The Del Norte wrestling team was whittled down to just two wrestlers on Saturday for the second day of the North Coast Section Wrestling Championships at James Logan High School, but both wrestlers were able to battle their way onto the podium.
Sophomore Skyler Moore (126 pounds) and senior Ta-Tes Boulby wrapped up with season for the Warriors with a win in their last match, as both wrestlers finished in seventh place in their respective brackets.
Although not a first for Del Norte, the Warriors’ two section placers were more than they have had in recent years.
“We have done it before, but it has been a little while,” said Del Norte head coach Clinton Schaad. “It is exciting because it is a step in the right direction. Skyler is only a sophomore, and we are only losing two wrestlers to graduation. I thought every wrestler did really well this year. Hopefully we can build on this going into next year and have at least two placers, if not more.”
Ta-Tes Boulby, the fifth seed in the 170 pound bracket, went undefeated in the first day of the tournament to reach the quarterfinals, where he ran into No. 4 Hussien Abushi Arroyo.
“He was in control and looking really good,” Schaad said. “Boulby was on top and we kind of got caught in a scramble and got put to our back. He just made a small mistake and that kid capitalized and ended up pinning us.”
Abushi went on to become the NCS 170 pound champion, taking first place in the tournament.
Boulby dropped down into the consolation bracket for his second match of the day, where a 6-0 victory over Jared Pyzer of Middletown assured Boulby of reaching the podium for the first time in his career.
Boulby once again found himself with a lead in the second period in his next match, but Newark Memorial’s Alexander Pereira was able to catch the Warrior senior with another reversal and a pin in 4:19. Pereira went to to finish fourth overall.
Boulby wrapped up the tournament with a win by fall in 2:16 over Nic Le Siuer of Northgate to take seventh place in the bracket.
“He didn’t get to finish as highly as he hoped for, or maybe as high as he could have, but he kept his head up and wrestled hard,” Schaad said. “He was able to finish with a win to end his high school wrestling career on a high note. Being a section placer is a big accomplishment. That is a tough thing to do.”
Moore was staring elimination in the face at the start of the day on Saturday after having lost a close 4-3 decision to Granada’s Jonathan Ngutyen on the first day of wrestling.
No. 5 Moore opened with a nice 4-2 comeback win over No. 7 Casy Strand of College Park. Schaad said Moore fell behind 2-0 in the first period, but tied the score up at 2-2 with a takedown in the second period. Moore started the third period on bottom and managed to score a reversal of Stand, before riding him out to secure a spot on the podium.
“He was really dominant on top,” Schaad said. “He turned him a couple times, but each time he was going out of bounds, so he didn’t get the points.”
Moore’s next match was against Cole Waskey of California, and once again Moore fell behind 2-0 in the match and trailed heading into the final period.
Moore was able to score a takedown with about 20 or 30 seconds left, Schaad said, then turned Waskey to his back as time expired for two backpoints and the win. Unfortunately, California’s coach challenged the call and it was determined that the near fall occurred just after time had expired — forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Waskey was able to get the better of Moore with a takedown in a scramble situation to pick up the win.
The loss dropped Moore into the seventh and eighth place match were he was matched up against his nemesis from the first day — Nguyen.
Moore had little trouble with the Granada wrestler the second time around, cruising to a comfortable 13-2 victory by major decision.
“Skyler made some adjustments and was completely dominant in the match,” Schaad said. “He was a whole different kid out there, avenging that loss from day one and then some. He finished on a really high note, which was nice for him.”
Although the Warriors put two wrestlers on the podium, only the top three grapplers in each weight class qualify to move on to the state tournament. Therefore, Del Norte’s season is now at an end. It was an exciting season overall for the Warriors, especially considering the team’s expectations heading into the year.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year to graduation — all of our league champions graduated, and we had a couple more of our top wrestlers that were injured at the end of the season graduate too,” Schaad said. “So this year was kind of a little bit up in the air. We knew we had some kids coming back that were good competitors and have a really strong work ethic, but we didn’t know.
“These guys and girls came out this year and worked really hard. They were able to go win the league dual meet title, which was a great accomplishment for us. We were surprised and happy with that because coming into the season we had no idea where we were going to be. Then we came out and just missed the league title by 3.5 points, so it was an exciting year.”
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