Maybe you saw in the paper or on our website that the coach who built the Bloomington High wrestling program into a CIF-SS champion, Gabe Schaefer, is leaving.
Above, Schaefer talks about winning the CIF-SS Individual Tournament team title for the first time this season.
Here are my thoughts. I have a huge amount of respect for Gabe as a coach and his ability to build a winning program with kids who were willing and able, but did not have much experience before high school.
I don’t blame him for leaving for Clovis, the most powerful program in the state. He is not a casual wrestling coach, so the opportunity to coach the best team in the state is hard to pass up, so I don’t blame him.
He will be missed (by the school and by me). But when Schaefer last year brought on Vince LaFarge, who was a big part of the coaching success at Covina Northview, he made for a smoother transition. It’s hard to say that LaFarge will be able to continue the success that Schaefer started. It could be better, or not quite as good. But it will be good. LaFarge is a veteran coach who has had a year for the kids to know him.
The kids just need to stick with him. His success in his career speaks for itself, and hopefully the Bloomington kids will listen.
It’s been eight years since Brian Kidd was a head football coach, but on Friday he was officially introduced as Bloomington’s new coach. Kidd was confirmed at Thursday night’s school board meeting.
“He’s a proven winner bringing in a good staff and we share the same philosophy to turn it around right now,” Bloomington athletic director Chris Brickley said.
Kidd, 39, was the head coach for Riverside Notre Dame in 2004, then took over for Mike Churchill for the final three games of the 2005 season at Carter. Kidd was also the head coach at Carter in 2006-07 before stepping down. He led Carter to a 7-4 record and a playoff berth in his first full season at Carter in 2006.
He last coached at Riverside Ramona in 2013 as the defensive coordinator and spent last season recovering from back surgery.
“I was ready to get back into it,” Kidd said of applying for the Bloomington job.
Bloomington has been 4-26 the past three years, but Kidd thinks the Bruins can surpass that win total this upcoming season alone.
“Probably 5-5 would be a great turnaround,” he said. “That’s realistic. When I took over the Carter team that was 3-7 the first year, we went 7-3 (in the regular season). I have the same aspirations for this team, to be competitive and be in every game.”
Part of Kidd’s plan is to get athletes from other sports playing football. One of those sports is wrestling, where Bloomington co-coach Vince LaFarge is expected to be on Kidd’s staff.
Kidd will not be an on-campus coach; he will continue to teach at Jehue Middle Schools, which is in the Rialto district.
Brickley said hiring Kidd wasn’t impacted by him being off campus.
“We wanted to get the best coach possible,” Brickley said.
With delays due to spring break, Bloomington appears on the verge of naming its new head football coach.
The Colton district board agenda for Thursday lists Brian W. Kidd as the selection. The agenda also lists him as a walk-on and a new hire.
At this time, it is not known whether it is the same Brian Kidd who used to be the head coach at Carter, most recently in 2007.
In addition, the agenda lists that Ryan Smalls will return as Grand Terrace coach for a second season. Smalls was the Titans’ coach last year, but his position was opened up after the season because he is not a teacher at the school.
Photo from the 2014 County Clash at San Manuel Stadium. (Micah Escamilla/San Bernardino Sun)
San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino serves as the host of the County Clash that host a series of games of a span of four weeks. The games below are for the second weekend of the 2015 County Clash series which take place on April 4.
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?
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.