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Warriors fall 1 point short in semis

Postseason run ends with 21-20 loss to Fortuna

The kick was low and a little to the right, but Fortuna’s point after attempt on its third touchdown snuck just over the crossbar and inside the right upright to give the Huskies a 21-20 lead. 

“I thought he had missed it,” Fortuna head coach Mike Benbow told the Fortuna radio broadcast after the game.

That ended up being all Fortuna needed to pull off its 12th straight victory over Del Norte on Friday night in the semifinals of the North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs.

The No. 11 Warriors surprised the NCS by winning two road playoff games, but the magic finally ran out against Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 rival No. 2 Fortuna.

“We played so hard. I am so proud of this team,” said Del Norte head coach Ray Rook. “They did a monumental job of coming down here and competing like they did against a great Fortuna team.”


Reel Deal: Early steelhead a good sign

Nathaniel Patterson, 10, of Redding, holds his first ever steelhead, caught Friday on the Chetco River while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. Courtesy of Wild Rivers Fishing
It’s nice when relatives come visit for the holidays and Del Norte — located in California’s only rainforest — is actually getting loads of sunshine.

Unless, of course, you’re a fishermen.

The unseasonably dry fall has made salmon fishing opportunities in coastal rivers few and far between. 

Chetco River

Steelhead have been on the bite in the Chetco River much earlier than usual, a welcome surprise with salmon fishing being slow.

“When you have early steelhead, that’s the sign of a big run,” said guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing.

He was fishing Friday afternoon with 10-year-old Nathaniel Patterson, of Redding, who was visiting grandparents in Crescent City for Thanksgiving when they  treated him to a fishing trip on the Chetco. His boat hooked six steelhead and landed five, including adults, half-pounders and super half-pounders.


Gordi Bras still on top

The Warriors’ Lauren Byers, right, surveys the field ahead of her as she chases down a loose ball in front of Kate Wilkinson of Tight Lines. The Warriors won 3-0 to secure third place in the adult women’s soccer league. Del Norte Triplicate / Michael Zogg
The Gordi Bras have become a fixture at the top of the adult women’s soccer league in Crescent City.

Players say they can’t even remember exactly how many championships they have won in a row. But the 2013 championship was a little bit different.

For one thing, it was the first time the league played outside rather than indoors.

“It is a lot slower-paced,” said Gordi Bras midfielder Kristie Gavin. “You have to slow down a little to move the ball, and talk and communicate more. That was probably the biggest difference for me.”

Another major difference was that this year, the Gordi Bras were the underdogs. The defending champions won just one of six games in the regular season and ended up as the lowest seed in the five-team league.

Once the playoffs arrived, Gordi Bras went right back to their winning ways. 


HDN Middle School jamboree

Crescent Elk eighth grader Payten Healy goes strong to the basket against a defender from Zane (Eureka). Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Humboldt and Del Norte middle school teams gather for round robin on Saturday

Middle school girls basketball teams from around Del Norte and Humboldt counties met in Crescent City on Saturday for a round robin-style competition.

Crescent Elk, Redwood, McKinleyville and Zane from Eureka all sent an eighth grade and a seventh grade team to the round robin. Winship in Eureka sent only a seventh grade team and Smith River had just an eighth grade team.

It was a day full of difficult competition for the young players.

The Crescent Elk eighth grade team kick off the tournament against Zane. The Cougars were 12-1 coming into the tournament with their only loss coming at the hands of Zane in a championship game earlier in the season. Crescent Elk had previously beaten Zane in a different tournament championship.


Warriors continue to win in playoffs

Warriors junior running back Chad Bell exploded for 5 touchdowns in Del Norte’s 34-7 victory over Healdsburg in the quarterfinals. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
Bell scores 5 touchdowns in 36-7 route of Healdsburg

The 11th-seeded Del Norte High football team pulled off another shocker in the North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs with a blowout 36-7 victory on the road Saturday night over No. 3 Healdsburg.

“The kids just executed the game plan that the coaching staff put together,” said Del Norte head coach Ray Rook. “Things came together for us and we scored a few touchdowns and our defense played off-the-hook again. It was just a good all-around game.”

After two rounds of the NCS playoffs the Warriors, who few picked to make it out of the first round, seem to be playing their best football of the season. 

“It is a good feeling,” said senior running back and safety Dylan Pease. “We had high expectations coming into the season, and we have had kind of a disappointing regular season, finishing 4-6 with a losing record. I think we are peaking at the right time though, and it is a great feeling. Everyone just kind of knew when to turn it on, so to speak.”

One of the major factors in the Warriors’ surge has been the defense. Del Norte has surrendered just 13 points through the first two rounds. On Saturday, the Greyhounds gained just 199 yards of total offense with only 18 rushing yards.

“We just tackled well and played good, hard-nosed defense,” Rook said. “The defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage and allowed the linebackers to flow and make tackles. David Sathe and Austin Healy covered really well with Dylan playing behind them, and Healdsburg had no answer for that.”


Heading home

Crescent City hosts  H-DN MS Jamboree 

Crescent Elk eighth-grader Antonia Devol-Alcala takes on two defenders from the seventh-grade team at practice on Wednesday. Del Norte Triplicate / Bryant Anderson
The Crescent Elk Middle School girls basketball season is already about halfway done, and the eighth grade “A” team has gotten off to a fantastic start.

The eighth-graders have begun the season 12-1. Nearly all of the games played have been in tournaments that the team travels to on weekends.

That will all change today when Crescent City plays host to the Humboldt-Del Norte Middle School Jamboree. Girls teams from Crescent Elk, Redwood, Smith River, McKinleyville, Winship and Zane will compete against each other starting at 9 a.m., with the last game beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Winship and Zane are Eureka middle schools.

The seventh grade teams will play in the big gym at Crescent Elk and the eighth grade teams will play at the Foursquare Church gym.

In four prior tournaments, Crescent Elk’s top eighth grade team has won three championships and finished as the runner-up in the other.


Clemann unanimous H-DN Big 5 MVP

There was little doubt who the best volleyball player in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League was in the 2013 season.

Del Norte senior hitter Kaitlyn Clemann was one of two nominees for the award, and she was a unanimous selection as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

“Nobody down there wants to give Del Norte an MVP, and Kaitlyn was voted unanimously as the MVP. To me that stands out,” said Del Norte head coach Pablo Lorenzi.

“Teams just didn’t want to see her get the ball because she was going to try to crush it every time,” Lorenzi said.

Clemann may have been the only person in the league who didn’t see the award coming her way.

“It is really exciting. I wasn’t expecting it,” Clemann said before basketball practice on Friday. “It is nice to know that my hard work paid off.”

As far as Lorenzi is concerned, it couldn’t have happened to a better person.

“She is a great kid, and not just on the volleyball court,” Lorenzi said. “She is a good kid. She preforms academically, and she is just a good person.”


Warrior football faces familiar opponent

After shocking Justin-Siena in the first round, the Del Norte High football team hopes it has another upset in it.

The No. 11-seeded Warriors (5-6) will head south on Saturday for their North Coast Sectional quarterfinal match-up in Healdsburg against the No. 3 Greyhounds (6-4).

Del Norte is pretty familiar with Healdsburg, having traveled down to play the Greyhounds in the third game of the 2012 season. The Warriors won, 20-14.

Healdsburg brings back 16 seniors from that team. The Greyhounds were supposed to complete the home and away series this year with a trip to Del Norte, but canceled the trip.

“Healdsburg is a team that we are familiar with,” Rook said. “They seem to have some good team speed. They have beaten some good teams down in the Sonoma County League this year. They are a good football team.”

Defensively, Del Norte will need to be ready for both the run and the pass.

“They want to throw the ball a little bit,” Rook said. “They run open sets. But they do have a good little running back that they try to get into space.”


Reel Deal: Salmon on Smith

James Ruddell of Grants Pass holds a 30-pound king salmon caught in the Smith River on Wednesday while fishing with guide Andy Martin. Photo courtesy of Wild River Fishing
When Mother Nature graced Del Norte County with 1–3 inches of rainfall earlier this week, coastal river anglers collectively thanked the skies for the long-awaited opportunity to target Smith River salmon.

Several salmon hooked in the Smith were landed Tuesday and Wednesday, although some anglers reported that leaves and moss made fishing difficult at first. The Smith should be open for drift boats through the weekend.

Smith River

At least 1.5 inches of rain fell throughout Del Norte County on Monday and Tuesday, with 2.5 inches recorded at some places in Big Flat. The Smith peaked at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday at a height of 11.2 feet and a flow of 8,300 cubic feet per second on the Jed Smith river gauge.

Before the river peaked Wednesday morning, fishing was tough Tuesday due to high concentrations of moss floating in the river, according to guide Phil Desautels of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service.

“You couldn’t run a plug for more than five minutes, it was so thick,” Desautels said.


Two champions

Photos by Roger Schultz Hot Shots Sports Photography
The Del Norte Youth Football program was a perfect 2-0 on Championship Sunday of the Six Rivers Youth Football Playoffs. The Del Norte Gold team reached the finals, played in the Redwood Bowl at Humboldt State College in Eureka, in A and AA. In AA the Warriors beat Eureka 27-16 and in A the Warriors won 20-12 over Eureka. Eureka won the AAA championship game over Fortuna Blue.

Photos by Roger Schultz Hot Shots Sports Photography
Photos by Roger Schultz Hot Shots Sports Photography


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