The Del Norte boys wrestling team had two grapplers survive to the second day of the Grants Pass Winter Kickoff, the first two day tournament of the season for the team, and the Warriors ended up putting two wrestlers on the podium.
Unfortunately for the Del Norte team score, both of those Warriors ended up on the same podium.
Del Norte junior Skyler Moore paced the Warrior boys with a third place finish in the 138 pound bracket, edging out senior Wyatt Schneck who came in fourth.
Moore started the day against the eventual tournament champion. Although the match was close, Moore found himself trailing and needed to catch a break to pull out a win.
“Late in the match he kind of went for broke and ended up getting taken down and to his back,” Schaad said. “He could have just taken the loss, or go big. He went big and lost it.”
Moore was able to bounce back in the consolation bracket with a win by technical fall (20-5) to grab a spot in the third-place match.
Schneck lost a hard-fought match to the eventual runner up in his first match of the day but picked up an exciting two-point win in the consolation bracket with a last-second reversal to set up a battle for third place with his Del Norte teammate.
“I don’t like wrestling each other, because there is always a loser in a sense,” Schaad said. “But they both beat a lot of people and earned the right to be in that match.”
Schaad said each boy had a coach in their corner, but they left everything up to the athletes.
“We just didn’t say a word and let the two boys figure it out. Skyler came out on top, but they are both really strong competitors,” Schaad said. “They are going to separate in weight class here soon, which is what we have been waiting for, and they both will have a really good year.”
Del Norte’s Cruz Cerros (126) and Justin Goudelock (170) both won their first match of the day in the consolation bracket on Saturday before being knocked out by grapplers that ended up on the podium.
Chaz Harrison and Braydon Henderson also both survived to the second day in Grants Pass but were eliminated after their first match on Saturday.
Del Norte also had nine wrestlers competing in junior varsity brackets that were much larger in terms of participation than the varsity competition.
Daniel Armendariz had the best day in the JV competition, going 6-1 overall after losing his first match on Friday, for third place.
“He won six straight and had a great tournament,” Schaad said. “He lost to the champ, and he would really like to have that match back because he could have had it. Danny had a fantastic tournament. It is a JV tournament, but a lot of those wrestlers are varsity wrestlers.”
In the upperweights Del Norte had a pair of freshmen finish on the podium. Poy Aguilar went 5-2 to finish in fourth place in the 220 pound bracket, while fellow freshman Brandon Jones took 6th at 195 pounds after going 4-3.
“That is really good for freshmen wrestling in 195 and 220 weight classes,” Schaad said. “Those are big weight classses filled with a lot of upperclassmen. They both had fantastic days. They really had to wrestle, dig deep and really grind to win some of those matches.”
The Del Norte boys will be back in action next Friday for the start of their second straight two-day tournament. The Warriors will be in Brentwood, where they will compete at the Lou Bronzan Invitational.
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