By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
Despite injuries and absences, the Del Norte High Wrestling squad had several grapplers perform strongly at the Northwest Wrestling Duals in Portland, Ore.
Senior Andrew Walker finished with a flawless 8-0 mark in the 103-pound weight class. Sophomore Joey Kravitz finished with a 7-1 record in the 145-pound division.
Freshman Josh Lacy had a 6-2 record in the 119-pound weight class and junior Jake Young finished with the same record in the 189-pound division, as well as senior Sherman Norton in the 285-pound division.
"It was a good week," coach David Bokor said, considering the team was not at full strength with only 12 wrestlers participating. Several team members were unable to participate due to injuries and being on vacation.
"The kids that wrestled competed hard," he said.
The two-day event was held on Dec. 28 and 29.
Roger McCovey, a sophomore who has been named an honorable mention all-state wrestler, was unable to compete due to a knee injury.
While he's hopeful McCovey will return soon, Bokor has no time frame on when he will return.
"I just want him to be healthy," he said.
McCovey was able to attend practice on Tuesday.
McCovey, who wrestles in the 215-pound class, competed last summer in the Cadet Nationals wrestling tournament in Fargo, N.D., and placed fourth in Greco Roman Wrestling in his weight class.
The Northwest Wrestling Duals signaled the return of Norton, one of the squad's best wrestlers last year.
He was unable to wrestle earlier this season because he had weighed too much to compete.
While Bokor believes Norton did alright in his return, he is still getting back in wrestling shape and should get better as the season goes on.
"He has a lot of work ahead," he said. "He's in pre-season form."
While Bokor was glad Walker went undefeated in Portland and did well, he does take into account several of his opponents were freshmen and said he needs to continue to work hard.
He said Walker is an important piece to obtaining a conference title when the squad starts to compete in Big 5 Conference action.
Del Norte next competes in the Anderson Wrestling Tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Bokor said the tournament will feature several "top-notch" programs from the Redding area. He said it's important for his team to face high-caliber opponents.