigers participated in a scrimmage against Oakdale High last week, before defeating Manteca High 2-1 on Nov. 25.

Patterson traveled to play Downey High on Wednesday after press time, and will play at Turlock High on Dec. 2.

The Tigers will host their second home match of the year on Dec. 4, against former Western Athletic Conference foe Ceres High.

The Tigers will then host reigning CCC champion and Sac-Joaquin Section Division II runner-up Central Valley High on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m.

Girls Soccer

Longtime junior varsity coach Sheila Ludwig will be taking over the varsity program this winter for Cade Tomasegovich.

The Tigers finished 6-16-1, 1-10-1 under Tomasegovich last year.

Patterson features a total of 22 players on the roster. Ten of those players are returning from last year’s squad, giving the Tigers plenty of experienced varsity players this winter.

The ten returners are: Arionna Imhoff, Yessica Maldonado, Jaylene Morales, Viridiana Murillo, Frances Pierce, Matty Tomasegovich, Jessica Villasenor and Vicky Zepeda.

The squad participated in a scrimmage at Kimball High on Nov. 19, and are not scheduled to return to action until Dec. 3 when they host Downey High at 6 p.m. for their first home match of the year.

Patterson will then travel for two straight games against Central Valley on Dec. 10 and Central Catholic on Dec. 20. The Tigers will not host another home match until the calendar year flips to 2020, when they take on Atwater High on Jan. 7.

Boys Basketball

The Patterson High boys basketball team has undergone the biggest turnover of any winter sports program by far.

Head coach Jason McCleery saw nine of his 13 players graduate last year, meaning he was tasked with retooling the roster from top to bottom heading into the 2019-20 season. Only two players (Jake Kuderca and Logan McCleery) are making a return from last year, meaning this year’s Tigers will be young at several positions. Eight of the 15 players on the current roster are juniors, while four are sophomores and three seniors.

Patterson will be tasked with improving on a rough 5-23 season overall and a 2-10 season in CCC play.

The Tigers began their season with a match versus Los Banos High on Monday, and then completed playing on back-to-back days with a game versus Turlock High on Tuesday after press time.

Patterson is slotted to host Ripon High on Dec. 3, before attending the Stagg High basketball tournament from Dec. 5-7.

Patterson will then attend the talent-laden Mark Gallo Invitational from Dec. 10-14.

The Tigers will return to host Delta Charter on Dec. 19, before then hosting the Patterson Tiger Classic Tournament on Dec. 20-21. They are currently scheduled to play against Livingston on Dec. 20 at 8 p.m. and Livermore on Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m.

Their tournament tour de force will continue at the Cowboy Holiday Tournament held in Livermore from Dec. 26-28 before settling into their league schedule at Buhach Colony on Jan. 3.

PI sports writer

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