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.
With the new divisions for CIF-SS Dual Meet Boys Wrestling, all of the Sun/Daily Bulletin schools are in three out of six divisions, and really most of them as it turned out, are in one division, as some league champions have chosen not to participate. Two of the divisions are local: at Alta Loma and at Carter
Here is the breakdown on the divisions with locals. Wrestling begins at 11 a.m., after that start times approx 3 p.m. for 2nd round, 5 p.m. for semifinals, 7:15 p.m. for finals. Only league champs were guaranteed entry, but are not required to participate. AL-At large; LC-League Champ
Central Division at Alta Loma HS
No. 1 seed Northview (AL), bye; Norte Vista(AL) vs. Colton(AL); Bonita (AL) vs. Walnut (LC); La Sierra (AL) vs. No. 4 Alta Loma (LC); San Dimas (AL) vs. No. 3 Ayala (LC); Montclair (AL) vs. Etiwanda (LC); Charter Oak (AL) vs. Hillcrest (LC); Diamond Bar (AL) vs. No. 2 Bloomington (LC).
Eastern Division at Carter HS
Valley View (AL) vs. No. 1 Temecula Valley (LC), King (AL) vs. Palm Desert (LC), Temescal Canyon (AL) vs. Hemet (LC), Sultana (AL) vs. No. 4 Corona Santiago (LC), Chaparral (AL) vs. No. 3 Oak Hills (LC), Roosevelt (AL) vs. Elsinore (LC), Vista Murrieta (AL) vs. Corona Centennial (AL), Cajon (AL) vs. No. 2 Citrus Hill (LC).
Southern Division at Redondo HS
No. 1 Mira Costa (LC), bye; La Puente (AL) vs. Duarte (LC), Moreno Valley (AL) vs. Magnolia (LC), Nuview Bridge (AL) vs. Faith Baptist (LC), Fillmore (Freelance) vs. NO. 3 Bassett (LC), CSDR (LC) vs. Downey Calvary Chapel (LC), Anaheim (AL) vs. San Bernardino (LC), No. 2 Shadow Hills (LC), bye.
San Bernardino’s Isiah Ferrera was named the lower weight MVP of the Mountain Valley League and was one of the Cardinals’ four individual wrestlers to win a league title in their respective weight classes.
Mikey Ornelas (115 lbs), Aldo Barragan (120 lbs) and Alexander Mattison (195 lbs) were the others to win individual titles for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals coach Mark Clark was also named the league’s coach of the year.
Last week, the Cardinals won its first team league title in over 30 years and competed its first undefeated season in 50 years.
San Bernardino will compete in the CIF Duals on Feb. 7.
The Inland Empire Tournament of Champions wrestling tournament, which was held last Saturday, had 28 teams entered in the one-day tournament, and Bloomington co-coach Gabe Schaefer said they had to turn away about five or six teams away from the tournament, because there was no room.
Schaefer said there has been the discussion whether to extend the tournament into two days. A larger tournament would need to be two days, because wrestlers are allowed to wrestle no more than five matches in one day.
“I’m not sure if we want to go to two days,” Schaefer said. “That’s a lot more work.”
The event is run by Bloomington but takes place at Jurupa Hills.
Also, some schools that come from farther away, might not prefer a two-day event and might not come if it is expanded. A two-day event would require them to get hotel rooms on Friday night.
My take: In theory, it sounds great to expand it. A bigger tournament means bigger competition and more interest for future tournaments.
But, the event is held at Jurupa Hills by Bloomington. It’s a lot more work for an extra day, and you’re still splitting the profits with Jurupa Hills, which does little more than make their facility available.
I’d like to see it two days, but I’d completely understand if they want to keep it one day.
Etiwanda’s Tim Velarde wins at IE TOC, named upper-weight MVP
Vince LaFarge, co-coach at Bloomington talks after his team takes first at IE TOC