Wrestling: Northview’s title taken away

This story comes from the San Bernardino Sun, written by T.J. Berka. We’ll have more in the coming days, but the word is out, Northview loses its CIF championship… There is also a lot of chatter about this in California Wrestler under Forums, take a look.

By T.J. Berka
After finishing second, reserving themselves to a second-place finish behind Northview at the CIF-SS Northern Division individuals finals, the Sultana High School wrestling team got some good news Tuesday. A legion of scoring errors in Northview’s favor were discovered, first by Sultana coach Rocky Humphrey and then confirmed using the bout sheets of the meet at Oxnard Pacifica. With the re-calcuations, the Sultans were awarded the CIF championship, an award they received Wednesday. “It’s better late than never,” Humphrey said. “It’s kind of an after-the-fact thing, because we took all the pictures with the runner-up trophy after the meet. But we are definitely happy about it.” The discrepancy was discovered when Humphrey went online to check out some scores. In the 112-pound third-place match featuring his nephew, Rod Keaster, Humphrey noticed that bout was scored 9-1 online in favor of Northview’s Jacob Delgado instead of the 2-1 score Humphrey had. The point difference gave Northview a major decision and an extra team point. Humphrey continued to dig and noticed 10 other matches with scoring inconsistencies that swung Northview’s way. After conferring with Pacifica, the team score was changed from 262-256 Northview to 257-252 Sultana.

I talked to Northview coach David Ochoa today and here’s what he had to say:

On receiving the news from the CIF-SS: “I guess the Sultana coach noticed the recorded score on the brackets you can view online was wrong. I was called by CIF the next day and was asked what the score of Jacob’s match was. I had to look at the bout sheet and told them it was 1-0. They then found enough additional errors (in other matches) to justify a change and give the championship to Sultana.”

How did the team react: “It’s been a rough week. I brought my guys in and talked to them as a group and told them, as to no fault of anyone with our our school, that Sultana was declared champs. I apologized to them. It was the toughest thing I’ve had to do as coach, and hope I never have to do it again.
“I’ve been telling them that sometimes life doesn’t go your way, and you just have to put your best foot forward. I feel they can give that extra effort and try to use this to motivate it us.”

Steve’s take: First, people here have to get a life and realize a mistake was made, period. That’s it. The Sultana coach noticed a mistake in one match, then noticed others. He informed CIF-SS officials and they made the right decision. People have to stop with an Oliver Stone/Jim Garrison reaction and quit acting like a bunch of squirrels looking for nuts. For one, there’s no way to prove the mistakes made were intentional; there’s no smoking gun on the bout sheets that show the score changed, just a different result on the online brackets. I applaud CIF-SS for realizing a mistake had been made and it was one they could change. I think we all need to follow coach Ochoa’s advice and move on.
But I will say, I never realized how much hate there is in high school sports, until I saw the comments on this topic alone. It’s funny how no one said anything about Northview until the school built a very successful CIF-SS sports program. I guess it’s like the late Dale Earnhardt said to Jeff Gordon once when the latter was always getting booed in pre-race introductions. Earnhardt told Gordon: “Don’t worry about that. They always boo the winner. When they do nothing, that’s the time to worry.”

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