After going unbeaten in conference duals, Warriors win tourney
The Warriors' wrestling team took the gold at the Humboldt-Del Norte conference championship on Saturday, and 10 Del Norte wrestlers will advance to this weekend's North Coast Section championships.
The Del Norte grapplers smashed the competition, earning 201 points, far ahead of second-place Eureka, which racked up 172.5 points. Third-place McKinleyville scored 170 points and Hoopa Valley took fourth with 131 points.
"Overall, we had a really good day," said assistant coach Clinton Schaad. "We ended up winning it fairly sound."
Progress was the name of the game for Del Norte at the tournament in
Fortuna, with several Del Norte wrestlers improving on last year's
performances. The Warriors took second at last year's conference
Saturday brought their third league title in five years.
Nine Warriors placed in the top three slots, automatically earning
them berths in the NCS individual championships. As a fourth-place
alternate, Andrew Napier will be able to go to NCS, since the
third-place winner cannot compete in the NCS tournament.
Sophomores Robert Boulby at 145 pounds and Jackson Evans at 132
pounds took first this year after placing second as freshmen last year.
Boulby pinned his way through the tournament. Evans won his matches by
pin or technical fall, including a 17-1 decision over Eureka's Chris
Arcani in the final bout.
"The kid (Arcani) was really tough," Schaad said. "He was able to stay off his back enough to avoid the pin."
Sophomore Hawk Mattz had a hard-fought win that went down to the wire
in the 138-pound final. David Poston, freshman of McKinleyville, took
down Mattz late in the third period to tie the match at 6-6. Mattz
scored a point for an escape with 19 seconds remaining for a 7-6 win.
Senior Austin Moore pinned Andrew Guisa of Eureka in just 1 minute 11
seconds for a first-place title. Moore, who wrestled in youth leagues
but just came back to the sport this year, had an impressive season.
"He's come a long way this season," Schaad said of Moore's dominating
performance. "He's very aggressive on the mat and he doesn't back up."
A few seniors suffered "heartbreaking" losses Saturday, Schaad said.
Seniors Morgan Fischer at 126 pounds and Isaac Terry at heavyweight
lost in the finals and had to settle for second place. To get to the
championship match, Fischer defeated Jared Lack of South Fork, who had
beaten Fischer twice earlier this year. In the final match, Fischer was
pinned in the first period.
Terry lost a close match in the finals to Josh Hanson of Eureka, who Terry beat in last year's championships.
Sophomores Eric Turner at 170 pounds and David Plechaty at 190 pounds
also took second after getting pinned in the first period of their
championship bouts. Turner's opponent in the final match, Orion Cosce of
Hoopa, was selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler of
the Upper Weights.
"They're only sophomores and they made it into the finals," Schaad said. "That's pretty impressive in itself.
Noah Timoshenko took third place at 120 pounds, advancing to this
weekend's NCS championships. Napier took fourth place at 182 pounds but
will still be able to compete in the NCS tournament since Frankie Arroyo
of Eureka cannot go to the competition at Newark Memorial High School.
With 10 wrestlers heading south this weekend for the NCS, the
Warriors were at practice Monday night while their peers had President's
Schaad said the big tournaments the wrestlers compete in throughout
the season help out when it comes to the championship tourneys.
"It preps them all year long for this one so it's just another
tournament," Schaad said. "We tell them to focus on one match at a time
and go out there and do your best."
Schaad gave a "hats off" to all the students and parents who helped
out this year and said he looks forward to going down to Newark to
represent Del Norte.
Reach Adam Spencer at email@example.com.