For the past 50 years, wrestling has held a paramount position in athletics at Fountain Valley High School. Our wrestlers have won multiple team and individual championships every decade-contributing massively to the prestige of our program. In recognition of their excellence; The following Barons have had their individual accomplishments put on display on our Wall of Champions:
Though only halfway completed, this decade is promising to be one of the best in our school's history. Barry Gee (10') was our first heavyweight to qualify for the CA State meet in 15 years going 4-2 at the tournament. Dean O'Burke (12') would become a Masters champion and 2x State qualifer leading his team to a Sunset League title. 2012 would also be the start for the first of many young wrestlers from our youth program to enter H.S. Led by National and State placer Andrew Morgan, these wrestlers traveled all over the state during middle school and off seasons. This included the brother tandems of Steele and Stone Escobedo, as well as Bryant and Blake Vasquez; all of whom won C.I.F. championships. Ben Madrid would also win an individual C.I.F. title plus qualifying for the State meet in 2014 and 2015. In 2014, Karson Ayres was our first Freshman in history to qualify for the Masters Meet. We begin the 2015 season as 4x Sunset League champions with a chance to defend our team C.IF. Championship.
Brad Woodbury would return as the head wrestling coach of FVHS. Scott Ota started off the new century by winning C.I.F. and qualifying for the state meet. The decade would end with back to back titles in 2008 and 2009. Captains Awaad Yasin and Anthony Duarte were instrumental in our success. Anthony would qualify twice for the state meet and become our first placer in 14 years taking 4th place.
FV wrestling dominated the Sunset League during the mid to late nineties. Led by coach Provanzano, we won three titles from 1997-1999. The trio of Brent Morita, Brian Masumoto and Clint Chen anchored the lower weights of those championships years. Phil Hunt finished of the decade with a strong showing at the Masters meet taking 2nd place.
FVHS began the decade of the 80s with five straight league titles. The 1979-80 season saw the Barons compile yet another undefeated season going 15-0, regaining the Sunset League title despite having no individual league champions. Junior Kevin Woody led the way with a 4thplace finish in the C.I.F. The balanced team effort helped the team place first in both the Edison 8-way and Sonora Tournament, third at Carlsbad, and fourth in the Edgewood tourney.
Going 11-1 in 1980-81, the team won the Carlsbad and Canyon tournaments. Jay Vomogida, Ken Walsh, Kevin Woody, and John McCarthy would all win league titles. At the Masters, Woody would reached the finals, finishing second, while McCarthy and Rick Nozaki would finish 5th also qualify for the State Tournament.
The Barons posted a 15-1 record in 1981-82. Ranked #2 in Orange County, the Barons would come away with titles at the Canyon Tournament, the Millikan ten-way and the Sunset League Tournament. The team also took 2nd at Costa Mesa Tournament and 3rd at Carlsbad. Paul Abshire, Frank Aguirre, Steve Mino, Jay Russell, Paul Whitley, and Tim Manchin all won league titles. The team had five C.I.F. placers with Mino and Whitley reaching the finals.
1982-83 saw the team set a school record for most dual wins in a season going 24-0. League Champions Troy Kenney, Trevor Thompson, and Jay Russell led the charge. Russell also won the C.I.F. title and finished 2ndat the Masters meet.
The Barons continued their domination of the Sunset League with a fifth straight league championship in1983-84. Russ Abrahams, Scott Harrison, Troy Kenney, and Bob O’conner all won individual league titles. Abrahams would go on to win the C.I.F. title at heavyweight. Harrison and John Aguirre placed 5th and 4th in C.I.F. respectively.
After a 2nd place finish in League in 1984-85, the Barons rebounded in a BIG WAY. The team won the C.I.F. 4A Championship edging Loara 1201/2- 1161/2. Troy Kenney capture his third league title. Also winning individual league titles were; John Aguirre Gregg Dinnon, Marty Strech, and Troy’s twin brother Trent Kenney. The Kenneys would both capture C.I.F. titles with Dinnon joining them in the finals for a 2nd place finish. Aguirre and Strech both added a 3rd place finish to the championship effort. Trent Kenney and Marty Strech qualified for State where Kenney would fight his way to a 4th place finish.
Four individual league champions anchored the 1985-86 squad that went 4-1 in league duals. John Aguirrewon his second straight league title and a third C.I.F. medal. Greg Dinnon, David Demongey, Phil Dubourdieu joined Aguirre as League Champions. Dinnon also placed 5th in C.I.F.
In 1986-87, FV captured a 15th league title in their 20-year history. Reza Mehdizadeh, Tom Odar, Ed Franis, won league titles. Odar also captured the C.I.F. and Masters title. Mehdizadeh finished 2nd in C.I.F. and 3rd at Masters. Future Baron Head Coach, Brad Woodbury earned a 4th place in C.I.F.
Brad Woodbury and Jim Nuruki won individual league titles in 1987-88. Woodbury also won the C.I.F. title. Scott Macmillian added a 4th in C.I.F. and 6th in Masters to the mix.
Mihn Ho won the last individual league title of the 80s for the Barons in 1988-89.
As the 60’s came to an end, the FVHS wrestling team continued their winning ways. After going undefeated in ’68-69, and graduating some outstanding wrestlers like Sones, Vaughan, Anderson, Barna, FVHS didn’t rebuild; they reloaded. In 1969-70, the Barons put together a second straight undefeated season going 11-0 in duals to extend their win streak to 34 (46-2 in the first four years of the program). Mike Hollinden led the way winning his second league title, finishing 1st at the C.I.F. Sectionals (C.I.F.) and 3rd at the C.I.F.S.S. Finals (Masters). League champions, Dan Lewis and George Valubena finished 3rd and 2nd respectively at the Masters. Other standouts included Tim Flynn and Bob Walker both won league and C.I.F. Sectional titles.
With Steve Ring and Dan Lewis out of the lineup due to injuries, the Barons dropped their first three dual matches in 1970-71 (all three by one point – 29-30, 25-26, 26-27). The losses ended the unbeaten streak for the program. Once the pieces were back in place, FVHS continued their winning ways winning a third straight OCC invitational title and finished second at the Five Counties tournament. The Barons captured their fourth straight league championship going 10-3 for the year. That brought the overall dual match record for the program to 56-5. The team also had their fourth straight Top 4 finish at the C.I.F.S.S. (Masters). Dan Lewis would go undefeated (30-0 with 23 falls) to become the school’s third C.I.F.S.S. Champion. Bob Walker would finish the season 37-1 pinning all but three of the opponents he faced. Bob’s lone loss was a referee’s decision in overtime in the semi-finals of the Masters where he finished 3rd. Both Lewis and Walker finished their careers with three league titles and two C.I.F. Sectional (C.I.F.) titles. Other standouts included senior, Steve Ring (1st league, 2nd C.I.F.), sophomore, Chris Humphrey (1st league, 3rd C.I.F.) and Paul La Blanc (1st league).
In his first year as Head Coach, Wayne Mickaelian faced a major challenge to maintaining the high standards set for the FVHS wrestling program. For the first time in school history, the Barons began the season with no returning league champions or C.I.F. placers. With just five returning Varsity wrestlers, FV put in an outstanding team effort to go 11-1 in duals and captured their fifth consecutive league championship. The team was led by League Champions, Les Becher and John Moore along with C.I.F. Sectional (C.I.F.) medalist; Jerry Abshire (3rd), Mike Finklea (3rd), and Dave Moran (4th). Becher placed 4th in the C.I.F.S.S. (Masters) meet to go along with his 3rd place finish in C.I.F. Sectionals. There have been many outstanding and successful years for the school’s wrestling team, but 1971-72 will forever go down in Baron wrestling history as one of the more remarkable team efforts.
1972-73 was the first year of the C.I.F. State Wrestling Championships. The Barons put together another undefeated dual season. The year was highlighted by a seven league dual meet schedule where the FVHS wrestlers out scored their opponents 325 to 58 and captured their sixth consecutive league title. For the first time in school history, the team won the Five Counties tournament, considered one of the toughest tournaments in the State at the time. The team was led by individual League Champions; Les Becher,Mike Finklea, Dave Moran, Don Stirewalt, and Joe Young. Finklea and Moran both finished 3rd in C.I.F. Young won the C.I.F. title and went on to finish 2nd at the Masters meet to become FV first State Qualifier. Moore and Becher became the first two wrestler to make the 10 Pin Club three years in a row.
The Barons put together a second straight undefeated dual meet season in 1973-74 and won a seventh straight league title. Joe Young, Don Stirewalt, B. Hernandez, Jim Hughes and Mark Haskell all won league titles. Young also won the C.I.F. and Masters qualifying for the State meet for the second year in a row.
In 1974-75, for the first time since the school opened in 1966, Fountain Valley High School would not win a league title in wrestling. The 1974-75 season saw only two Barons win individual league titles. Bob Chase and Mike Marquez would be the Barons lone league champs. For the first time in school history, FVHS had no C.I.F. placers. However, all was not lost. This young team had all the personnel in room to set the stage, in a couple of years, for one of the greatest teams in school history. The empire strikes back in 1975-76. With seven individual league champions and four C.I.F. Divisional finalist, FV re-captured the League title. Ron Nozaki, Gary Bohay, Ricardo Tafoya, Bob Chase, Mike Barretto, Mike Burke, and Mike Marquez won individual league titles. Nozaki, Tafoya, Chase and Barretto all were C.I.F. finalist. At the Masters meet, Chase finished 2nd and Nozaki added a 5th place finish in the State Qualifier. The bar was set in the 1976-77 season. Not only did the Barons go undefeated (12-0) in duals, capturing the League Championship. FVHS finished 1st at the Mt. Miguel, Cuppertino, Orange Freeway, and 5 Counties tournament. They won the Sunset League Tournament with six champions. Ron Nozaki, Gary Bohay, Bob Chase, Al Saenz, Larry Budgen, and Mitch Finklea all won league titles. The Barons went on the win the C.I.F. Prelims (C.I.F.), and the C.I.F.S.S. (Masters) Championship. The Barons would push six wrestlers into the finals of the C.I.F. Prelims with Nozaki, Bohay, Chase and Budgen winning titles. At the Masters, Bohay and Chase would come away with individual titles. Bohay was named Outstanding Wreslter pinning his opponent in the finals. With five qualifiers, FV finished 4th in the State Championships. Bohay finished 3rd while Chase and Saenz added 5th place finishes.
Assistant Coach, John Rosales would take over the program for the 1977-78 season. For the second year in a row, the team won the 5 Counties Tournament. They also finished 3rd in the C.I.F. Divisionals. Gary Bohay, Steve Barretto, Larry Budgen, and Mitch Finklea won league titles. All four were C.I.F. finalist, Masters placers and qualified for the State meet. Bohay and Barretto would win C.I.F. titles, while Bohay won his second Masters titles and finished 5th at the State meet for his second State medal. Mitch Finklea would wrap up his impressive career as a Baron with a 4th place finish at the State meet. Gary Bohay would go on to become an NCAA D1 All American for Arizona State, reaching the finals in 1983. He finished 2nd in the 1989 World Freestyle Championships and 8th in the 1988 Olympics. The decade closed with a second place finish in the Sunset League in 1979 for FVHS. In all, the Barons won seven league titles in the Seventies (with three 2nd place finishes). They established themselves as one of the premier programs in the Southern Section.
In 1966-67, under the guidance of Head Coach, Ken Dudridge, Fountain Valley High School’s very first wrestling team finished with an overall dual meet record of 12-1 (5-1 in league duals) finishing 2nd in the Irvine League. Glenn Anderson, Gary Keller, Mitch Valbuena, Art Brooks and Roy Neudecker would win individual league championships. Valbuena became the school’s first C.I.F. Sectional Champion and Anderson, the program’s first C.I.F.S.S. (Masters) medalist.
The next year, Vern Wagner took over the reigns of the program. The team brought home the first league championship for any Varsity sport in school history. Led by individual league champions; Ron Vaughn, Glenn Anderson, Gary Keller, Mitch Valbuena, Art Brooks and Tom Harmon, the team would go a perfect 6-0 in league duals (10-1 overall). Anderson and Brooks would win C.I.F. Sectional titles. Brooks would also go on the finish 2nd in the C.I.F.S.S. meet.
The 1968-69 wrestling team was truly a breakout year for the Barons. Wayne Mickaelian joined the staff as Assistant Coach. The team compiled a perfect 13-0 in duals and captured their second straight Irvine league championship. The Barons crowned seven individual league champions in Chris Sones, Ron Vaughn, Glenn Anderson, Mike Hollinden, Joe Barna, Dan Lewis, and Bob Walker. Barna added a C.I.F. Sectional title to his resume. Vaughn would reach the Sectional finals, while sophomore, and first year wrestler, Lewis would finish third. Undefeated wrestlers, Sones and Anderson would win C.I.F. Sectional titles and become the school's first C.I.F.S.S. (Masters) Champions Many members of the ’68-’69 team would go on to wrestle at the college and international level winning multiple national titles and international medals. Six members of the group have been recognized by the California Wrestling Hall of Fame (3 Inductees, 3 Lifetime Service Awards).