By Ray Hamill — Following the league’s remarkable success in the playoffs in recent years, three of the 17 H-DN varsity baseball and softball teams are now ranked No. 1 in their North Coast Section divisions, according to MaxPreps.
The local league has traditionally fared very well in the section tournaments, especially in softball with the H-DN winning five NCS titles in the past two postseasons.
And if the late-season rankings are anything to go by, the league teams appear ready to make some noise in the playoffs once again this year.
Ferndale is just two spots behind SB at No. 3 in Division 6, while Fortuna is No. 5 in Division 4, with McKinleyville just one spot further back.
In Division 3 baseball, Eureka is currently No. 6.
The H-DN has won one of the six NCS baseball championships in each of the past two postseasons, with Arcata winning in Division 4 in 2019 and St. Bernard’s winning in Division 6 last season.
(There were no playoffs held in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.)
In softball, meanwhile, the Del Norte Warriors’ impressive 6-0 start to league play sees them leapfrog Cardinal Newman into top spot in the rankings in Division 4.
The Hoopa Warriors, who are riding a 15-game winning streak and last week clinched at least a share of a fourth straight league title, are No. 3 in the same bracket, with Fortuna at No. 5.
In Division 3, Eureka is No. 6, followed by McKinleyville at No. 7.
Both Hoopa and McKinleyville have been moved up a division this year after winning back-to-back NCS crowns in the last two postseasons (2019 and 2022).
St. Bernard’s also is ranked No. 5 in Division 5.