Delaney Cobbs
Delaney Cobbs

A La Conner High student has no trouble grappling with success. 

Adjusting to new COVID-19 pandemic restrictions might be less certain, however. 

Delaney Cobbs, a reigning girls’ 2A regional wrestling champion has been selected to square off against top mat talent from around the country at a major tournament in Arizona next month. 

Cobbs, a junior, is scheduled to compete with the Tacoma-based Ford Dynasty Wrestling Club’s national travel team in Bullhead City, Az., about 100 miles south of Las Vegas, over the first weekend of December. 

“She was asked (to compete) because of how she did in the high school season and in her previous freestyle seasons,” said Cobbs’ mom, Mandy Buck, an educational para-professional with the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and La Conner Schools. 

Cobbs’ selection came before Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced new four-week sanctions designed to curb further spread of COVID-19, whose cases have spiked statewide in recent weeks. 

“We have practice tonight in Tacoma,” Buck told the Weekly News on Monday. “But the coach says it (the tournament) is a go. That’s the plan – to go.” 

Upon return, those who traveled to the tournament likely face a quarantine. But that is a worry for later given the magnitude of the Dec. 5-6 Smash Nationals, where strict COVID-19 guidelines will be in place. 

“All attendees get temperature checks upon entry and wear a mask throughout except when wrestling,” Buck said. “Refs wear shields and masks. And they also don’t raise the winner’s hand, so there’s no extra contact.” 

The Smash Nationals is a rare elite level tournament taking place as scheduled. 

“A lot of the tournaments have moved locations this year or been cancelled due to COVID,” said Buck. 

Cobbs last season captured top regional honors in the girls’ 155-pound division while wrestling for Burlington-Edison High. She advanced to Mat Classic XXXII at the Tacoma Dome in February ranked fifth statewide in her weight class. 

Cobbs, who competed for B-EHS because 2B La Conner High no longer has a wrestling program, fell in the quarterfinals to the eventual state champion. 

She trained in 2019-20 with Lady Tiger standouts Emma Fleury and Natalie Albright. 

“I wouldn’t be there without them,” Cobbs said at the time. 

Were it not for the virus crisis, Cobbs would now be wrapping up the La Conner fall soccer campaign. The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) has shifted high school soccer to spring in response to the pandemic. 

A shortened high school wrestling schedule is slated to get under way in January under a four-season format the WIAA has implemented due to COVID-19. 

La Conner Schools, where Cobbs is a campus leader, has opted in favor of on-line instruction this fall, also because of the coronavirus. 

Honored as the La Conner Soroptimist high school student for October, Cobbs is a youth wrestling coach when not competing on the mat herself. 

The Arizona trip is not the only example of Cobbs going places with wrestling. She placed sixth at a national tourney in Dallas last year. 

“What I like most about wrestling,” Cobbs said last season, upon qualifying for the Mat Classic, “is that even though it’s an individual sport, every team

I’ve been part of has been more like a family. 

“Wrestling,” she stressed, “bonds you with the people around you like no other sport.