The Del Norte girls wrestling team looked like a completely different crew on Saturday than it had just two days prior.
After a rough dual meet against Eureka on Thursday, Del Norte went down to the North Coast Classic in Eureka and came away with fourth place overall while picking up a first place finish, three second place finishes and a third place finish out of the four wrestlers who competed at Eureka High School.
The girls tournament in Eureka was organized into pools without enough participants to fill out a bracket.
“They turned it around 180 degrees — it was absolutely phenomenal. We did really, really well with five of our six girls getting medals,” said Del Norte coach Heath Schaad. “They all wrestled very, very well. When you do a pool tournament we don’t wrestle weight classes, so you might get a kid that is under you by a couple pounds or you might get a kid that is up to 10 pounds heavier. You just don’t know.
“They went in there methodically though, they were running their techniques — it was a complete turnaround to what we saw on Thursday night. To be honest with you I was a little afraid going in there.”
Senior Ashley Turner wrestled her way to first place in her pool to win her first tournament championship ever as a first year high school wrestler.
“She has been battling really hard all year,” Schaad said. “This is her first year doing (folksytle) wrestling —she is a senior, but she has never done it before. She has come a long ways.”
Three other Del Norte girls ended up in second place in their respective pools on Saturday. Danika Scott took second place after running into a wrestler from Elk Grove who pinned her in the first round at the Liberty Tournament about a month ago.
This time the matchup was much closer.
“She met the girl from Elk Grove again, and it came all the way down to the end. With 30 seconds left she was down by one point and was on the bottom. I told her, ‘You have to score — you have to get out, or do something. Because if you stay there you lose.’ She ended up getting turned and pinned in the last five seconds, but she really gave it everything that she had to try to get out. She just had to do whatever she could to try to score.”
Autumn Turner and Hailey Stover also both finished in second place for Del Norte. Claire Taylor came in third in her pool.
“I think everybody was happy overall,” Schaad said. “They all came out smiling, and that is the main thing. We are losing a couple seniors this year, but the rest of the team should be coming back. So we should have some momentum going forward.”
The Del Norte girls team will be back in action tonight with a dual in Fortuna. Schaad said he isn’t sure how many female wrestlers the Huskies have.
“Win or lose, I want to see progress,” Schaad said. “Give it 100 percent on the mat and try out some of the new moves we have been working on during the week. If they work or if they don’t it doesn’t matter if you show progress.”
Following the dual, the Del Norte girls will head out on their own to Windsor for a girls only tournament. It will be the first time this season that the girls team will wrestle in a completely separate tournament than the Del Norte boys.
“It is a big girls tournament in Windsor that we are going to this weekend,” Schaad said. “It will be great to have a tournament just for them — it will be their first one with no male counterparts there. That will be different because the boys team has always been around to help support them.”
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .