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Porter returns to coach Hughson wrestling

The Hughson High wrestling program reached into its past for its future.

The perennial Central Valley powerhouse has hired former wrestling coach Doug Porter to be its new wrestling coach. Former coach Joe LaRosa left Hughson last month for Modesto Christian.

Porter began coaching at Hughson in 1988 and quickly made his mark. In seven years, he rolled up a 129-17-1 overall record and coached 29 individual and team section champions.

He stepped down after 1995 because of the growing demands of his church, Hickman Community Church, which had grown from 12 active members to over 500 in that time.

"We have (12) on our church staff now," Porter said. "I've got a lot of support in my ministry now. That enables me to step back in now to keep things moving ahead, just as Joey had in the past five years."

Porter didn't completely leave wresting, after he left Hughson in 1995, he started the Christ's Kids Wrestling Club for grade-schoolers.

Porter, a 1969 Hughson graduate, didn't begin wrestling until he was a junior. He won a Trans-Valley League title and went on to decorated careers at Modesto Junior College and Bakersfield State. He earned Division II all-American status while in Bakersfield.

During his seven years at Hughson, he coached sons Kyle and Aaron.

Kyle won two state titles and set a national high school record for wins in a season.

Aaron was a two-time Five-Counties Wrestling meet champion and a state medalist before a back injury ended his career.

Both Kyle and Aaron will be among the six former Hughson wrestlers on Doug Porter's staff. Cliff Acosta, a four-time state medalist, will also assist.

"It's no secret that wrestling and the kids around the Hughson area still mean a great deal to me," Doug Porter said. "I'm hoping for even bigger and better things than before."

THE PREP PAGE -- Atwater High football coach George Sziraki, whose Falcons visit Davis for a key Central California Conference game on Friday at Modesto Junior College, and Johansen High water polo coach Brent Bohlender will be among the featured guests in Friday's edition of "The Prep Page" on ESPN Radio 970 (AM) from 3-4 p.m.

"The Prep Page" is a high school sports radio talk show hosted by Modesto Bee high school editor Alex Valdez. The "Friday Night Pigskin Party", a high school football scoreboard show, will also be aired from 10-11 p.m. on Friday and hosted by Matt Ivie. Denair football coach Don Curtiss, whose Coyotes are ranked No. 2 in the state among Division IV schools will also be featured on "The Prep Page" on Friday.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL -- The Modesto Bee's high school football section -- sporting a new look -- will debut on Thursday.

The football page will be highlighted by high school sports reporter Alex Valdez's weekly column andgame-by-game football capsules and predictions. High school fans can also check out the Stanislaus District's rushing and passing leaders and the district and state rankings compiled by The Bee and Cal-Hi

Also, this week's edition of The Bee's high school football page will unveil the inaugural Modesto Bee-Sacramento Bee preseason All-Section football team.