With eight wins in nine games to close out the regular season, the Del Norte boys have been crowned H-DNL champions for the first time in 28 years.
The Warriors sealed the deal with a 2-0 win over McKinleyville in Crescent City on Wednesday afternoon.
And what a season it has been for the team.
During that run, which included a remarkable eight shutouts, they have outscored their opponents by a combined 42-1.
They have not allowed a goal in more than 440 minutes of play, last conceding in a 1-1 tie against Fortuna on Oct. 7.
And they closed out particularly strong with impressive road wins over league contenders Arcata and Eureka in the final week.
“Our defense has been very, very good for us,” head coach David Sanyaolu said earlier this week.
Wednesday’s win means the Warriors will receive the league’s automatic North Coast Section playoff spot and should mean a home game to open the postseason next week.
Ending a championship drought that dated back to 1995 is impressive on its own but the fact it was achieved with a junior-heavy roster that featured just two seniors is even more so.
The Warriors should only be better next year.
The championship was achieved despite the team dropping two of its opening three games.
“They have turned it around since then,” the coach said. “Their mentality changed after that game. They changed their attitude and had a desire to be better.”
With four teams still in contention for the league crown going into the final week, this year’s league was one of the most competitive ever.
In Wednesday’s league finale, a composed Warriors team took care of business despite the high expectations.
“As expected, it was a very intense match, and Mack came to play,” Sanyaolu said.
Sophomore Daniel Gomez got the breakthrough goal late in the first half, with junior Adrian Contreras adding a second midway through the second half.
“We managed the game well and saw out the win,” Sanyaolu said. “I am very proud of my boys for this great achievement and thank them for all the time and effort they put in to make this happen.
“I also thank my assistant coaches as well as the boys’ parents for their support all season long.”
The NCS playoff brackets and seeds will be announced on Sunday.