Del Norte junior wrestler Nicole Mattz became the first ever female wrestler from Del Norte to win a North Coast Section championship on Saturday in Pittsburgh, Calif.
“It was the best weekend ever,” Mattz said with a smile. “I wrestled well down there. I got all pins until the finals and I pretty much dominated that match. Winning it was probably the best feeling ever. It has always been my dream and I accomplished it.”
Mattz left little doubt about who was the best wrestler at the two-day tournament in the 111-pound bracket. She pinned her first three opponents in 0:14, 1:23 and 6 minutes respectively to reach the championship round. In the finals, Mattz, who was ranked first at 111 pounds in the NCS but seeded second in the tournament, met top-seeded Hayley Aguilar.
Even though the tournament directors felt Aguilar had a better resume for the top seed, Mattz had no doubt about who the better wrestler was heading into the match.
“I knew I was better than her,” Mattz said. “I knew I was going to beat her. She wasn’t going to take it from me.”
Mattz jumped to a 6-0 lead in the finals before giving up a late point on a stalling penalty for the 6-1 decision.
Mattz has now placed at the NCS Championships all three years she has been in high school. Mattz took sixth place as a freshman and third place last year as a sophomore.
“It says a lot for our program,” said Del Norte assistant coach Clinton Schaad. “To her credit, she gets drug around with the boys for 99 percent of the year. She is good enough that when she wrestles the boys she wins matches and is competitive all the time. When it comes to girls, they run a little slower speed than she does.”
Mattz stands alone as the most decorated female wrestler in Warriors history. She is also one of the most successful wrestlers of any gender that Del Norte has seen in the last decade.
“We have only had a handful of Section champions in the last 10 years. I think she is our fifth,” Schaad said. “As far as four-time section placers, we have only had two or three that I know of.”
With the win, Mattz qualified for the state tournament running Feb. 28-March 1. She is currently ranked 5th in the state at 111 pounds.
“I am going to train hard in (the wrestling room) and I am going to put in extra work at home and eat right,” Mattz said.