Lasting only one day, the Eureka Tournament will not be quite as large as Grants Pass or Anderson. But the Del Norte wrestling team is ready for a big day of wrestling as at least 24 teams travel to Humboldt County today.
"It is about the maximum size that you are going to get for a one-day tournament, assuming everybody shows up and everybody has the weight classes filled," said Del Norte assistant coach Clinton Schaad. "It should be a good tournament for us. There will be a lot of California teams there."
At least one team at Eureka will not quite have a full varsity lineup, however. The Warriors are planning to enter nine contestants into the varsity bracket. Some of the younger wrestlers, who will wrestle varsity later this season, will compete in the JV tournament in Eureka instead.
"They are offering a JV round-robin tournament, so they are guaranteed three or four matches whether they win or lose," Schaad said. "We are taking some of our kids that would be in our varsity lineup and putting them in the JV tournament to get them some matches. That is always important."
Del Norte will be missing 195-pounder Tanner Gensaw and 170-pound Blaine Sutton, who are both sick.
The Warriors will also be without Nicole Mattz at 113 pounds. Mattz is currently at the 16th Annual Napa Valley Girls Classic Wrestling Tournament at Vintage High School.
"She runs around with us all season long and wrestles boys the whole time," Schaad said. "That is good for her because they are a little bit stronger and she holds her own all the time. But when it comes to the postseason, when it comes to the North Coast Section and state tournaments, those are all-girl tournaments. So it is good to go down and wrestle all girls and see her competition for the postseason."
With several varsity wrestlers missing action, and several others wrestling JV, Del Norte doesn't necessarily expect to put up its best team score of the season.
"We want to do well," Schaad said. "Hopefully the nine kids that we do enter do well, but we need to focus on the end game. We want to get our matches now, get our technique in now and come next month, that is when it is going to pay off."
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.