By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers became the first-ever champions of the Humboldt-Del Norte League in girls wrestling on Saturday, comfortably taking the title, as expected.
On a packed day of league championship action, the Eureka girls scored 215.5 points, with their closest challengers Del Norte scoring 99.
The Warriors had better luck on the boys side, avenging last year’s narrow loss to Fortuna, by edging the Huskies this time around with a score of 217.7 to Fortuna’s 196.
Loggers win historic title
With a far larger roster than any other H-DNL team, the Eureka girls came into Saturday as overwhelming favorites, and lived up to the billing with nine individual titles in the 14 weight classes.
Lucy Rogers (103), Camille Shaver (108) and Dulce Pimentel (113) each won to give the home school a sweep of the lower three weight classes.
At 128, Kelli Johnston continued her impressive season with a championship, as did Keara Ethridge at 133 and Alicia Gentlemen at 139.
Evelyn Lopez-Mata (145), Sarah Carrick (152) and the dominating Aracely Rendon at 189 each also won to round out a memorable day for the host school.
The strength of the Loggers program was evident with the overall performance, but they weren’t the only winners, showcasing the evolving depth of girls wresting here on the North Coast.
The McKinleyville Panthers had two individual winners, Lydia Kenyon at 118 and Audriana Beattie at 160, as did Del Norte, with Autumn Turner at 170 and Danika Scott at 235.
Rounding out the girls individual winners, Arcata’s Hailey Kenyon took first at 123.
Six titles for Del Norte boys
The Del Norte boys held their nerve to edge their closest H-DNL rivals for the team title.
The Warriors took home six individual championships to the Huskies’ five, with Arcata, St. Bernard’s and McKinleyville each winning one.
The league championship follows on last week’s first-ever second-place finish for Del Norte at the NCS Dual Team Championships.
Individually, Chaz Harrison (113), Cruz Cerros (120), Skyler Moore (126), Sherrick Cron (132), Tanner Stanclif (152) and Braydon Henderson (182) all won for the Warriors.
Moore improved his record to a very impressive 35-5, and will go into next week’s North Coast Section championships with high expectations after placing seventh a year ago.
The top three in each weight class on Saturday will advance to the section tournament at James Logan High in Union City, with the fourth-place finishers listed as alternates.
Medeiros leads Fortuna charge
For Fortuna, senior Adam Medeiros claimed his fourth H-DN title at 170 pounds, remaining perfect on the season with a quick pin of Arcata’s Justice Spaulding in the final.
Medeiros is now 24-0 on the season, and will go into next week’s big tourney with high hopes of advancing to the state championships.
Andrew Hansen at 138, Levi Nyberg at 145, Joey Pontes at 160 and Shane Kirk at 285 each also impressed for the Huskies and took home individual titles.
Del Norte’s Justin Goudelock gave Pontes everything he could handle in the title match, but the Fortuna senior kept his impressive season going and improved to 22-4.
Nyberg improved his record to 20-6, while Hansen is now 28-6.
Gable wins for St. Bernard’s
St. Bernard’s Lucindo Gable, who only took up wrestling a year ago, took home an individual crown at 220, edging Fortuna’s Del McKenzie for the title.
Gable, the Crusaders’ lone wrestler this season, is now 19-6.
At 195, McKinleyville’s Skyler Hicks also continued to impress with a championship, pinning Del Norte’s Brandon Jones in the deciding match.
Hicks improved his record to 26-8.
And rounding out the individual champions, Arcata’s Marley Harris pinned Fortuna’s Logan Krause at 106.
Other wrestlers placing second included Arcata’s Tyrell Clausen (113) and Dori Denisi (132); Fortuna’s Micaiah Montalbin (120) and Jace Garcia (182); Hoopa Valley’s Bronson Lewis (126); Del Norte’s Wyatt Schneck (138) and Poy-Wuson Aguilar (285); Eureka’s Skylar Carroll (145) and Casey Sidotti (152).
Wrestlers placing third included Del Norte’s Andre Aflague (106) and Kurtis Turner (170); Eureka’s Jeremiah Martin (113), Justice Heflin-Woods (132), Igyann Jimenez (160) and Micah Curiel (195); Arcata’s Omar Green (120), Logan Kopenhaver (126) and Sean Handl (145); Hoopa’s Infallible Asenbauer (138); Fotuna’s Breck Bishop (152); McKinleyville’s Michael Nelson (182) and Seth Whitwell (220); South Fork’s Caleb Wilks (285).