State wrestling: Injured Hendrickson settles for 6th place

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Adam Hendrickson finished sixth and was the only Redwood Empire wrestler to pick up a medal in the CIF State Championships in Bakersfield, but the Healdsburg junior wasn’t in a celebratory mood as the tournament wound up Saturday night.

Hendrickson fully expected to be standing on the podium collecting a gold medal, but a shoulder injury suffered while winning North Coast Section last weekend kept him from wrestling to his ability.

The muscle and tendon damage was so debilitating, Hendrickson was forced to retire in two of his losses at the state meet and defaulted in another. Saturday, after winning his first two matches in the 135-pound division, his coaches stopped his match against Gilroy’s Blake Kastl. Then, he defaulted the match for fifth place.

It was a similar scenario on Friday as Hendrickson won his first two matches, but was forced into an injury default at the hands of Bakersfield’s Tim Box.

The loss on Friday knocked him out of gold medal contention, but he had a chance to take third place had he won all his matches Saturday.

Windsor’s Andres Torres, the other Empire wrestler who made it to the second day of the state tournament, dropped his first match Saturday in the 112-pound division. The senior lost to Jonas Gayton of Clovis, 1-0. Six other Empire wrestlers were eliminated on Friday.

Hendrickson, who finished seventh as a sophomore in last year’s state meet, was in a down mood while the title match participants were preparing for their big moment.

“Had I been healthy,” he said, “I’d definitely be in the finals. I could’ve beaten the two guys that got injury decisions over me.”

Hendrickson’s match against Kastl was stopped in the middle of the second period at the request of his co-coaches Scott Weidemier and Wayne Rogers.

“My opponent was riding my shoulder and then he jammed me to the mat,” Hendrickson said.

“The referee saw I had no strength in my shoulder and called time. I went over to my corner and my coaches said that was enough.

“I had no mobility in the shoulder and it was throbbing. I tried to deal with the pain, but it became too much of a factor.”

Hendrickson, who now has a 39-4 record, was ranked No. 1 in Northern California and No. 5 in the state.

“Adam was a trooper about it,” coach Rogers said. “He had no power in the shoulder, but he didn’t want to stop. It was tough to watch.”

Hendrickson will visit a doctor this week and there’s a chance he will journey to the Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Va., on March 25-26.