The Del Norte wrestling team already has two tournaments under its belt, but the competition level is about to take a jump for the Warriors this weekend.
Del Norte travels north to the Grants Pass Tournament on Friday for the two-day, 40-school event in Oregon. The Warriors' first two tournaments consisted of 16-wrestler brackets.
"It is a big tournament close to home, which is nice," said Del Norte head coach Aaron Schaad. "There are a lot of California schools that come up for this, some Nevada schools, a little bit out of Portland, Bend and Rouge Valley. It will be a severe jump in competition level."
While the competition will be more daunting, Schaad still expects the kids to have a good time over the weekend.
"It is fun," he said. "There are a lot of kids and coaches that we know from that area. It is nice to see the people that we know. It is also a good competitive environment at the same time."
In addition to the 40-man varsity bracket, the Grants Pass Tournament also features a JV bracket, so all the Warriors will get at least three matches on the mat.
"Everybody on the team will wrestle," Schaad said. "We will probably have all the kids that have wrestled in the top three or four in the last two weekends wrestle on the varsity side of the tournament. Then the other kids will probably wrestle in the JV side of the bracket."
With 40 different schools, Schaad expects even the JV bracket to be tough, especially late in the brackets.
"Just because he is not wrestling in the varsity side of the bracket doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't know how to wrestle," Schaad said. "A lot of times, if they make it to the quarterfinals or semifinals of the JV bracket, they are wrestling some pretty quality kids."
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.