After honoring the seniors before Del Norte’s senior night wrestling match against Fortuna, the Warriors took a moment to recognize head coach Aaron Schaad.
Schaad has been coaching wrestling since 1999. After coaching Del Norte for a couple years, Schaad went north to Oregon, coaching at several schools before returning to Del Norte as an assistant coach 10 years ago. This is Schaad’s seventh year as the school’s head coach.
“I didn’t have any idea that they were going to do that,” Schaad said after the meet. “It was nice to get recognized.”
Schaad thanked the crowd and announced that his brother Clinton Schaad, who has been an assistant wrestling coach at Del Norte High School for 11 years, will take over as the head coach and president of Del Norte Youth Wrestling. Clinton will take over for Roger Boulby, who has been the head coach for over a decade.
“It is a new step in our lives,” Clinton Schaad said after the match. “This is my 11th year coaching at the high school. My youngest is now wrestling at the youth level, so I have been helping out down there when they need it. I want to try to teach these kids the love of the sport and get them up to the high school level.”
The Schaads have enjoyed much success together coaching the Warriors’ wrestling program, with three Humboldt-Del Norte league titles and the school’s first-ever state champion (Boulby’s son, Roger McCovey, in 2008 and 2009) to go along with numerous other league and section placers over the years.
“They are all great coaches,” said senior wrestler Robin Pierce. “If you had seen me wrestle last year, I wasn’t nearly the wrestler that I am this year. They have helped me improve a lot. I can’t say how much I thank them.”
Clinton Schaad’s No. 1 priority for the Del Norte Youth Wrestling program is to increase involvement, and hopefully increase the amount of fun had in the wrestling room.
“We mostly want to just get a lot of numbers out and have fun,” he said. “It is all about fun and the love of the sport at that age. Let them grow into it.”
Aaron Schaad said he still expects to see his brother in the wrestling room at the high school on occasion, but losing him as an assistant will hurt.
“He is still going to keep his hands in here a little bit when he can, but on a day-to-day basis it is going to be a loss for our program,” Aaron Schaad said. “He covers a lot of things for me that I can’t necessarily do myself.”
Aaron Schaad also hopes to get a little more involved in the youth program now that his brother is in charge of the program.
“Freestyle season only overlaps one week this year with the high school,” he said. “I will probably be able to show up every other practice too and help out with the kids one on one. I would also like to get the high school kids more involved in the freestyle program helping the kids.”