Historic weekend for Del Norte wrestlers at H-DNL championships

Submitted photos – Del Norte’s Curtis Bartley, top, defeated Arcata’s Paolo Bosques/Paulet in the 132 championship at Del Norte on Saturday.

A good season for Del Norte wrestling got even better this past weekend, as the Warriors claimed an historic first-ever girls and boys H-DNL championship double.

The Del Norte girls won six individual championships, while the boys took home five.

It was also a good day for the Fortuna and Hoopa boys, who placed second and third, respectively, with the Warriors claiming four individual championships and the Huskies two.

The top three boys in all 14 weight divisions will now advance to this weekend’s North Coast Section championships at James Logan High School in Union City, while all fourth-place finishers will be alternates.

The prestigious NCS tournament, which is bigger and more competitive than many state tournaments around the nation, gets under way on Friday and runs for two days.

Likewise with the NCS girls tournament, which will be held at Albany High School in the East Bay.

“It went pretty well,” Del Norte head coach Clinton Schaad said of last week’s championships, which were hosted by the Warriors. “I was super proud of the the boys winning a league title.”

The league championship was the first ever for the girls after watching Eureka dominate the first few years of the H-DNL competition, while the dominating Del Norte boys won their third straight championship, a run that likely would have stretched four years had the league held an official team championships last year.

The Del Norte boys scored 211.56 points, which was well ahead of Fortuna (134.5) and Hoopa (126), and they had wins by Alexander Osbourne at 106 pounds, Eric Stansbury at 113, Andre “Bobby” Aflague at 120, Curtis Bartley at 132 and Jase Mintonye at 220.

Osbourne, a freshman, had to battle all the way for his victory, barely edging McKinleyville’s Pedro Ramirez in the championship, while Stansbury defeated Fortuna’s Mason Evanow in a championship showdown between two of the top wrestlers in the NCS.

Stansbury is seeded No. 3 for this weekend’s big tournament, while Evanow is No. 4.

Aflague, meanwhile, claimed his first league title in his senior season, defeating McKinleyville’s Angel Martinez in the 120 championship after placing second in each of the last two years.

The Hoopa Warriors at Saturday’s championships.

Bartley got the better of Arcata’s Paolo Bosques/Paulet in the 132 championship, while Mintonye defeated Eureka’s Mathew Anderson in the championship round, winning his second league title.

The impressive Hoopa boys, meanwhile, took home victories in four divisions, while also placing second in one.

At 160, Kaewett Nelson defeated St. Bernard’s Grant Omey for the championship, while at 170, Jason Marshall defeated Del Norte’s RJ Loftin for the title.

Hoopa’s Kagen Renteria also won at 195, defeating an impressive Angel Martinez in the decider, while highly-ranked Gerard Marshall defeated Eureka’s Shyloh Nicholson in the 285 championship.

“They’re a really good program,” Schaad said of the Hoopa Warriors and head coach Mark Robbins, who is in his first full season in charge. “They wrestle really well, they work hard and they never give up.”

The Warriors battled the Huskies all the way for second, but eight top-three finishes by the latter helped seal the deal.

The Del Norte Warriors

Del Norte’s Andre “Bobby” Aflague defeated McKinleyville’s Angel Gonzalez for the 120 championship.

A pair of Fortuna seniors took home championships by pinning their way through the tournament, with Asa Mckenzie defeating McKinleyville’s William Baumgarten in the 145 championship, and Weylan Mcknight getting the better of Hoopa’s Antonio Correa in the 182 decider.

“The team in general has just shown so much improvement from the beginning of the season,” Fortuna head coach Steven Stockdale said. 

And that has been especially impressive for a roster of 26 that features just five seniors.

Martinez also had a good day for the Huskies, pushing Renteria all the way in their championship, before losing on a 5-2 decision.

“It’s impressive to watch his growth,” Stockdale said of the third-year wrestler. “He really went out there and got after it.”

The 138 championship was also an entertaining matchup, with Eureka freshman James Gensaw edging McKinleyville sophomore Jace Thompson in a 9-7 decision.

The Eureka Loggers

The Arcata Tigers

St. Bernard’s Jack Kramer also took home a championship, pinning Del Norte freshman Colton Schaad in the 152 championship, while Arcata’s Josh Hannan continued his outstanding season by pinning Del Norte’s Isaac Lopez in the 126 championship.

Hannan, a junior, is also expected to compete for a section championship this weekend and is seeded No. 1 in his weight class, as is Hoopa’s Gerard Marshall at 285.

More on the girls tournament to follow, as well as an NCS preview breaking down some of the higher seeded H-DNL wrestlers.

The host school also honored all 30 league seniors at Saturday’s event, who collectively have a GPA of 3.45.

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