5 Warriors place at Eagle Point Tournament, grapplers turn attention to team duals in return home

The Del Norte wrestling team traveled to Eagle Point and five varsity wrestlers made their way onto the podium to place.

The Warriors had a pair of place-winners at 113 pounds with Nicole Mattz finishing fourth and Marcus Henderson taking fifth place.

Chris Puente finished fourth at 220 pounds, Tanner Gensaw was fifth at 195 and Eric Turner was sixth at 182 pounds.

"It was a tough tournament," said Del Norte assistant coach Clinton Schaad. "There wasn't a lot of teams there, but South Medford, which won the McKinleyville Tournament was there,Eagle Point, which won the Grants Pass Tournament was there, Phoenix (Ore.) which won the Eureka Tournament was there and Grants Pass which won the North Cal Tournament, was there. There were only 14 or 15 teams, but it was a very high quality of competition."

Del Norte was wrestling without two of its top wrestlers as freshman Willie Gensaw and senior Hawk Mattz both missed the trip due to illness.

"I think they probably would have placed, but they couldn't make the trip," Schaad said.

The Warriors JV wrestlers were also able to get some matches in Eagle Point.

"They had a JV tournament going on as well," Schaad said. "They didn't place it, but we did get a lot of matches in and some victories as well."

Overall, Schaad was happy with how the Warriors competed at the tournament.

"Like any weekend, we saw some improvement in some things and we saw some areas that we need to focus on and polish up before the end of the season," Schaad said. "This was a good benchmark for us."

One thing that Schaad saw in Eagle Point that the team will focus on throughout the week is the fundamentals of wrestling.

"We teach them a lot throughout the year and it kind of builds on itself," Schaad explained. "As we get going, they learn more and more technique, and sometimes the basics start to slip a little bit."

Del Norte will face a new challenge this week as it welcomes Arcata to Thunen Gymnasium today for the team's first dual meet of the season.

"In a dual meet, you only have one match," Schaad said. "You are not going to win and move on. This is where the team aspect really takes the forefront. We get to see each wrestler go one at a time so everyone is mat-side."

The dual meet was originally scheduled to include both Arcata and Ferndale, but Schaad said Ferndale does not have a team this year.

The Warriors know that there are some tough teams in the league this year. They are hoping that they will be right with them throughout the dual portion of the year.

"We want to go out and wrestle the best that we can," Schaad said. "We want to win as many matches as we can and hopefully winning matches will lead to winning the dual meet."

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.