Bryan Flores (in yellow) of Bloomington wrestling
Could this finally be the year?
Bloomington High boys wrestling co-coach Gabe Schaefer isn’t overly confident, but he certainly hopes this is the year.
For the last four years, Bloomington finished second to Covina Northview at the CIF-SS Wrestling Individual Championships. But this time around, as the Central Division individual championships begin on Friday at Grand Terrace High School, Bloomington might be a favorite.
“We’ve done our homework,” Schaefer said. “(Long Beach) Millikan is good. Palm Desert has a few studs. Villa Park and Yorba Linda, they always produce. It’s a good opportunity. I like to be the one chasing. … We’re a good tournament team. We just have to go and wrestle.”
Bloomington has 12 league champions and one runner-up from the Sunkist League finals qualifying for CIF.
Several area leagues are included in the Central Division: Baseline, Miramonte, San Andreas as well as the Sunkist.
Ayala is also hosting the Eastern Division, including the Hacienda, Mountain Valley and Palomares Leagues.
Medal matches are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, with the top five wrestlers in each weight class advancing to next week’s CIF-SS Masters Meet at Citizens Business Bank Arena.
My take: it was just bad fortune for Bloomington to be in the same division as one of the most consistent programs in the CIF-SS, Northview. Leagues are placed in divisions based on strength of the league (not teams), so that each division is about equal in overall strength to any other.
Fortune changed this year, but part of that is Bloomington having its own success and has been able to be moved into a different division. If Bloomington wins, it will be well-deserved for a program that works so hard.