Thursday, February 5, 2004
The first round of this coming weekend's Sub-regional wrestling tournament at Hanford High School looks rather promising for the Grandview wrestling team.
"The first round should go well for us," said Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny.
Sevigny said the second round will pose some interesting match-ups as the Greyhounds will start meeting some higher seeds.
The top four placing wrestlers in each weight class out of Sub-regionals will qualify for next week's Regional tournament in Sunnyside on Valentine's Day.
The lone No. 1 seed for the Greyhounds is Nestor Soriano (21-7) at 112 lbs. Soriano received a first round bye and will face the winner of the match between Drew Falon of West Valley-Yakima and Grant Wipple of West Valley-Spokane. Soriano is geared up to face Sunnyside's Steve Sanchez in the semi-finals, who made the postseason by winning the JV qualifier last week. Sanchez didn't start wrestling until late in the season. Sevigny feels because of the late start to the year for Sanchez, Soriano should be able to take the match as it goes on longer.
At 119 lbs., Grandview freshman Kaelan Nelson drew an interesting portion of the bracket. Nelson faces another freshman, West Valley-Spokane's Andrew Connelly, in the first round. But Nelson is paired in the same bracket as top seeded Joe Savidge of Ellensburg, who will face Hanford's Jacob Edwards. Sevigny says Nelson has a chance of pulling off a few upsets at Sub-regionals.
Max Saldana will open his 125-lb. match for the Greyhounds against Cory Edwards of West Valley-Spokane. The winner will face top seeded Manuel Plata of Prosser.
The Greyhounds have two wrestlers at 130 lbs. Shay Seimears will open against Selah's Robert Martinez. Martinez, one of the top prospects for the Vikings, carries a 20-5 record into Saturday's first round match. Martinez had to qualify for the postseason through the JV qualifier. The winner of Seimears match will face the winner of the bout between Jake Harve of Selah and Jesse Swenson of West Valley-Spokane.
The other wrestler at 130 lbs. for Grandview is Matthew Saldana. Saldana opens with Tyler Munson of West Valley-Yakima. The winner of this bout will face the winner of the Mike Elliot of Clarkston and Eric Garcia of Sunnyside match.
Another wrestler Sevigny feels has a chance of doing well is Brian Naylor at 135 lbs. Naylor opens with Sunnyside's Juan Salinas. The winner will face whoever comes out on top of the bout between Taylor Gropper of Hanford and Mike McPeak of Clarkston.
Grandview's Michael Benavidez found himself in the top half of the bracket at 140 lbs. Benavidez opens with Mark Lagerquist of West Valley-Yakima. The winner of this match will then wrestle the winner of the bout between Thomas Johnson of Ellensburg and Nathanael Smith of Cheney. One of these four wrestlers will more than likely have to face top seeded Matt Seltter-Moorman of West Valley-Yakima.
Jesus Soto of Grandview was placed in the same top half of the 145 lb. bracket as top seeded Ray Romero of Sunnyside. But before he even has to worry about Romero, Soto will have to get by Selah's Johnny Garza. The winner will then face either Will Badonie of Wapato or Tim Regnier of Cheney.
At 152 lbs., the Greyhounds have two wrestlers competing. Tovias Magana is in the top half of the bracket with No. 1 seed Clay Underwood of Hanford. Magana opens with Jordan Fallwell of Ellensburg. The winner will then face the victor of the bout between Ryan Petty of West Valley-Yakima and Joel Thomas of West Valley-Spokane.
Greyhound freshman Jacob Robillard will open at 152 lbs. with Brad Rasmussen of Cheney. The second round opponent for the winner will be Eddie Garza of Wapato or Peyton Simpson of Ellensburg.
Andrew Benavidez, who grabbed a No. 3 seed for the Greyhounds, is in an interesting part of the bracket at 160 lbs. Benavidez opens with Prosser JV qualifier Eduardo Pedroza. The winner of this bout will face either Derek Parson of West Valley-Yakima or Ty Aiken of Clarkston. Aiken and Benavidez have a history with one another. Aiken won two of their three matches last year, including one by a lone point at Regionals to qualify for State.
Rigo Rodriguez will wrestle Jeff White of West Valley-Spokane at 171 lbs. Their second round opponent will be either top seeded Joe Evans or John Van Wingerden, both of Sunnyside.
Heleodoro Lopez opens with Derik Morse of West Valley-Spokane in the first round at 189 lbs. The two are paired in the same bracket as William Yarwood of Ellensburg, the top seed, and Matthew Garcia of Prosser.
Greyhound heavyweight Andrew Morales is on course to make it to the semifinals. Morales opens with Ben Gaston of Hanford, with the winner facing Stephon Westfall of Cheney. Morales is in the same bracket as Cody Myers of Hanford. Sevigny said he feels Morales has a good shot of going far this weekend.
Sevigny is looking forward to showing what his team can do at Sub-regionals.
"It is a whole new season," said Sevigny. "Your win-loss record means nothing now."
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at email@example.com