By Ray Hamill — H-DNL graduate Adenne Schaad will leave a lasting legacy in her wake at Del Norte High School as she sets out to begin a new one at College of the Redwoods.
The only ever local four-time league champion in girls wrestling recently committed to wrestle for the first-ever CR women’s team, which will begin competing in the spring of 2024.
She becomes one of the first-ever recruits for the new program and first-year head coach Brandon Benvenuti.
“I’m really excited to get started,” she said, adding that the new program will “bring a lot more people to CR.”
It almost never happened for Schaad, who claimed her fourth league title at this year’s league championships in Fortuna in February.
In fact, the hard-working grappler had her sights on heading north to Oregon to wrestle at the collegiate level before Benvenuti swooped in just in time.
“Honestly, I had my heart set on (Southern Oregon University),” she said. “And the week I was trying to figure out which school to go to, Brandon gave me a call and it just seemed so perfect, being close to home and being a part of something new. It just seemed the perfect fit.”
Benvenuti, who has been busy recruiting for the both the men’s and women’s programs after being named the new coach of each in early June, is looking forward to working with the talented Del Norte graduate.
“I like her commitment and her passion for the sport,” he said.
For Schaad, her wrestling journey began in large part because of a strong family tradition in the sport.
Her grandfather Chuck Schaad wrestled and played football in high school and would go on to coach both sports at Del Norte.
Her father Clinton also wrestled and played football at Del Norte and has been coaching at the high school and community levels for the past 20 years.
Adenne’s younger brother Colton also is a standout wrestler for the Warriors and will compete at a national tournament in North Dakota in July.
“It was all because of my brother,” she said with a chuckle. “I always got dragged around to tournaments (with him) and finally I tried it out and fell in love with the sport, and here I am now.”
Adenne, who also played golf and tennis for Del Norte, loves the one-on-one competition of wrestling.
“I like that it’s an individual sport, and it’s you against your opponent,” she said. “And it makes you a stronger person, mentally and physically.”
After four very successful years competing in the sport in high school, including a seventh-place finish at the North Coast Section championships as a senior, Adenne says she is grateful to everyone who supported her along the way.
Including her father, who she says gave “a nice speech” about her at the letter signing ceremony.
“I would definitely say my father and grandfather are my biggest influences,” she added.
Adenne, who wants to major in Nursing, hopes to someday wrestle for a four-year college program, but for now is looking forward to the challenge of competing at CR.
“I’m hoping I have a really good first season up there and hopefully win some,” she said.