Warriors send 9 boys to North Coast sections, Nicole Mattz headed to girls state finals on Friday

This is the weekend that the Del Norte wrestling team has been training for the past three months.

This Friday, 10 Warriors will compete at some of the biggest wrestling tournaments in California.

Nicole Mattz will head to Visalia for the 2014 CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships. Del Norte will also send 9 boys to Newark for the 2014 North Coast Section Championships. Both tournaments kick off on Friday.

Mattz earned a spot in the 111-pound girls state bracket with a dominant performance in the Girls NCS Championships on her way to winning the section title.

As the NCS champion, Mattz received a first-round bye at state. She will wrestle just one match on Friday against the winner of Lopez Birmingham from Millikan and Annastassia Ramirez of Mt. Pleasant. A win in her first match would put Mattz through to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Mattz is ranked fifth in the state at 111 pounds this year. She said that her goal is to earn a medal and get up on the podium.

The boys will be heading to Newark, where a top three finish in the NCS would earn them a trip to state.

"You had better do some wrestling if you are going to be in the top three," said Del Norte head coach Aaron Schaad. "There are some legitimate kids at almost every weight in our section. They have the top three kids in every league vying for those spots. You have to have a certain amount of talent and technique, and you definitely have to have a high degree of fitness. A lot of it has to do with how you feel too.

Del Norte qualified Willie Gensaw at 106 pounds, Marcus Henderson at 113, Colson Turner at 126, Justin Schrader at 132, Hawk Mattz at 152, Eric Turner at 170, Roberto Aguilar at 182, Chris Puente at 220 and George Jobb at 285 pounds.

Aaron Schaad said that Robin Pearce would also make the trip down at 160 pounds due to an injury to McKinleyville's Tanner King, who finished in the top three at the Humboldt-Del Norte Championships. As of Wednesday, King was still listed on the official NCS bracket however.

Still, Schadd is expecting a good showing from his team, who he says has been wrestling at a high level for the last couple weeks.

"I'm going to tell them, this is why have worked hard and done all this training for the last three months. We want to see how we compete with everyone down there. I think our schedule was pretty good this year. We saw a lot of the section, so we kind of know what is out there."

Reach Michael Zogg at mzogg@triplicate.com.