By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
CRESCENT CITY The Del Norte High wrestling team gave the home crowd a lot to cheer about Wednesday night, dominating Fortuna on its way to a 68-12 dual meet win.
Six Warrior grapplers pinned their opponents for the win and only two Del Norte grapplers lost all evening.
This included a loss to a St. Bernard's wrestler, the only participant from the Eureka school.
This is the first of only two home dual meets this season and a large, vocal crowd came out to root on Del Norte.
"They came out and wrestled really well," head coach Aaron Schaad said. "I really can't pick apart any of our performances."
The Del Norte match against Fortuna began on a positive note when Oliver Benjamin (152) won by fall in the first period against Alex Antal.
The second match went quite well for Del Norte as Leo Bessette (171) made quick work of Darell James of Fortuna, pinning him for the fall and the win in only 20 seconds.
Schaad said he was proud of the way Bessette wrestled, adding he did not start wrestling in high school until this year. This was his first dual match on the varsity wrestling squad.
"It was really exciting to see him get a fall," Schaad said.
James Sampier (189) faced off against Devin Brooks, who took him to three periods. Sampier prevailed 13-8.
Jake Young (215) pinned Antonio Martinez to earn the fall with only a few seconds remaining in the second period for the win.
Jordan Lacy (103) made quick work of Issac Cardoza, winning by fall early in the first period.
Grant Ivision (112) earned the fall with around 50 seconds left in the first period against Justin Morales.
In the 130-pound division Thomas Trevino of Del Norte lost by fall to Jared Santos.
In the 135-pound division, Joey Kravitz of Del Norte had a battle against Dillon Eckerfield. Both grapplers seemed fairly equally matched at first, with Kravitz up only 2-1 at the end of the first period.
In the second period, Kravitz started to pull away and went on for the 24-9 victory in three periods.
Matt Valdez (145) pinned Ernie Gomez in the first period.
Roger McCovey, ranked as one of the top wrestlers in the heavyweight (285) division in the state did not wrestle Wednesday night because there was no Fortuna wrestler in his division. He won by forfeit and still received a warm cheer from the crowd when he went to the mat to accept his forfeit win.
Schaad said it was nice to have the support of the local fans. He said it appeared to him to be one of the best attended dual meets he had seen at home in awhile.
"We were excited to wrestle in front of the home crowd and it showed," he said.
Del Norte next wrestles at a tournament in Windsor on Saturday.
A number of starting wrestlers will not attend so they won't use up the maximum number of matches they can take part in each season.
This means starters such as McCovey and Young will not compete.
Schaad said he plans to bring several of the younger wrestlers to the tournament and said this will give them valuable tournament experience.