With 2017 rapidly coming to a close, the Del Norte Triplicate has decided to take a look back at the top 10 stories from the year.
This year seemed to be a little bit more difficult than most to pick just 10 stories from a successful year of sports in Del Norte County, so we have decided to add a few honorable mention selections. Although the order of this list can certainly be debated, there is no doubt that 2017 was a good year to be a Warrior.
For the top five stories from 2017, see Tuesday’s edition of the Del Norte Triplicate.
6. Girls basketball tops Piedmont for first playoff win since 1998
The girls basketball team had one of the most successful regular seasons in school history in 2017 with a 16-6 overall record. Del Norte also matched the school’s best finish in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 standings by placing second overall with a 5-3 record.
The Warriors went on to grab the No. 9 seed in the North Coast Section Division IV Tournament where they took on No. 8 Piedmont on the road.
Del Norte battled to a stalemate with the Highlanders after four quarters of play, but the Warriors pulled out a close win in overtime.
Then-junior Payten Healy hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left in the game and Del Norte held on for a 46-44 victory. The win was the Warrior girls basketball team’s first in the NCS tournament since 1998, and possibly Del Norte girls basketball’s only road win in the NCS playoffs.
7. Two Warriors win events at NCS Redwood Empire Meet
The Del Norte track and field team had a strong contingent of athletes at the North Coast Section Redwood Empire meet this spring with 12 athletes competing in 20 different events.
Seniors Raili Makela and Chrisopher Martinez paced the Warrior pack as each athlete managed to capture a first place finish at the big postseason meet.
Makela won the discus at the meet for the second year in a row while also advancing to the NCS Meet of Champions in the shot put after a sixth place finish at Redwood Empire.
Martinez turned in the best pole vault jump of his high school career at the Redwood Empire Meet, setting a new personal record by seven inches, which helped him take first place in the Redwood Empire meet by six inches.
8. Schultz tops boys golf field for 5th straight Del Norte title
Cameron Schultz’s first ever Humboldt-Del Norte Individual Boys Golf League Championship this spring came on the heels of four straight individual titles by Kobie Lockwood to push Del Norte’s streak of individual championships to five straight years.
Schultz finished the season with a total of 534 strokes, and after dropping the low score of the season edged out St. Bernard’s Josh Holmes for the lowest score in the league. Schultz’s season helped Del Norte finish in second place as a team in 2017, just 18 strokes behind HDN champion Fortuna.
9. DN Youth Football a part of history competing in 1st regional
The Del Norte AAA Youth Football team had a fantastic regular season, finishing undefeated while outscoring each of its opponents by at least two touchdowns.
During the Warriors’ dominant run, Del Norte caught the eye of youth football scouts who were working to put together the first National Youth Football Championship, organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Although Del Norte ended up losing a pair of games at the regional tournament in Santa Rosa, the Warriors can hold their heads high knowing that they helped make history as part of the inaugural event that organizers hope will become to football what the Little League World Series already is for baseball.
10. DN Little League puts all three all star teams in state
After the 2017 Little League season Del Norte formed three all star teams with an 8-10 year old baseball team, an 11-12 year old baseball team, and an 8-10 year old softball team.
Del Norte proved to be the class of Oregon’s District 8 at all three levels, as all three Warrior teams punched their tickets to advance to the Oregon State Tournament by placing first in their respective district tournaments.
At the Oregon 8-10 state tournament, the Warriors became the first Del Norte Little League team to ever win a game at state, blowing out District 2 champion Clackamas Little League 18-0 in the first game of the tournament.
Honorable mention selections
Del Norte Youth Wrestling picked up a team title at the Redwood Empire Wrestling Association Championships this spring. The Warriors team title went along with 21 individual championships. About a month after the season, 14 Warrior youth wrestlers managed to earn a medal at the CAUSA Kids Freestyle Wrestling Tournament.
Redwood’s Gianna Taylor is currently a seventh grader, but the Red Raiders’ fastest female set a couple seventh grade county records while running as a sixth grader last spring. Taylor set the 100 meter county record with a time of 13.22, and the 200 meter record with a time of 27.72. Both records had previously been set in 1980 by Jennifer Garrison.
Smith River and Redwood boys basketball teams combined to make the 49th annual Crescent City Jaycees Basketball Tournament a memorable one for local teams. The Redwood Reds captured the B-1 Division championship over the weekend while the school’s cheerleading squad earned outstanding cheer honors. Smith River was the top team in the B-2 bracket in 2017 and showed enough class to capture the school’s first Arman Gunnerson Sportsmanship Award since 2009.
Uncharted Shores basketball team also had a lot to celebrate after the 49th annual Crescent City Jaycees Basketball Tournament this year. USA lost its first game of the tournament in the C Division, but bounced back with two wins on Saturday to win the consolation championship and earn the school’s first ever Jaycees trophy.