By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Jake Young was not going to let a broken leg get in the way of his goals.
The senior wrestler from Del Norte High has come back from his injury suffered during a varsity football game last fall and is currently at the North Coast Section individual wrestling championships in Fremont, seeking a berth in the state finals in Bakersfield in the 215-pound division.
On Friday, he went 2-1 and looks to be one of four grapplers from the NCS in his division to earn a state berth in the final day of competition today. But it will be a challenge. He needs to win three matches to make it to Bakersfield. Going into the tournament he was ranked No. 4 at 215 for the NCS event.
"I feel like I'm making progress," Young said. "I'm showing people that didn't think I could wrestle that I can."
When Warrior head wrestling coach Aaron Schaad heard Young had broken his right leg last fall, he feared the worst.
He hoped he could come back by sometime January, but knew there might be a chance he would not be the same wrestler.
Young worked hard rehabbing his leg and told his coach he wanted to wrestle in a tournament in Hidden Valley, Ore., on Dec. 21.
"He came out every day and worked his way back," Schaad said. "He showed will power."
On Dec. 21, while still not 100 percent, Young wrestled.
"I left it up to him," Schaad said, adding his doctors had cleared him to wrestle.
"I wanted to wrestle," Young said. "This is my last year. I want to do well."
Schaad said it took him time to get back into wrestling shape and not get winded while grappling. Slowly but surely Young got back into his old form. He showed he was back, when this month, unranked at the Mission San Jose Tournament in the Bay Area, he placed fourth at the elite event.
Last week he went undefeated in the Humboldt-Del Norte Championships to earn a White Star.
Young has never made it to state and said it would be nice to finally do it in his last year as a Warrior.
"He's working hard," Schaad said. "He knows if he wants to go to state he has to make it this year."
"I'm really glad I'm been able to come back and be where I'm at now," Young said before he left for the NCS. "I'm going to go out and hopefully do well at the NCS."