By Ray Hamill — I’m losing count as to how many local youth wrestlers have been named Humboldt Sports Athletes of the Week this year.
And that’s a reflection of how good a season it has been for the North Coast grapplers, who continued to excel this past week.
Competing at the prestigious Rocky Mountain Nationals in Las Vegas, Del Norte seventh-grader Chey Gensaw took home a national championship, and that earns him the nod for one of our Athletes of the Week, sponsored by College of the Redwoods Athletics.
And judging by his performance it appears as if this 13-year-old has a bright future on the local mats.
Joining him this week is Stanford freshman Nick Dugan, who also appears to have a bright future on the college baseball fields.
The 2022 St. Bernard’s graduate recently posted his first collegiate win and save on the same day and he seems to have raised the level of his game in the postseason.
After a breakout performance against Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament, Dugan has carried that momentum into the NCAA playoffs.
On Monday, he pitched a team-high 3.2 innings in an elimination-game walk-off victory over Texas that sent the Cardinal on to this year’s College World Series.
Our Team of the Week, meanwhile, is McKinleyville Trinity Diesel, which clinched the District 26 Tournament of Champions on Tuesday.
The Mack Little Leaguers won all four of their games at the TOC, including a comfortable 9-2 win over McKinleyville Bettendorf in the championship game.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Del Norte, Seventh Grade
The young Del Norte standout won all three of his matches on the way to a Folkstyle national championship in his age group, beating wrestlers from Texas, Idaho and Southern California.
The big tournament featured approximately 3,500 kids from around 40 states, including some of the best young talent in the nation.
For more on his big week, see Local youth wrestlers continue to shine at Rocky Mountain Nationals …
As expected, it took the true freshman a little while to adjust to the Division-I game, but now that he has Dugan is beginning to play a key role for the World Series bound Cardinal.
The North Coast will be watching this weekend as one of the most talented pitchers to come out of this area in a long time plays in front of a national audience on the biggest collegiate stage of all.
For more on Dugan’s big week, see Dugan, Cardinal headed to the College World Series …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
McKinleyville Trinity Diesel
There was no denying the Trinity Diesel players this week, as they successfully defended the TOC title they won a year ago.
And there was no shortage of big performances for the champions, with Teoh Arredondo, Blake Carper and Hudson Kapko leading the way on a deep roster.
In addition to that talented trio, Everett Greutzmacher, Cabella Carper, Tanner Baxter, Tyus Scofield, Cameron Hildebrandt, Reese Combs, Kaydee Carper, Brayden Tullis and Layne McCullough all impressed for coaches Quintin Carper, Caleb Carper and Jaime Arredondo.
For more on their big week, see No stopping McKinleyville’s Trinity Diesel at District 26 TOC …