In a season full of uncertainty, one constant remains on the H-DNL wrestling mats.
Earlier this week, the Del Norte boys capped another dominating season in league dual meets, closing out undefeated with a 60-24 win over Eureka.
A young Warriors team is maturing about as well as anyone could have hoped for, and a roster of mostly sophomores and freshmen looks set to continue that dominance into the future.
“It was a good dual meet,” head coach Clinton Schaad said. “We did well. Our girls looked real good. We were a little bit light handed, but so were they.”
COVID protocols have taken their toll on every H-DNL roster this season and teams have had to scramble to fill spots each week.
But most are getting back to full strength as we head toward the business end of the season.
“It’s been an interesting year,” Schaad said. “We’ve all been hit with COVID, so it’s been an ever-changing lineup. We haven’t had the same lineup twice and it’s been the same for all the coaches.
“But we’re really glad to be wrestling, that’s for sure, and everybody’s going to have their full teams back (for the league championships.) Our lineup will be a little different at H-DN.”
Eric Stansbury and Curtis Bartley both continued to impress this week with victories by pin on Wednesday, while Isaac Lopez also won by pin on his return to the lineup after missing some time.
One of the most impressive performances came at 152 pounds, with Soren Lewis pinning Eureka’s Ian Clark in a hard-fought matchup.
“It was pretty exciting,” Schaad said. “Ian is a pretty good wrestler. That was a good win for us.”
Rey Martinez, Jase Mintonye and RJ Loftin each also won by pin, while teammates Aneas Lopez and Brandon Jones each won by forfeit.
The Del Norte girls also impressed and won three of the four matches they competed in, although the Loggers took the team win, 36-18.
Alyssa Roach was particularly impressive for Del Norte at 123.
“She looked really good,” the head coach said. “She’s a first-year wrestler who’s come a long way.”
Roach and teammates Channey Schaad and Aliana Cron all won their matches by pin, while teammate Noni Foust won by forfeit.
The league dual meet champs will travel to Ukiah for a tournament this weekend, before turning their attention to the North Coast Section Dual Meet Championships in Larkspur on Feb. 5.
“I’m hoping to have my full team back,” Clinton Schaad said. “And we’re hoping to represent the H-DN well and make some noise down there.”
The H-DNL Championships will be held the following weekend at Del Norte High.