This could be a tough weekend for the Northview High School wrestling team, which leads a list of 13 area schools who have competitors at this weekend’s CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. But coach David Ochoa has always taught his athletes that positives can be born from negatives, and it will be the same this weekend for the Vikings. Northview learned Wednesday that the Northern Division title it won this past Saturday was taken away and awarded to Sultana due to errors in scoring, which came about when bout scores were incorrectly imputed into the computer.
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Northview hopes it can turn that heartbreak into success when they send eight competitors to the CIF-SS Masters Meet, scheduled for today and Saturday at Temecula Valley High School. The top nine finishers in each weight class advance to next weekend’s CIF State championships in Bakersfield.
“It’s been a rough week,” Ochoa said. “(CIF-SS) told me of the change. I brought my guys in and talked to them as a group and told them, that to no fault of anyone with our school, scoring mistakes were made and that Sultana was declared champs. I apologized to them. It was the toughest thing I’ve had to do as coach.
“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.”
That could mean trouble for their competitors. Northview, which finished third to Temecula Valley last season, brings a solid group to the tournament this weekend.
The Vikings are led by junior Frank Martinez, who was lower weight MVP last week after cruising to the 130-pound title with three falls and one technical fall, and senior Steven Salinas, who had four falls before winning at 119 with a 5-3 decision. Northview also features divisional champion Matt Lopez (215) and qualifiers Nick Jacobo (103), Jacob Delgado (112), Anthony Jarmillo (125), Marty Le Gaspe (145) and Royce Roque (189). Jarmillo and Le Gaspe were runner-ups at divisionals last weekend.
“Masters gets tougher every year” Ochoa said. “But our guys are healthy. The big question is how we handle the next few days. We’re prepared.”
The tournament will also feature one of the Valley’s strongest contingents, with Northview, South Hills, West Covina, Bishop Amat, Glendora, Arroyo and Gladstone sending multiple competitors.
The Huskies, who finished second last week and won a dual championship two weeks ago, rank with Northview in numbers with seven entries. They are led by sophomore Dakota Behr, who won at 171 pounds at the Southern Divisional meet last week. South Hills’ entries also feature Daniel Flores (103), Vincent Herrera (112), Thomas Morales (119), Mitch Chatfield (145), Mike Ramos (152) and Ty Olson (215). Olson and Flores were divisional finalists last week.
Glendora, Bishop Amat, West Covina will send four each. The Tartans are led by senior heavyweight Justin Mathews, who had a solid showing during the 5 Counties Invitational in January. Glendora will also feature Jim Wilkins (119), Haydn Schabro (145) and Jake Hoxey (152).
Bishop Amat, which finished second last week, is led by senior Steven Espindola, who won at 112 pounds. The Lancers also feature Rodger Rodriguez (103), Eric Cano (135) and Marcos Almaraz (145).
West Covina sends Jacob Depraect (125), Anthony Caudillo (130), Nicky Valdez (135) and Brian Gonzalez (14).
Arroyo will send three wrestlers, including two divisional champions – Robert Collazo (112) and Noel Blanco (145). Christian Betencourt (103) is also competing.
Gladstone will have two competitors with Hector Lopez (130) and Jeffrey Villa (160).
Other area competitors are Rosemead’s Matt Fregoso (119), El Monte’s Alfonso Pinedo (189), Walnut’s Carl Stokes (215), Sierra Vista’s Justin Flores (135), La Puente’s Jesus Vargas (215) and Azusa’s Bernardo Delgado (heavyweight).
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