By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Nothing the Northview High School wrestling team does should surprise anyone.
The Vikings have been among the top wrestling programs in Southern California for a long time, but the 2011-12 campaign might have been the most special.
Led by 145-pound sophomore Bryan Salinas, the Vikings won a Southern California triple crown of sorts for the third time in history – winning a CIF-Southern Section duals title, a CIF-SS Southern Division individual team title and Masters title.
But for the first time in its history, the Vikings crowned six CIF-SS individual champions and sent 11 of a possible 14 qualifiers to Masters, a big reason why Northview coach Bobby Bellamy has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune coach of the year.
Bellamy, who along with wrestling director David Ochoa, earned the school’s 14th CIF individual team title to go with its third Masters title.
“It was a unique year, it was special,” Bellamy said. “We’ve had some successful teams but this one really embodied the team concept. Salinas was the best wrestler, but he didn’t carry himself that way. That attitude allowed everyone to think of the team and root for each other.”
Salinas, who won the Valle Vista League title, Southern Division title, finished second at Masters and fourth at the state championships, was the area’s best of the best to earn the San Gabriel Valley Tribune wrestler of the year award.
Salinas capped his season by competing at the high school national championships and winning the national title in the sophomore division.
“I don’t want to say he’s special, not sure that describes enough of his intangibles,” Bellamy said of Salinas. “In big matches he’s so composed. The big moment brings out the best in him. He’s like a silent assassin. He’s not arrogant or flamboyant, he’s very humble and works for everything he gets.
“He will certainly have the chance to go down as one of our all-time best when his career is finished. As it stands now, he’s the best 145-pound sophomore in the country.”
Not surprising, Salinas is one of seven Vikings wrestlers named to the Tribune all-area wrestling team.
Vikings Sophomore Vincent Parra (108), senior Carlos Garcia (126) and junior Daniel Valles (138) all won Southern Division individual titles.
Vikings junior Steven Lopez (160) placed second, junior Anthony Orozco (195) third and senior Nick Auxier (285) was fifth at the Southern Divisional finals to make the all-area team. Parra and Valles also placed third at Masters, and Lopez placed eighth.
Chino Hills senior Christian Martin (113), Bonita senior Christian Reza (120), Walnut junior Michael Sill (132), South Hills senior Trevor Behr (152), West Covina junior Brad Ojala (170), Chino Hills senior Brody Goens (182) and Charter Oak senior Brandon Arrieta (220) comprised the rest of the 14-wrestler all-area team by showing they were the best in their respective weight classes.
Martin had a fantastic season for Chino Hills. He won the Northern Division title, Masters title and finished seventh at the state finals.
Sill won the 132-pound Southern Division title and was fourth at Masters. South Hills’ Behr was second at the Northern Division finals and fourth at Masters at 152.
West Covina’s Ojala was second at 170 pounds at the Southern Division finals and was fifth at Masters.
Chino Hills’ Goens finished a spectacular season at 182 pounds. Goens won the Northern Division title, was sixth at Masters and finished fifth at state.
Charter Oak’s Arrieta was third at 220-pounds at the Northern Division finals and Reza, the Hacienda league champion at 120-pounds for Bonita, finished sixth at the Southern Division finals.
TRIBUNE ALL-AREA WRESTLING
Wrestler of the Year: Bryan Salinas, Northview, So.
Coach of the Year: Bobby Bellamy, Northview
106: Vincent Parra, Northview, So.
113: Christian Martin, Chino Hills, Sr.
120: Christian Reza, Bonita, Sr.
126: Carlos Garcia, Northview, Sr.
132: Michael Sill, Walnut, Jr.
138: Daniel Valles, Northview, Jr.
145: Bryan Salinas, Northview, So.
152: Trevor Behr, South Hills, Sr.
160: Steven Lopez, Northview, Jr.
170: Brad Ojala, West Covina, Jr.
182: Brody Goens, Chino Hills, Sr
195: Anthony Orozco, Northview, Jr.
220: Brandon Arrieta, Charter Oak, Sr.
285: Nick Auxier, Northview, Sr.