No real winners in Division 6 girls soccer debacle

The CIF-SS record book will read that Grand Terrace won the CIF-SS Division 6 girls soccer championship this year, by forfeit over a team that will not be named because the runner-up finish will be vacated.

But truthfully, there were no winners when Grand Terrace was awarded the win prior to playing league and district rival Bloomington for the title last Friday.
Bloomington was penalized when it was brought to the Bruins’ attention that they had been using a player that was academically ineligible. Bloomington confirmed the error earlier on Friday, but it wasn’t until the teams were warming up before the 5:00 scheduled start that the forfeit was announced.

Here’s who lost in the whole process:
1. Bloomington. Of course, the Bruins missed a chance to win a CIF-SS title. And Bloomington was seeded No. 1 and had beaten Grand Terrace in two regular season meetings. How much difference did the ineligible player make? I’m not sure. Because Bloomington won’t have the chance to prove it either way.
2. The fans. With official word not coming until about a half an hour before game time, fans were already on their way. CIF-SS Commissioner Rob Wigod said no tickets had been purchased, so no refunds were necessary. But fans missed out on watching what should have been a great game for both communities. Outside of wrestling, Bloomington sports have struggled for years and this was supposed to be a bright spot. Grand Terrace is too new of a school for it to feel like a drought but the fans didn’t get to enjoy playing in a CIF-SS championship game.
3. Santa Ana Century, South El Monte, Pasadena Maranatha, Montebello Schurr. Those are the four teams Bloomington defeated en route to the championship game. We know that the ineligible player played in at least all of the playoff games. So, who’s to say one of those teams shouldn’t have advanced instead and who would’ve come out of that half of the bracket? Bloomington outscored those four opponents 10-0, with only one game (vs. Maranatha) by a 1-0 score. It’s not known how much the player helped, but regardless, a team playing by the rules should have advanced.
When asked if CIF-SS could’ve put Schurr in the finals, because that was the team that lost to Bloomington in the semifinals, it was said that it wasn’t that easy. Because, technically, Century should’ve advanced to play South El Monte, with the winner advancing to play Maranatha, with the winner of that facing Schurr. You can’t do all of that before the finals.
4. Grand Terrace. Sure, Grand Terrace was awarded a CIF-SS title. But there is a lot that the Titans didn’t get. Grand Terrace didn’t get a chance to play in a CIF-SS championship game. Coach Ryan Pacheco said players were reluctant to want to take a picture in front of the scoreboard after earning the forfeit. How much can you rejoice after winning a game you didn’t play?
Not only that, but fans would say that Bloomington would’ve won had the two teams played. While its true that Bloomington was the favorite, the first two games were 1-0 and Grand Terrace might have won anyway. We’ll never know. People will always wonder if Grand Terrace was the best team in the division.
Don’t take Grand Terrace’s result in the CIF SoCal Girls Soccer Division V Regional as proof or not proof as to Grand Terrace’s legitimacy for the title. Most teams don’t place the same emphasis on the regional as they do for the CIF-SS playoffs.

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Record not important for Grand Terrace girls soccer

There can be a fine line in scheduling for high school sports teams between scheduling easy enough for the team to get some confidence and hard enough for them to be challenged.
But, if you’re not really concerned with one of those two sides of the coin, it makes it a bit easier.
Grand Terrace girls soccer at 5-6-3 already has twice as many losses as it had all of last season, when it went 21-3-3, but was ousted in the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs.
Coach Ryan Pacheco isn’t concerned about the team’s confidence. Nearly all of the key players from last year’s team are back this year, so confidence isn’t an issue. He wanted the team to be challenged, so he upped the schedule.
Grand Terrace
It’s not that last year’s was easy, and it wasn’t a complete overhaul, but he wanted to upgrade. Truthfully, the poor record is due in part to the Titans not fielding its starting 11 for any game this season, until Wednesday’s showdown with No. 1 Bloomington. The game is at Bloomington at 5 p.m.
“I told the girls in 14 games played, don’t expect to be 14-0,” Pacheco said. “The schedule has provided us a chance to see what we can do.”
Because of injuries and other absences, Pacheco and his staff have gotten a chance to see a lot of players play who wouldn’t normally have played.
“I’m pleased with where we’re at,” Pacheco said. “It helps us out to see subs for the girls that normally wouldn’t be starting for us. It’s a huge confidence boost. We know they can hold their own.”
Pacheco isn’t concerned with his team’s record, and also isn’t concerned with his team’s ranking. While the record isn’t good, the ranking is just fine.
Despite its sub-par record, Grand Terrace is ranked No. 3 in CIF-SS Division 6, behind No. 1 Bloomington and No. 2 Lake Elsinore Temescal Canyon.
“The people that do the polls, they understand us,” Pacheco said. “It (schedule) is something people take into account.”
Both Grand Terrace and Bloomington have played Temescal Canyon. Bloomington defeated Temescal Canyon 3-0 on Dec. 8, while Temescal Canyon defeated Grand Terrace 2-0 on Dec. 15.
That being said, Pacheco expects the game against Bloomington to be close.
“Personally, I think it’s a toss-up,” Pacheco said. “I would be surprised if it’s a blowout.”

A year ago, Grand Terrace won 2-1 and the teams tied the other game 0-0, Grand Terrace’s only league blemish. In three years, only one of six games between the teams has been decided by more than one goal.

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Can 2 local wrestling tournaments survive on same day?

This weekend, there are 2 high school wrestling tournaments, held just 12 miles apart. Can they both survive?
Time will tell.
Originally, there was the San Bernardino County Championships, which had been held at Arroyo Valley years ago. When Arroyo Valley ended its program and director Oscar Briseno started coaching at Bloomington, Bloomington became involved and they moved the event to Jurupa Hills, where is was called the Inland Empire Tournament of Champions.
Well, Briseno isn’t at Bloomington any more, and took his part of the tournament,, San Bernardino County championships, to Grand Terrace.
So two 1-day tournaments will be held on the same day, one at Jurupa Hills one at Grand Terrace.
Bloomington coach Vince LaFarge thinks so. His tournament will only be about 14 teams and he wants to keep it to no more than 16 teams in the future.
“I probably didn’t do a good job of being aggressive recruiting teams,” LaFarge said. “But we have some really quality teams and our top 8 is really solid.”

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Gabe Schaefer leaves Bloomington High wrestling, but Bruins should be OK

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.

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Bloomington High officially hires Brian Kidd as new football coach

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.

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Bloomington on verge of getting new football coach approved

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.
Bloomington logo
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.

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2015 San Bernardino County Clash Weekend No. 2 Preview

2014 County Clash

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.

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Bloomington High football coach update

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?

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VIDEOS: Bloomington wrestling wins 3 individual titles, team CIF-SS crown


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.

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Bloomington wrestling has eyes on CIF-SS Individual Tournament 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.

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