File photo – Fernando Atilano

The Fortuna Huskies are H-DNL champions for the seventh consecutive season.

On Wednesday night they claimed at least a share of the league crown with a 1-1 tie at home to closest challengers Arcata, and they now need just one tie from their remaining two games against Eureka and McKinleyville to claim the title outright.

The Huskies were missing some key players, including the influential Geovaney Ramirez in defense, forcing a reshuffle at the back.

“We had to re-arrange the whole back line and I was super proud of how they played,” Fortuna head coach Daniel Holmes said. “It was a great match.”

The Huskies were also forced into a change between the posts, with sophomore Alonzo Garcia taking over and likely to start for the remainder of the season.

Garcia was solid in his first big start.

Fernando Atilano returned from a five-week layoff due to an ankle injury and had an immediate impact, scoring the go-ahead goal in the second half.

The Tigers, however, responded in style, tying the game a few minutes later on an Arthur Frye goal.

It was a particularly impressive response for a team that was coming off a disappointing performance in a loss to McKinleyville on Saturday.

Sergio Marquez and Antonio Garcinuno each played well in center midfield for the home team, although Atilano took a knock late in the game and it remains to be seen if he will be sidelined for any more time.

The Huskies, who are now 8-0-2 in league and 13-0-2 overall, are currently ranked No. 1 in NCS Division I, according to MaxPreps, with Arcata No. 5 and Del Norte No. 7.

The tie also sets up an intriguing battle for second in the H-DNL between Arcata and Del Norte.

The Warriors, who are unbeaten in six straight league games, are 6-3-1, just one point back of the Tigers (6-2-2), whom they host in Crescent City on Saturday.

In other boys action on Wednesday, McKinleyville defeated South Fork 8-0 after tying the Cubs 1-1 earlier in the season.

Eureka 5, St. Bernard’s 0

Jesus Parra scored three times for the Loggers, who got back to winning ways after falling to Del Norte over the weekend.

Kai Gallegos continued his impressive season with two goals, as the Eureka boys opened up a 4-0 first-half lead and never looked back.

“We played well,” Eureka head coach Eddie Garcia said. “The team moved the ball around well.”

With the win, the Loggers are now 5-5 in league play with two games remaining.

Afterwards Garcia also praised a much-improved SB team.

“St. Bernard’s played a good game,” he said. “They’ve definitely improved.”

The ever-consistent Justin Keffer and Joseph Luna each had strong second halves for the Crusaders defense.


Ray Hamill writes at, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.