Wrestling Notebook: Northview not Northview-like, South Hills, West Covina and others individual locals shine

By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
Northview High School’s wrestling program, the area’s best for more than a decade, hasn’t looked like itself during the first month of the season. But coach David Ochoa, who built the Vikings into one of the top programs in the CIF-Southern Section, has seen signs of Northview getting back to square one and of a team making its annual trip north to the CIF State championships in Bakersfield.

The Vikings finished an unfamiliar 14th at The Bash in Fresno in December, placing just two among the top eight. But Northview then responded with a third-place finish at Nogales’ Super Champs Tournament this past weekend, landing seven wrestlers among the top eight.

“We didn’t wrestle well in Fresno,” Ochoa said. “But we came back well at Nogales. We started to look like we’re supposed to look.

“I think we’re getting back on track. We haven’t had the results we’re used to having, but the kids are responding and are improving.”

The Vikings have been led by Frank Martinez, who’s Northview’s best hope for a CIF State champion.

The 5-foot-5 senior, up two weight divisions to 140 pounds this season, is ranked second in the state after beginning the season 19-0 with four tournament championships, including victories at The Bash and last week at Nogales.

“Frank’s the leader of the team,” Ochoa said. “Every year, we have someone step forward and take charge, and he’s done that this year.

“He’s always been physically strong and has handled the (move up in weight class) really well.”

Martinez will now put his ranking to a test, competing at the 5-Counties Invitational, which features the top competitors in the state.

The meet is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Fountain Valley High.

Northview’s Nick Jacobo (103), Gilbert Nakatani (112), Pedro Rodriguez (145), Elvis Arce (152) and Chris Auxier (215) are scheduled to compete in the event.

Nakatani and Arce are coming off victories at Nogales, where Jacobo, ranked No. 5 in CIF-SS at 103, finished second.

Weighty decision

South Hills, which won a CIF-SS dual championship last season, has a solid lineup, which includes Daniel Flores, Thomas Morales, Joseph Talarico and Vincent Herrera.

That’s the good news. The tough decision is who wrestles at what class.

“Right now, we’re getting them in as many matches as we can,” South Hills coach Robb Froh said. “We have a good core, and they are all near the same weight, so we’re just juggling what works best.”

The Huskies also have solid competitors across their lineup, including Dakota Behr at 189, Jeremy Osborn at 215 and heavyweight Peter Nonu. Trevor Behr also looks good at 140.

“We just want to be ready for the end of the season,” Froh said. “We open league against Walnut this week, and they are looking solid, so we just want to do well.”

Bulldogs look strong

West Covina also looked super at the Nogales Tournament.

The Bulldogs finished a solid second after three competitors won their respective classes, with six placing among the top eight.

West Covina’s Raymond Medina, competing at 171, topped the list after earning upper-weight MVP. He cruised through his bracket with four victories by fall.

Brad Ojala (145) and Ryan McLaurin (189) also won their respective classes for the Bulldogs.

West Covina also got a second-place finish from Ricky Ortiz (112).

Others to watch

Several other area competitors have started the season strong and are expected to make a bid for the state championships in March.

They include Covina’s Kyle Acevedo (112), Walnut’s Roldan Garcia (135), Arroyo’s Noel Blanco (152) and La Puente’s Jesus Vargas (215).

All are ranked among the top eight in their respective weight classes in the CIF-SS.


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  • Northview MOM

    Good Luck at Five Counties Vikings!!
    We will all be there supporting you as always.


    Good Job Steve and Fred, Its good to hear the names of the locals mentioned on the blog. Alright this Friday and Saturday its going down at Fountain Valley High the best wrestling in the state is happening this weekend parents if your planning on attending make sure to get there real early limited seating since it take place in the gym and I think there is going to be over 80 teams easily!!! Yikes.

    Good luck SGV Wrestlers, bring home the medals.

  • diogenes

    SGV Wrestling.

    MAybe you can tell me. Where do I go to find out who is wrestling who, where, and when other than these big tournaments. Like just old regular dual meets? Interesting that the Trib has, with one lonely exception, totally ignored what I am told has been about a month of wrestling.

  • J

    good job steve, but if your going to give prop’s to locals, you forgot one school(Amat), the school will also be sending a team to five counties and in league they are 1-0, beating charter oak 58-15, they will face bonita at bonita on thursday,

  • Wrestling Fan

    Dual Meet San Dimas vs Covina
    Thursday. Jan 14, 2010 @ San Dimas Gym JV @ 5:30, Varsity @ 6:30
    Come out and support the teams!

  • Wrestling Fan

    Dual Meet San Dimas vs Covina
    Thursday. Jan 14, 2010 @ San Dimas Gym JV @ 5:30, Varsity @ 6:30
    Come out and support the teams!

  • Viking98

    I agree with diogenes… soccer and basketball have top 10 rankings and schedules, but nothing for wrestling?? A link to upcoming matches & tournaments or results would be helpful.
    Good luck to Northview and the rest of the SGV this weekend at Five Counties!!

  • Basic

    BONITA has lost 7, yes SEVEN, wrestlers to injuries, 4 for the entire year from what I hear so I think Amat will get another league win this Thursday. Such a tough start to what looked like a very promising season. The Bearcats did get a league win last week at DR though, so hopefully they keep on fighting…

    Good luck Bearcats.

  • kh

    they had no pray of beating amat with or with out so called 7 guys hurt.
    last year they beat the crap out of us.
    to bad the egos bigger then the team.cant believe he kicked another cif wrestler off the team.way to go coach

  • Inquiring Minds Need To Know


    How is KC doing in wrestling? I know you were excited to have him put a hurtn’ on Amat and the rest of the league. Is he still hurt from football, haven’t been able to get over and watch you guys.

  • J

    does anybody know how wilson wrestling team is doing since the coach got the ax, i mean retired.

  • A Nonny Mouse

    Re Wilson Wrestling:

    They had a couple of kids place in the Upland Tournament… 145 and 189 lb weight classes, I believe. The AD brought in Lee Fair as interim coach to stabilize the program for this year, which should cover them through the end of the season. I’m not sure if the Wilson wrestling program has a long term future, though.

  • kh

    he not on team,this year.
    something happened with him and coach ,nobodys telling me .so baseball fulltime.he was never a great wrestler.learned some good things from jeff and hayden and put some muscel behind it and had some intense times, i love watching matches,best sport ever to watch hands down,maybe new coach next year he will be back..where going to amat vs bearcats tomorrow night at bonita thanks for asking.

  • Wrestling Mama

    Definitely need more wrestling coverage. We have some of the best wrestlers in California in our local schools. So much on basketball and soccer but not much on wrestling. At least make the coverage equal.

  • bulldog mama


  • Wrestling Dad

    Bishop Amat put a hurting on the Bearcats. 50 something to 20. Looked like the Bonita wrestlers limped into the mat in tatters. But Kudos to them for putting up a fight. Exciting match of the night was sophomore Idilio Sanchez at 160lb. This kid is a stud and will get better. Kane is a Beast at HWY weight.

  • bonitafannn

    the injuries definitely hurt us if you add alvince pongos (125) hussein abboul-rassoul (135) chad scott (140) and mikey quevedo (145) who ALL would’ve gotten pins then that’s 24 points with AT LEAST a 36-point turn around and we would’ve won the match oh well though looking forward to next year

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