TOP WARRIORS IN ARCATA

Peewee

1st-place: Mateo Rodriguez Kyran Cedillo, Remy Mccovey

2nd-place: Jaxson Meyer-Zlokovich, Zaiden Navarro, Liam Gutierrez, Angel Taggart, Sregon-Laurence Cedillo,

Bantam

1st-place: Amaziah Cole, Cameron Crayton, Benjamin Hogan

2nd-place: Ira Thompson, Jaxon Johnson

Intermediate

1st-place: Chulh-Ts’a’s-Ne Bates (Smiley)

2nd-place: Alexander Cole, Christopher Norris, Robert Reyes-Villegas, Sophia Reyes-Villegas

Novice

1st-place: Curtis Bartley III, Christopher Doane-Peters, Cheyenne Donahue, Ka-Get Dowd, Reynaldo Martinez, David Risling, Eric Stansbury

2nd-place: Tyrone Crayton, Braydan Johnson, Braydan Johnson, Ryker Schaad

School Boy

1st-place: Kane Clark, Eddie Hartwick

2nd-place: Adenne Schaad, Trentin Thompson

Cadet

1st-place: Chaz Harrison, Brandon Jones

2nd-place: Poy-Wuson Aguilar, David Chavez

Junior

2nd-place: Ashley Turner

The Del Norte Youth Wrestling program kicked off its 2018 season over the weekend at the Arcata Tournament last Saturday in the first of seven wrestling tournaments planned for the season.

The Warriors have the largest youth wrestling program in the state of California this year, according to USA Wrestling, with a total of 140 kids signed up to participate this year.

“We are the largest single club,” said Del Norte Youth Wrestling head coach and club president Clinton Schaad. “It is pretty exciting for us and it is a hard thing to do. We realize that some of the bigger cities and the bigger areas have more people wrestling than Del Norte County does, but they are broken up into smaller groups for whatever reason. Here we are really trying to get the word out to the community and people are coming in. For a lot of people it is a new experience, something that they haven’t done before.”

With such a wide variety of age groups and experience levels among the 140 participants, Schaad said the club has had to lean on a wide net of adult volunteers to make everything work.

“We have tons of volunteers. There are tons of volunteers on our board, tons of volunteer coaches, it really takes a lot of adult interaction to be able to coordinate 140 kids with all the moving parts,” Schaad said. “We are excited about it though, and we are hoping that everybody enjoys it and keeps spreading the word. We still have room to grow. We can find more practice facilities, more mats and more coaches.”

Although the Warriors have a total of 140 kids signed up, only about 85 wrestlers made the trip to Arcata for the first tournament of the year due to several early-season conflicts.

“We had a little more than half of our full team show up, and that was due to some people being out of town on pre-planned trips, a lot of our kids were finishing up rec league basketball with their last games last weekend, and some kids just weren’t able to make it,” Schaad said. “We had a really good turnout and a good showing. The kids wrestled really well. I would say at least half of our kids are first year wrestlers, so it was exciting to see them get out there on the mat and give it a try.”

Del Norte ended up with a total of 18 first-place finishers in Arcata on Saturday, with another 20 Warriors finishing as the runner up in their respective weightclasses.

“Overall I thought we had a lot of success, and that is not just about who took first place or not,” Schaad said. “It is about going out there and being competitive. You can’t hold a first year wrestler to the same standard as a four or five-year wrestler, just like in any other sport.”

Del Norte will be back in action today at a tournament in Hoopa. The Warriors will host the league championships this season, scheduled to take place on April 28.

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