In the midst of difficult seasons, the Del Norte High softball and baseball teams have exhibited consistent defensive play.
The heart of the Warriors' defense, in many ways, lies behind the plate, with juniors Josiah Johnson and Kiera Davis.
Johnson played football with the Warriors this season before suffering a concussion and a burst appendix within a week's time in October. He recovered from both in time to become one of the Warriors' most consistent players offensively and defensively.
"He's a leader," sophomore pitcher Jonathan Calderon says.
Johnson is lauded by the Warriors' pitchers for his arm and his ability to pick off baserunners.
"He's blocking everything," freshman pitcher Austin Healy says. "Even if people get on base, they don't get farther than third. They don't steal on him."
Davis has made a similar impact for the softball team defensively, picking at least four runners off bases this season.
"You'd better be there," senior Camryn Ridgley says, "because (the ball) is going to be there."
Warriors coach Tom Moore lauds Davis for her work ethic on the field and in the classroom, where the junior sports a 4.2 grade-point average.
"She works hard," says senior Marissa Van Dyke, who plays on the Del Norte volleyball and softball teams with Davis. "She doesn't screw around."
Davis, quiet and introverted by nature, has been encouraged by her coaches to become more vocal during practices and games. It has not always gone smoothly.
"I try to make sure I say something after every play," Davis says.
For the most part, her teammates hear her. They always respect her.
"She's an awesome girl," Van Dyke says.
Seven Del Norte High softball players and two baseball players will be honored before the Warriors' games Wednesday against Arcata.
The softball team will recognize the contributions of Camryn Ridgley, Marissa Van Dyke, BreAnna Moore, Falyn Bruhy, Sami Morrow, Cortney Penner and Rachele Whitson. The baseball team will recognize Luke Seats and Josh Barriga.
Both games began at 4 p.m. at the Del Norte High School baseball and softball fields.
The games will be the season finales for both teams. Baseball brings a 5-15 overall record into the game (1-10 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League); the Warriors softball team's record stands at 10-13-1 overall (5-6 HDN Big 5).
Del Norte High baseball head coach Travis Johnson will serve a Humboldt-Del Norte League-mandated one-game suspension Wednesday.
Johnson was ejected from the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Eureka High for arguing a strike call.
Reach Robert Husseman firstname.lastname@example.org.