By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
2013-14 ALL-AREA WRESTLING TEAM
WRESTLER OF THE YEAR: BRYAN SALINAS, NORTHVIEW, SENIOR
For a career, no wrestler in the area has been better than Northview High School’s Bryan Salinas in recent seasons.
He finished with three CIF-Southern Section divisional titles, four trips to the state championships and three state medals.
The 160-pounder concluded his career with a Central Division title, a runner-up finish at Masters and a top eight finish at the CIF State championships.
For his efforts, Salinas is Tribune Wrestler of the Year.
“It means a lot to me, placing three years at state is a hard challenge,” said Salinas, who also won the area award last season. “The list is short of wrestlers who have done that before. I’m proud to be part of that list.”
Salinas, also a key member of Northview’s drive to a Division 2 Dual title, more than lived up to the Northview reputation as the area’s best. His three state medals ranking only second in school history to former Northview competitor Caleb Flores, a four-time state medalist. But his worth to the Vikings was more than his talent on the mat. He proved to be just as good off it.
“He’s been consistent, pushed through his injuries, been a great leader and helped us win Masters twice in his four years and four consecutive CIF titles,” Northview coach David Ochoa said. “None of that would have been possible without Bryan, and he started doing that right off the bat as a freshman. Especially last year, when he was physically beat up and had to wrestle at a higher weight, but he did it for us.”
The senior was 30-3 on the mat this season, with three losses being by default. The other three setbacks were by two points in the Masters final and by a point in the quarterfinals at state.
“It was a good season,” Salinas said. “I had a tough match at Masters and state didn’t work out the way I wanted. But I wanted to come back and keep our tradition alive for state placers.”
He will now take his talent to college wrestling, where he’s received a scholarship from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
COACH OF THE YEAR:
THOMAS PIERRE, BISHOP AMAT
Pierre has been a key to the Lancers being one of the top programs in the area. He’s guided the Lancers to three CIF-Southern Section divisional titles, six runner-up finishes and 19 league titles.
This season, Bishop Amat, despite heavy graduation losses from 2012-13, was stellar, going 13-2 in dual competition, winning the Mission League title and advancing to the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS dual championships. He also coached CIF State placer Nigel Ruiz, who was one of three area competitors this season to finish among the top eight at the state meet.
This (season) was special for so many reasons,” Pierre said. “After graduating 10 starters, I knew we had our work cut out for us. I sat our young kids down last March and told them, ‘You are the guys. We are going to depend on you next year.’ To finish 13-2, claim another Mission League championship, gain three CIF placers and a state placer in a rebuilding year was thrilling.
“Our success is never something that is easily gained or handed over to us. We have to do a lot of work to develop the wrestlers. Most of our guys start as freshman and we develop them within. I think we are good at making something out of what we get and we never count anyone out. We push them to be the kind of wrestlers we know they are.”
DAVID GONZALEZ, SAN DIMAS, 106, SENIOR
Gonzalez was the top competitor in the area at 106 pounds. He followed up a second-place finish at the Valle Vista League finals with CIF-SS Central Division and Masters titles. He qualified for the state meet and came up one round short of receiving a top-eight medal.
RICHARD CASILLAS, NORTHVIEW, 106, SOPHOMORE
Casillas was one of 17 area competitors to advance to the state championships. He won the Valle Vista League title before finishing second in the CIF-SS Central Division and sixth at the Masters Meet. He went 1-2 at the CIF State championships.
VINCENT PARRA, NORTHVIEW, 113, SENIOR
Parra was the top competitor at 113 pounds. He was one of 17 area athletes to advance to the state championships. He won titles at the Valle Vista League finals and the CIF-SS Central Division championships. He was third at the Masters Meet before going 3-2 at the state meet.
JOE ALEXANDER, CHARTER OAK, 132, SENIOR
Alexander was another member of the area’s top 17, who made it to the state championships. He won at 132 pounds at the CIF-SS Central Division championships before placing fifth at the Masters Meet. Alexander went 1-2 at the state championships.
MARIO LOPEZ, ROWLAND, 138, SENIOR
Lopez has been one of the area’s best over the past two seasons. This year he was the top competitor at 138 pounds and a key for Rowland winning the Hacienda League title. He was second at the CIF-SS Central Division championships and fifth at the Masters Meet. He went 2-2 at the state meet.
NIGEL RUIZ, BISHOP AMAT, 145, JUNIOR
Ruiz came on strong down the stretch to place at the CIF State championships. He was fourth at the CIF-SS Coastal Division championships before taking second at Masters and taking eighth at the CIF state meet. He also went 3-2 at nationals. Earlier, he won three tournament titles and was runner-up at the Five Counties Invitational.
RICKY PADILLA, NORTHVIEW, 152, JUNIOR
Padilla was the area’s best at 152 pounds, and played a big part in Northview winning CIF-SS dual and team individual titles and the Masters team title. He won individual titles at the Valle Vista League finals, the CIF-SS Central Division championships and Masters Meet. He went 4-2 at the state championships, missing a top-eight medal by one round.
SETH MORALES, BONITA, 170, SENIOR
Morales as part of the area’s terrific trio that placed among the top eight at the state championships. The 170 pounder was second at the CIF-SS Central Division championships and third at the Masters Meet. He placed eighth at state championships, advancing to the quarterfinals. He won a consolation match before losing two matches by injury, dropping him to eighth.
KAULIN GARCIA, DAMIEN, 182, SENIOR
Garcia’s was the area’s best at 182 pounds. He was one of 17 area competitors to advance to the state meet after placing third at the CIF-SS Central Division championships and ninth at the Masters Meet. He went 2-2 at the state championships.
KEANDRE JOHNSON, DIAMOND BAR, 220, SENIOR
Johnson has been one of the area’s best the past two seasons. He followed up a third-place finish at CIF-SS divisionals with a runner-up finish this season. He also was fourth at the Masters Meet and qualified for the state championships, missing the medal rounds by one match. He also competed in the senior nationals.
LUIS HERNANDEZ, ARROYO, 220, SENIOR
Hernandez was arguably the top competitor in the Mission Valley League. He followed up a Mission Valley League title with a second-place at the Southern Division championships before placing eighth at Masters. He went 2-2 at the state championships.
RYAN PADILLA, GLENDORA, 285, SENIOR
Padilla was the top heavyweight in the area. He was the Tartan’s lone qualifier to the Masters Meet, winning at the Inland Division championships. Padilla, who was ranked in the state top 20 most of the season, was fifth at Masters. He went 3-2 at the state meet.
ISSAC AGUILAR, SIERRA VISTA, 285, SENIOR
Aguilar was steady all season and a big part of the Dons winning another Montview League title. He was second at the Northern Division championships before placing ninth at Masters to become one of 17 area competitors to advance to the state championships. He went 0-2 at the state meet.
JACKIE QUINONES, ARROYO, 189, JUNIOR
Quinones was the top girls competitor in the area and the only state champion of either gender. She was sixth at the CIF-SS Meet before rolling through the 189-pound division at the state championships. She dominated her bracket, winning three by all, including pinning Western Ranch’s Alyssa Cantu in the finals in 4:39.
Miguel Juarez, 106, Rowland, Sr.
John Rivera, 132, Northview, Sr.
Anthony Martinez, 182, Northview, Sr.
Bruno Flores, Rowland, 126, Sr.
Patrick Sanchez, Damien, 285, Sr.
Abraham Soto, Sierra Vista, 132, Sr.
Christian Ramirez, Rowland, 120, Fr.
Jeremy Foo, Diamond Bar, 132, Sr.
Andres Estrada, Northview, 126, Jr.
Matt Chavez, South Hills, 152, Sr.
Chris Solario, Covina, 160, Sr.
Ian Alvarado, Sierra Vista, 195, Sr.
Katie Auxier, Northview, 145, Sr.
Alyssa Barredo, Walnut, 106, Jr.
Josias Nunez, Arroyo, 113, Sr.
Mark Cruz, Northview, 138, Sr.
Oscar Alfaro, Wilson, 170, Sr.
Andres Hooper, Northview, 120, So.
Inez Martinez, Mountain View, 116, Jr.
Izzy Valles, Northview, 137, Jr.
Mia Dow, Walnut, 116, Fr.
Angelica Ochoa, Sierra Vista, 162, Jr.
Evelyn Avila, Sierra Vista, 235, Sr.
Jessica Villagas, Baldwin Park, 189, Sr.
Jazmine Chavarria, West Covina, 235, Sr.
Ryan Blaschke, Bishop Amat, 182 lbs. Sr
Joshua Sapien, Bishop Amat, 285, Jr.
FINAL TOP 10
4. Charter Oak
5. Bishop Amat
6. Diamond Bar
7. San Dimas
8. South Hills
9. Sierra Vista
Baseline League: Alta Loma
Mission: Bishop Amat
Mission Valley: Arroyo
Montview: Sierra Vista
Sierra: Charter Oak
Valle Vista: Northview
Northview (D2 Duals, Central Division, Masters)