The Del Norte High School wrestling squad is ready to grapple with the competition this year.

Already, the team has taken part in a few tournaments, including one in the Coos Bay area last weekend.

Del Norte finished 13th out of 36 teams.

Sophomore Roger McCovey took third in the 215-pound division and freshman Josh Lacy was one off from placing in the 119-pound division with a 5-2 mark. Others who did well included Phillip Bailey and Jake Young.

The team has a very busy schedule this week.

Following practice on Wednesday, the squad headed to Oregon to face Brookings/Harbor in a dual match, which Del Norte won 36-32.

Today, Del Norte journeys to the Bay Area for the Liberty Wrestling Tournament, which begins on Friday.

Head Coach Dave Bokor said the competition will be top-notch at the Liberty Tournament, with many great squads from the North Coast Section participating.

andquot;It's a great challenge,andquot; he said, and added his hope is to have around six of his kids quality for the second day of the tournament.

This year, Bokor is pleased to have 12 freshmen joining the team.

Many of them played for the freshman football team, with football coach John Valdez telling his players wrestling would be a good way to improve their skills on the gridiron, such as better balance.

They may be young and still learning the finer details of wrestling, but Bokor has been pleased with the level of their enthusiasm and commitment to improve and work hard.

Lacy wrestled for eight years with the Del Norte Youth Wrestling team and said he was interested in the sport since he was little.

Lacy is excited to be able to continue his wrestling career in high school. He enjoys the challenge of facing quality wrestler's every time he steps into the mat.

andquot;They are more mature and they are just going and going,andquot; he said.

Currently, 24 students are on the wrestling squad, which is about average.

While Bokor would like more students participating, he knows it's not for everyone and that it takes a certain demeanor to wrestle.

andquot;It's not an easy thing to do,andquot; he said. andquot;That's why wrestlers are a different breed of people. Not everyone can walk in and do this.andquot;

andquot;You have to be dedicated and self-disciplined and work hard,andquot; Bokor added. andquot;Your level of work will determine your level of success.andquot;

Roger McCovey has been receiving notice for his wrestling skills.

Only a sophomore, he competed last summer in the Cadet Nationals wrestling tournament in Fargo, N.D., and placed fourth in Greco Roman Wrestling in the 215-pound class.

To Bokor, McCovey is a committed wrestler who is very experienced and extremely fast and strong.

andquot;He hates to lose,andquot; Bokor said. andquot;It makes him work to make sure he doesn't lose.andquot;

McCovey only had a short period of time to prepare to wrestle in Coos Bay after having just finished the football season.

He said he andquot;expects to do a lot better this year,andquot; and is ready to push himself to be the best wrestler he can be.

An aspect of wrestling Bokor loves is since there is weight classes, a variety of students can participate, which is not true of all sports.