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Hollister
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November 29, 2021

For Haybalers, an exciting start but gut-wrenching finish

San Benito High football coach Bryan Smith couldn’t help but be emotional after the Haybalers were notified that their game with host Santa Teresa was being called due to poor air quality—at halftime, no less.  In a surreal scene, Friday’s season-opener was called at intermission...

Mia Villegas returns to lead Haybalers

Even though the San Benito High girls volleyball team didn’t have a Covid spring season, Mia Villegas—the lone returner from the last time the Haybalers had a season in 2019—said all was not lost.  From last winter and into the spring, the players met for...

With superior athleticism, Balers could be headed for a special season

Hollister football coach Bryan Smith doesn’t remember the last time a wave of talented athletes have come through the program like it has the last couple of years. From Jayden Freidt to Tyler Pacheco to Derek Sandoval and others, the Haybalers have athleticism at...

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero looks to reach summit again

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero didn’t come out of retirement three years ago simply to be competitive. The 38-year-old southpaw returned to the fight game to compete for a championship belt.  A win against Victor Ortiz in a 10-round welterweight boxing match on Saturday at T-Mobile...

Jackson Pace shines in Area Code Games

The night before his start in the Area Code Games in San Diego on Aug. 10, Jackson Pace was understandably a bit anxious. After all, the San Benito High senior was going to pitch in front of at least one scout from every Major...

Hollister Basketball Club driven by fundamentals and all-out effort

David Kaplansky started the Hollister Basketball Club (HBC) two years ago as a way to pass down what he’s learned about the game to the younger generation. Proper fundamentals are stressed, effort is demanded and understanding the nuances of the game are developed.  “At their...

Gavilan College football team looks to buck history

From a numbers standpoint, Covid was not kind to the Gavilan College football team. Rams coach John Lango said the team lost several players from March 2020 to now, putting Gavilan’s roster number at 44 through the end of July. However, Lango expects the...

Jayden Freidt is full speed ahead

There were times this summer when Jayden Freidt would come home, plop himself on the couch and relax as if he was on a hammock in Hawaii. If anyone had earned some rest and relaxation time, it was Freidt, who practiced with the football...

Former Balers’ assistant coach Dave Clapham receives another honor

In this occasional “Where Are They Now Series,” the Free Lance catches up with standouts and prominent figures from yesteryear Even though Dave Clapham is retired and enjoying life in Reno, the former longtime Haybalers’ football assistant coach still has connections to Hollister and the...

Balers wrap up 7 on 7s; Smith excited for upcoming season

Two days after the Hollister football team scrimmaged five squads in a 7 on 7 passing league tournament on July 17 at Westmont High, quarterback Tyler Pacheco’s throwing arm was sore—and for good reason.   “I was feeling it Sunday and especially Monday morning after practice,”...