By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
When it comes to high school wrestling, Northview has set the bar for the rest of the Valley during the past 15 years.
The Vikings are continuing that trend this season.
Northview, which features four competitors ranked among the top 15 in the state, including 2012 Tribune Wrestler of the Year Bryan Salinas, are ranked No. 13 in the state by the California Wrestler and No. 1 in CIF-Southern Section Division 2.
“We’ve had a really strong season to this point,” Northview coach David Ochoa said. “We’ve wrestled well.
“If Bryan is healthy, I think we can be as good as any team we’ve had.”
That’s a bold statement for a program that annually competes for CIF-SS divisional, Masters and state titles.
Salinas, finished fourth in the state at 145 pounds last season, is recovering from a knee injury. But the junior, ranked No. 4 in the state at 170 by The California Wrestler, is expected to begin his season this weekend at the 5-Counties Invitational at Fountain Valley High School.
“Bryan is making his own choice,” Ochoa said. “He’s OK. He’s been training hard for three weeks, and we’ll be ready (for the weekend).”
The rest of Northview’s fantastic four is stout. The group also features junior Vincent Parra, who is No. 14 in the state at 113, and seniors Daniel Valles and Steven Lopez, who are ranked No. 7 and No. 9, respectively, at 145 and 160.
Parra, who won the Southern Division at 106 last season, has two tournament titles, winning at the Carter Invitational and El Cajon Tournament.
Valles, who won at 138 at divisionals last season, has three first-place finishes at Carter, Jesse Cruz Memorial and El Cajon.
Lopez, a runner-up at divisionals, has second-place finishes at Carter and El Cajon.
All are scheduled to compete at the 5-Counties Tournament. But will drop down a weight class.
The Vikings, No. 1 in Division 2, are one of four area teams ranked in this week’s CIF-SS divisional polls. The others are South Hills, which is No. 6 in Division 2; Ayala, which is No. 9 in Division 2, and Arroyo, which is No. 4 in Division 5.
Also slated to compete at 5-Counties, which begins Friday and concludes Saturday, is West Covina’s Bradley Ojala. The senior, who has won two tournament titles, is ranked No. 8 in the state at 170.
SILL CONTINUES 2012 SURGE
Walnut’s Michael Sill had a break-out season last year, winning a divisional title at 132 and advancing to the CIF State meet in Bakersfield.
The senior is back for more this season and has looked like a state contender through the first portion of the season.
Sill, with four tournament titles, is ranked No. 6 in the state at 136. His four first-place finishes including winning at the Santa Fe Scuffle in late November and the Nogales Super Champs earlier this month. At Nogales, he had three wins by fall before beating Rowland’s Mario Lopez, 8-2, in the finals.
ARROYO TAKES FOURTH
Arroyo, getting a first-place finish from Jonathan Atherton, took fourth place at its tournament last weekend.
Atherton won the 106-pound division with two victories by fall before beating La Costa Canyon’s Kai Kramer, 5-4, in the final.
The Knights also received a second place from Eddie Saenz (120) and a third place from James Rivera (220).
Area winners were Charter Oak’s Joe Alexander (126) and South Hills’ Matt Chavez (152).