Del Norte takes the mat against Fortuna for senior night dual tonight in Thunen Gymnasium

The Del Norte wrestling team will be on the mat today in Thunen Gymnasium for the last time this season. The Warriors will face Fortuna on senior night in their second dual meet of the season.

"I don't know a lot about Fortuna," said Del Norte assistant coach Clinton Schaad. "We saw them at Del Norte and McKinleyville very early in the season. Then we saw them at Eureka, but I don't know if their whole team was there or not. I don't know what they have as far as a full lineup, but I know that they have a couple quality kids that will be tough matches for us."

St. Bernard's is also on the original schedule for tonight, but Schaad was unsure if it would actually attend. As of two weeks ago, Schaad said St. Bernard's only had one wrestler.

"If they do show up, we are glad to have them," Schaad said. "There is not going to be a whole lot of wrestling there. We will have one match and maybe get some forfeits."

The dual will be the Warriors' third and final chance to wrestle at home this season. The six seniors on Del Norte's roster will all receive recognition for their efforts.

"We want to get as many people as we can out to support the kids," Schaad said. "It is senior night, we have six seniors on the team and we are going to try to get them all on the mat."

Although the Warriors are hoping all six seniors have a chance to wrestle, it remained unclear weather that will be possible as of practice on Monday.

"It depends on what everybody weighs tomorrow," Schaad said Monday. "Even if it is a weight class that Fortuna doesn't have anybody for, we will try to get them out there to take a forfeit. Hopefully they will all get some action and get to wrestle one last time at home."

The dual is a crucial one for the Warriors. A victory would secure a finish of at least second in the division, earning them a trip to the North Coast Section Duals at the end of February.

"If we beat Fortuna we will qualify, which will be nice because it guarantees us some more matches at the NCS Duals," Schaad said. "This year they are at McKinleyville, so it will be nice not to have to travel as far."

The Warriors finished higher than Fortuna at the tournaments that both teams attended, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything in a dual meet, Schaad said.

"We have beaten them at the tournaments we have seen them at, but a tournament team is different than a dual team," he said.

If the Warriors fall to Fortuna, they will have another chance to qualify when they travel to Eureka on Feb. 11.

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