The Del Norte boys wrestling team looked sharp on Thursday against Eureka in its second dual of the year. The Warriors won 11 of the 13 matches wrestled on Senior Night in Crescent City, including nine wins by fall as Del Norte ran away with the team score for a 66-12 victory.
“Overall we wrestled well. Eureka is a pretty good program,” said Del Norte head coach Clinton Schaad. “Last year we had a really close dual with Eureka and we knew that we were improving while they lost some seniors. Overall we just had a really good night. Of course there are always matches that we would like to have a redo on, but we only lost two. Across the board I felt the guys wrestled well, including the exhibition match with Sherrik Cron.”
Cron, one of five seniors on the Del Norte boys wrestling team this year, got the night started with a win by fall in an exhibition match to set the tone for the night.
The dual started off at the 132 pound weightclass where Eureka actually grabbed its only lead of the night when Inder Singh picked up a win by fall over Warrior senior Daniel Armendariz.
“We started with a tough match for Daniel that didn’t go his way,” Schaad said. “That is alright though. We will keep practicing — the year is not over.”
From there, the Warriors did a little bit of maneuvering with their lineup push Skyler Moore, Wyatt Schneck, Nolan Ridgley, Tanner Stancliff and Justin Goudelock each up one weight class from where they normally wrestle.
“Everybody kind of bumped up a weight class,” Schaad said. “We wanted to get all of our seniors in the lineup, and I felt that it gave us better matchups. We wanted Daniel in the lineup for sure so we put him in at 134. Skyler made weight at 134 but we slide him up to 138 and when we moved him up that set off a chain of events.”
Moore started a big run for the Warriors with a win by fall in the second period over Justice Woods of Eureka.
“We were really trying to focus on not getting frustrated,” Schaad said. “A lot of times Eureka will kind of back up and block us out and we will get frustrated into taking bad shots to put ourselves in bad situations. Skyler kept his composure though.”
Schneck fell behind Eureka’s Ruben Gutierrez early in the 145 pound match, but the Del Norte senior quickly retook the lead with a reversal and two back points by the end of the first period and held on for a 10-4 decision. That gave the Warriors a 9-6 lead in the team score and Del Norte never trailed again.
In the 152 pound match Ridgely continued his string of recent success with a first period pin of Casey Sidot.
“He wrestled a tough senior out of Eureka and just out-moved him, out wrestled him, and won by fall in the second period.,” Schaad said. “He looked good.”
After getting a little bit banged up in warmups, Tanner Stancliff was ready to go by the time the 160 pound match came around, and looked good while picking up a win by fall in the second period over Josh Rogan.
“It looked like a good match to me, but he was frustrated with himself for whatever reason,” Schaad said. “He is very critical of himself and very competitive, but anytime you can get a pin in the second period I am happy with that.”
Goudelock and Braydon Henderson, both seniors, made quick work of their Logger opponents at 170 and 182 pounds respectively. Goudelock pinned Micah Burke in 1:32 and then Henderson pinned Billy Rutherford in 54 seconds to pick up the win.
“Justin looked great and just went out and won in dominant fashion. He put the kid on his back in the first few seconds and just held him there,” Schaad said. “Then Henderson did pretty much the same thing. Henderson is having a good year. He is a good, strong senior and he went out and was dominant in his match.”
Following the win by Henderson the Warriors held a big 33-6 advantage at the halfway point of the dual.
The Loggers managed to pick up their second victory of the night in the 195 pound match as Del Norte’s Brandon Jones got caught and taken to his back in the second period against Micah Curiel of Eureka.
“He is one of our up and coming freshmen,” Schaad said of Jones. “He looked good, but he made one little mistake and got taken to his back and pinned. If he picks his head up he probably would have gotten the win. He has been looking good, it just takes mat time. He has a lot of wins this year.”
In the 220 pound match Poy Aguilar came out strong in the second period with a quick pin in 2:34 after a scoreless first two minutes.
“He kept his composure. He tried to throw the kid in the first round, kind of forced it, and it didn’t work,” Schaad said. “But he set it up in the second round and had a nice throw to get the kid to his back and ended up with the fall.”
Davien Afdahl followed that up with a quick pin of Shyloh Nicholson in 54 seconds.
“He is a first year wrestler and he can get frustrated sometimes, but I thought he kept his composure well,” Schaad said.
The dual then moved to the lower weights where David Hall picked up a win by forfeit at 106 pounds for another six team points for Del Norte.
Chaz Harrison then won by fall in the 113 pound match over Isaac Cook in 2:38.
The 120 pound match was an important one for Del Norte’s Cruz Cerros, who was looking for his first win ever over Eureka’s Jeremiah Martin.
“Cruz has lost to that wrestler from Eureka (Jeremiah Martin) several times but we have been getting closer each time and last time it was overtime,” Schaad said. “Cruz executed his gameplan, stayed in position, didn’t get frustrated, and just outmoved him. That was a big win for Cruz.”
After a scoreless first period, Cerrors managed to build up a 4-2 lead through the second period with a pair of take downs, before letting Martin back to his feet. Cerros started on the bottom in the third and final period and kept the scoring going with a quick reversal and another take down late in the match before finishing with a 8-4 decision.
Blake Allen wrapped up the boys dual with a pin of Eureka’s Anthony Giovannini 55 seconds in the 126 pound match.
“Anytime we can get a big win 66-12 that is good for us,” Schaad said. “Now we just have to refocus ourselves and not relax because we have Fortuna on Tuesday. That is going to be a good one. That should be a very close dual and if things go our way we will get the win. If not it is going to be tough.”
Although Del Norte is scheduled to wrestle a dual against Arcata later in the year, Tuesday’s dual in Fortuna is widely expected to decide the HDN dual team championship for the season. Prior to the dual, however, Del Norte will return to tournament wrestling at the Eureka Invitational today.
Schaad said several of the Warriors top wrestlers will be sitting out over the weekend, however, due to concerns about reaching their match limit of 40 matches in the regular season too early.
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