By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
CRESCENT CITY It was a memorable night for the Del Norte High wrestling team.
In front of a large home crowd, the team downed Arcata 45-28 in a dual meet to earn them one of two spots from the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference in the North Coast Section dual meet championships in the Bay Area this weekend. If they had lost, Arcata would have gone.
And it was the first and only chance the Crescent City crowd got to see heavyweight Roger "Bronk" McCovey wrestle at home.
McCovey, ranked as the No. 3 wrestler in the state in the heavyweight division, downed the No. 1 grappler at 285 in the state at a tournament in the Bay Area last weekend to remain undefeated. It put him as a serious contender to go to state and potentially win.
Tuesday night, he made quick work of Stephan Vaudiau of the Tigers, pinning him with ease with 1:03 left in the first period.
McCovey showed his size, agility and terrific technique as he took care of his opponent with no trouble.
McCovey said it meant a lot to him and his fellow wrestlers to grapple in front of the large home crowd.
"They never see us wrestle because we have to normally travel really far," he said.
While many people were interested to see how McCovey did, there were several other terrific matches.
This included Matt Valdez (145) battling for a tough 9-8 win against Devon Simmons.
Del Norte head coach Aaron Schaad commended Valdez, who he said has not practiced this week because of the flu. But, Valdez said he felt better on Wednesday and came out for his match.
Schaad praised Greg Kirby (119) for the way he continued to wrestle despite being hurt. He got a nasty gash in his head and after it was wrapped by the coaches kept on wrestling. He was up in the third period, but got pinned.
Schaad said Kirby was heading to the hospital for stitches, but said it did not appear to be too serious.
Del Norte also wrestled Ferndale, winning all three matches by pin.