All in the wrestling family

Bill Choy, The Triplicate

Schaad family has longtime passion for sport

Wrestling has truly become a family affair at Del Norte High School.

Since the 2007andndash;2008 season, Aaron Schaad has been the Warriors head coach, with his younger brother Clinton Schaad serving as assistant coach.

They are also assisted by their father Chuck Schaad, who coached for a number of years with the youth wrestling and football programs in Del Norte County.

And the next generation is already wrestling, with sophomore Jackson

Evans, a starter at 138 pounds, who is the step-son of Aaron Schaad.

"It's nice to be a part of your son's life but also his peer group's

lives," Aaron Schaad said. "I have enjoyed working with these kids."

The team has been quite successful with the Schaad brothers at the

helm, winning two Humboldt-Del Norte Conference titles and a second

place finish last year. They also coached heavyweight Roger McCovey in

his junior and senior years in 2008 and 2009 when he went undefeated and

won two straight state titles.

"I've taught them well," Chuck Schaad said with a chuckle. "We have a

lot of fun with it ... I'm just really proud of them."

Family bonding

Both brothers have been wrestling since they were kids and their dad

was one of the coaches on the Del Norte Youth Wrestling team. Both of

them were born and raised here in Del Norte County.

"We've been wrestling as far back as I can remember," Clinton Schaad

said.

"It's something we've done since we were young. Some people, they

hunt or fish. We coach wrestlers. This is my hobby," Aaron Schaad said.

Chuck Schaad said that it was important for him to be coaching his

kids and their peers when they were growing up.

"I was right there making sure they were on the straight and narrow,"

Chuck Schaad said. "It was good because I was able to make sure they

continued to be focused."

Both brothers had distinguished wrestling careers at Del Norte High

and wrestled at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Aaron graduated

from Del Norte in 1993 while Clinton is a 1997 Warrior graduate.

Aaron was part of the national title team at SOU in 1994 and Clinton

was on the team when they won a title in 2001.

The experiences and techniques learned at SOU, a longtime wrestling

power, have been valuable in teaching the kids back here in Del Norte

County, Aaron Schaad said.

"I learned a lot there, and I'm glad I've been able to bring that to

Del Norte," he said.

Aaron considers Clinton his right-hand man and said when he is unable

to make a practice or needs help with a player, talking to a parent or

travel arrangements for a road trip, he knows that it will be done

thanks to his brother. He trusts Clinton completely.

"I know he has the same vision and values I have," Schaad said.

Even if they don't agree on something, the criticism is constructive,

the brothers said.

The close bond between the coaching staff, which includes Chuck

Schaad and fellow assistant Nick Watson, has been crucial in having a

cohesive wrestling program, Aaron Schaad said.

Clinton Schaad enjoys working with his big brother and said they are

close. After all, they spend countless hours with each other during

wrestling season.

"We're both very competitive. We both work hard and want to win," he

said. "If they are willing to put in the effort then we work with them

to make them the best they can be."

For Chuck Schaad, it's special working with these young wrestlers

and teaching them this challenging but ultimately rewarding sport.

Wrestling helps these teens gain needed focus and is a positive

outlet for them, he said.

"I enjoy watching the kids compete and see them move up the ranks,"

Chuck Schaad said. "Watching them grow and develop is big for me.

Wrestling makes you stronger not just physically. It helps you become

stronger as a person mentally."

Lending a hand

The entire family, from Clinton and Aaron's wives to Chuck's wife

Patty, are active parts of the program behind the scenes.

For instance Aaron and Clinton's mom Patty Schaad does a lot to make

sure the annual Battle of the Border Tournament here in December runs

smoothly. She is in charge of catered coaches' meals and helping get

donations for the event. And youngest brother Heath Schaad, who lives in

town, is a constant presence around the team and lends his support as

well.

"It's great when the whole family helps," Chuck Schaad said.

"Wrestling has been great for us. It's knitted the family and keeps it

together."

For all three of them the bonds they have formed with the wrestlers

they have coached over the years have been priceless.

Aaron Schaad recalled that one former wrestler, Jake Young, a 2008

graduate who made state as a senior, visited him this past holiday

season during a break from the Army.

"It's nice to still be a part of their lives," Aaron Schaad said. "It

was good to see Jake. He's doing great. I enjoy seeing what type of

young men they have turned out to be."

Chuck Schaad said that it's always nice when former Warrior grapplers

come back and visit.

"I've had kids come back, put their arms around me and say, 'How are

you doing?'" he said. "It's great when they come by, drop in and say

'hi' to us. It's good to see how they're doing."

The Schaads were on the road yet again on Friday, heading to a

tournament at Windsor, all the way down in Sonoma County, that is set to

take place today.

"I've never been to Windsor before," Chuck Schaad said. "It will be

something new for me. It's a lot of fun, especially now that I'm retired

and I can go to all these different tournaments and help."

Reach Bill Choy at bchoy@triplicate.com .

14015113
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