No word quite yet on who the new Bloomington High football coach will be, but there is an update.
Athletic director Chris Brickley said that a candidate has been picked and the school is waiting on board approval before an official announcement can be made. There is a board meeting on Thursday, but the school did not get the candidate submitted on time to make it on this week’s agenda.
So, with spring break looming, the next school board meeting is April 16. But it’s a lock to be on that board agenda, because Brickley said all the pre-screening requirements have been taken care of. Brickley reports that until then, he has been opening up the weight room for voluntary conditioning and lifting and about 40 players have been there every day, a good sign to be sure.
The position has been vacant since Marcos Fino stepped down following three consecutive 1-9 seasons. I could be wrong, but if there are pre-screening required, which includes fingerprints, would it not suggest that the future Bloomington coach is not already a district employee or at least not a coach in the district?
Bloomington co-coach Gabe Schaefer talks after winning school’s first ever CIF-SS Individual Tournament team title.
Bloomington’s Ismael Carbajal wins 120-pound title
Bloomington’s Julian Melecio gets a late reversal (which stands after an extended discussion)
Julian Melecio talks after winning the 126-pound title
Robert Castro talks after winning 195-pound title.
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.
In every close dual-meet wrestling match, there are some swing matches, and Bloomington co-coach Gabe Schaefer talks about some of them. Every match has a winner, and since Northview won 31-28 (although the final score included a Bloomington forfeit win in the final match), it would’ve taken only one match to swing Bloomington’s way for the Bruins to win.
Bloomington came up short for the CIF-SS title, ending the Bruins’ string of five straight CIF-SS Dual-Meet Wrestling titles. In the individual wrestling tournament, Bloomington had been runner-up to Northview four straight years, but the teams are in different divisions this year. But they are in the same duals division for the first time, so Northview could still be a thorn in Bloomington’s side.
Two interesting overtime matches above. First, a rare match that goes to OT 0-0, then is decided on a Northview takedown in the first overtime.
The second match was decided by a controversial reversal awarded to Bloomington at the end of the second half of the second overtime, for a 6-5 victory. Some incredible matches, and both of those were early as Bloomington built a 19-3 lead.
In the end, however, Northview rallied for a 31-28 victory over Bloomington to claim the CIF-SS Dual-Meet Wrestling Central Division title.
Watch the above video, you’ll see there’s plenty of action in this game despite it being a 0-0 tie. The tie benefits first-place Grand Terrace more, but you can see that both team went for the win in this one.
Grand Terrace coach Ryan Pacheco talks about the tie. The Titans wanted a better result, but a challenge is a good thing to prepare for the playoffs. Overall, he was a little disappointed, but not concerned.
Bloomington co-coach Rudy Beteta talks about the tie, and what his impressions were of the game. Coaches on both sides seem to think they could see each other in the playoffs. But if they finish 1-2 in league as they should and they meet in the playoffs, that would have to be in the CIF-SS Finals because top two teams from a league are on opposite sides of the bracket. “Us playing in the finals?” Ryan Pacheco said. “I’d like to sell tickets to that.”
All three head football coaching jobs in the Colton Unified School District were posted as being open on Thursday, but its entirely possible only one of the schools will change head coaches.
The one that will change is at Bloomington, where Marcos Fino stepped down after three straight 1-9 seasons.
“He felt that the players weren’t responding to him,” Bloomington athletic director Chris Brickley said of the reason why Fino stepped down.
Brickley said he feels like if the Bruins get the right person in place, it can be turned around next year.
“We want someone who is experienced in turning programs around,” Brickley said. “I think our preseason schedule is favorable. And we return quite a few starters. A turnaround is possible if we get the right guy.”
Brickley also said that a massive stadium renovation at Bloomington should make the job even more attractive to applicants.
The other two head coaching positions in the district, at Colton and Grand Terrace were also posted as being open on a job web site. But both of those coaches, Chris Mailo from Colton and Ryan Smalls from Grand Terrace are planning on returning.
However, because Mailo and Smalls are not on-campus teachers at the school, the positions are opened up each year. Should a teacher on campus meet the qualifications, they would get priority for the job.
Does this seem a little odd? And is there more to this story?
I would say yes, and no.
It is odd, because of the multitude of off-campus coaches each year, they aren’t all opened up every year at least in other districts they aren’t. This could be an exception because either it’s Colton district (and maybe they do things differently), or it’s football, because it’s the highest-profile sport.
It has been suggested that there may be more to this. But if Smalls and Mailo are being pushed out for any reason, I think they would know about it. And by all appearances, they don’t know about it and intend on being back.
Regarding Bloomington girls basketball’s 161-2 loss to Arroyo Valley last week, I got a statement from Katie Orloff, who is the communications manager/spokesperson for the Colton Joint Unified School District, who said,