The Del Norte wrestlers are hoping to make their first step towards the state meet this Saturday when they travel to Arcata for the Humboldt-Del Norte Tournament.

Each weightclass will have an eight-man bracket to crown a conference champion. Although there are eight teams, many of the teams do not have a complete lineup, so some of the brackets will have fewer than eight wrestlers. The top three wrestlers from each bracket will advance to wrestle in the North Coast Section tournament on March 1.

"It should be a good day," said Del Norte assistant coach Clinton Schaad. "Hopefully we can qualify a majority of them to take down to the NCS."

The Warriors return one league champion from last year in Hawk Mattz.

Eric Turner has been a league runner-up each of the last two years after finishing third as a sophomore.

Both Mattz and Turner have qualified for the North Coast Section tournament all three years. Chris Puente also earned a spot in the North Coast Section last year after a third place finish.

Many of the other Warrior wrestlers will be competing at the tournament for the first time.

"We have a bunch of first year kids, so we will see how they do," Schaad said.

The Warriors will be without Tanner Gensaw, who wasinjured in the final regular season tournament of the year in Ukiah.

Nicole Mattz will probably also miss the conference tournament.

"Our plan right now is to sit her out," Schaad said. "It isn't that we don't want her to wrestler, it's just that she has bigger fish to fry. She has the state meet coming up, she has already qualified, so instead of going out there and having a fluke accident or something, we are going to let her play it safe."

Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

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