The Hilmar High football team will get a true home-field advantage in Saturday’s CIF State 6AA championship game against Strathmore after the Yellowjackets got the OK to move the game from Atwater High to McSweeney Field.
CIF officials went through a walk through at Hilmar High and deemed the field worthy of hosting the game.
“Our field is in great condition,” said Yellowjackets coach Frank Marques. “It’s all dried up. It was sloppy or wet, nobody wants to play on that. Our grounds crew deserves a shout out. It was all hands on deck to get the field ready.
“Atwater was beyond hospitable and we appreciate it, but at the end day, there’s nothing like playing at home.”
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Hilmar (12-2) will face the Spartans (13-1) in a rematch of a NorCal play-in game last year that Strathmore won 53-52 in double overtime on a two-point conversion.
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Yellowjackets crowd has filled the stands at Turlock’s Joe Debely Stadium and Atwater’s Dave Honey Stadium the past two weeks. Hilmar set Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI title game attendance record in Turlock two weeks ago. According to section assistant commissioner Will DeBoard, the Division VI championship usually draws a crowd of about 1,200.
Hilmar and Ripon Christian doubled it with a crowd estimated at about 2,400.
The Yellowjackets and East Nicolaus generated another large crowd in Atwater last week.
“It’s a big deal for our community,” Marques said. “To get to host a state game, we love playing in front of our home crowd. They’ve been super supportive all year.
“Our community has been all-in. Our girls volleyball team got tremendous support this year. They played in front of a packed gym. This community supports its youth and sports programs.”
Hilmar’s Millan cleared to go
The Yellowjackets got good news this week about one of their top weapons in Bryan Millan. The Hilmar senior who starts at receiver, defensive back, kicker and punter was cleared to play after injuring his ankle in late in the first quarter on a 52-yard touchdown and didn’t return in the Yellojackets’ 48-14 win over East Nicolaus in the NorCal Regional 6-AA championship at Turlock High on Friday night.
Millan was released from his doctor to play on Tuesday, according to Marques.
Millan scored on a 32-yard sweep play earlier in the first quarter against East Nicolaus. The senior has scored 10 touchdowns combined receiving and rushing.
Merced’s Warren named to all-section team
Merced High senior Dhameer Warren was named to the all-Sac-Joaquin Section first team by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Sacramento Valley Chapter as a defensive back.
Warren was the only area player selected to the all-section first team. The Bears star intercepted three passes this season and was named the Central California Conference MVP after being named a first-team quarterback and defensive back.
Folsom quarterback Kaiden Bennett was picked as the section Player of the Year. Rio Linda running back Cameron Skattebo was named the Offensive Player of the Year and Jesuit’s Laiatu Latu was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year.
Hilmar linebacker Justin Rentfro received honorable mention.