By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
EUREKA Four Del Norte wrestlers, three for the first time, won their respective divisions and White Star honors at the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference Wrestling Championships on Saturday.
Freshman Jordan Lacy (103), junior Joey Kravitz (135), and senior Jake Young (215) earned their first White Stars.
Junior Roger McCovey (285) earned his third White Star. He is currently ranked first in the state in his weight class and is undefeated for the year.
For Lacy, it was an emotional triumph.
He said he wanted to win a White Star as only a freshman for his brother Josh Lacy, who wrestled for Del Norte last year. Josh was struck by a hit-and-run driver last January and died the next day from his injuries.
When he won in the finals by a 19-11 score, Jordan Lacy said the feeling was so overwhelming "I almost started crying."
Jordan said he is proud of his accomplishment and said it was worth all the work he has put into this year to be the best wrestler he can be.
"It's hard work because everyone else wants to get it (a White Star)," he said.
Kravitz said it was a great feeling winning his division. He, McCovey and Young won all their matches by pins.
"I was happy and excited," Kravitz said. "This is my first White Star."
He and Lacy both said they hope to place at the North Coast Section championships, which is set for Friday and Saturday and go to state the following week.
Currently, McCovey is ranked No.1 in the NCS bracket in his division and Young is No. 4.
Del Norte finished second overall, falling by a single point, 163-162 to Arcata.
Head coach Aaron Schaad said it was "disappointing" that the team could not get a break and gain a point to tie and another point to win. But he added he was proud of having four grapplers earn White Stars.
He said if things went his team's way he thinks they could have won the title, but they just could not come up with that extra point or pin. And Eureka, which placed third, had a wrestler disqualified in a finals match to an Arcata grappler for head-butting his opponent. If Eureka gained those points, there is a good chance the Warriors would have won, he said.
Nine Del Norte wrestlers qualified for the NCS. Schaad said his team has done well this year, especially considering the large number of sophomores on the team who have shown marked improvement as the season has gone on. He said this bodes well for next year, especially knowing that three out of four of his White Stars are returning.
Other Del Norte wrestlers who did well include Matt Valdez (145), and James Sampier (189) who placed second in their respective divisions. Sampier lost to Mike Larson of McKinleyville, currently ranked No. 5 in the state.