By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Del Norte High sophomore Roger McCovey dominated the competition at the Mission San Jose Wrestling Tournament this past weekend, placing first in his weight division.
He is currently ranked first in the 215-pound weight class in the North Coast Section.
The tournament win was made sweeter when he was able to defeat Oak Grove senior Davonte Carr in the semifinals.
Carr, who is ranked first in the Central Section, defeated McCovey last December at the Liberty Wrestling Tournament.
McCovey was up 11-2 on Saturday when he was able to pin Carr and end the match.
Head coach David Bokor said he believes McCovey is in much better shape compared to when he was wrestling last December.
Back then, he had just finished an extended football season and was just starting to get into wrestling shape.
Because he is now in wrestling condition, Bokor said McCovey had an easier time attacking his opponents, as well as having a better handle on his technique to get good top wrestling position against Carr.
McCovey said he was pleased to have had such a dominating performance against a top-notch wrestler he had previously lost to.
"I was glad I was able to beat him," he said. "This time it wasn't even close. I was beating him by a lot of points."
In the finals, McCovey defeated Vince Lopez of Clovis High 4-3.
Bokor said Lopez used a more physical style, which at first, presented a challenge to McCovey.
He added McCovey needs to continue to work on his technique against a more physical style of wrestler with sections coming up this month, and, if he makes it, state in Bakersfield in March.
McCovey said he is confident he will make state this year and is hopeful to get at least a fourth place finish.
The other Warrior wrestlers did not have as strong of a tournament, with no one else placing, although wrestlers Joey Kravitz, Jake Young and Andrew Walker did make it to the second day of the tournament.
"They ran into tougher competition and didn't wrestle as well as they have had this year," Bokor said. "We got beat by superior competition."
He added that if you can't be at your best against elite competition, it's hard to place.
Senior wrestler Sherman Norton, who wrestles in the 285-pound range and competed in state last year, was unable to participate in the tournament due to being sick with the flu.