Six Warriors make it to semifinal rounds; Boulby, Evans finish second
Del Norte High wrestling has pulled itself off the mat.
After two weeks of disappointing performances in tournaments and dual meets alike, the Warriors turned in strong individual and team performances at the North Coast Classic wrestling tournament, held Saturday at Eureka High School in Eureka.
The Warriors finished the one-day tournament with 131 points, third to tournament champion and host Eureka (191 points) and Pleasant Valley High of Chico (164.5). Enterprise High (120) and McKinleyville (118) rounded out the top five teams.
“We had a better tournament than we had at the Crater Classic (on Jan. 12 in Central Point, Ore.),” Del Norte assistant coach Clint Schaad said. “We wrestled better as a team.”
Nine Warriors wrestlers competed in the tournament as the team continues to be wracked by injuries and illnesses.
“We’ve had a lot of little things (happen) — we’re yet to get our full team together on the mat at the same time,” Schaad said. “They’re sick, they’re out of town, they’re hurt. It’s disheartening at times, but this is a good group of kids that works hard.”
Of the nine wrestlers, six made it to the semifinals of their respective weight classes, all juniors: Skiler Haddad (128 pounds), Robert Boulby (140), Jackson Evans (147), Hawk Mattz (154), Eric Turner (172 pounds) and David Plechaty (197 pounds).
Two of the six, Boulby and Evans, defeated their semifinal opponents to move on to the final match. Neither claimed a tournament championship, however, as Fortuna’s Andrew Widdoes defeated Boulby and McKinleyville’s Kennedy Poston got the best of Evans. Both Del Norte wrestlers finished with 2-1 tournament records.
“We just had a bad round” in the semifinals, Schaad said. “This team kind of does that. Robert Boulby and Jackson Evans both wrestled really well in the semis to make the finals. All of a sudden ... I don’t know what happened. They went out a little flat.”
Haddad, Mattz, Turner and Plechaty all finished third in their respective weight classes.
The Warriors enter what Schaad figures to be a challenging week with momentum from the North Coast Classic.
Del Norte travels to Fortuna on Wednesday for a Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League dual meet against the Huskies. The match begins at 6:30 p.m.
Next on the schedule: the 15th Annual Maria Carrillo Puma Classic wrestling tournament, hosted by Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa on Saturday.
The one-day tournament features 30 teams from across Northern California for a virtual preview of the California Interscholastic Federation North Coast Section Championships.
Schaad expects to have 12 healthy competitors on the team bus to Fortuna and at least 12 ready for the Puma Classic. The Warriors don’t just need individual wrestlers to return to form; they need a team to come together for the championship portion of the season.
“We’re hoping, by the time league finals get here, to be healthy and to have our full lineup set,” Schaad said. “We’ll be ready.”