Grizzlies maul Wildcats, Red Devils in non-league affair

MOXEE - It sort of looked like a practice for the Sunnyside High School wrestling team yesterday.

The Grizzlies traveled to East Valley to take on the Red Devils and Toppenish in non-league encounters. Sunnyside had an easy time against Toppenish, winning 55-16. The Grizzlies were as equally impressive against East Valley, winning 54-29.

Sunnyside Coach George Paulus thought his team wrestled pretty well. Paulus had a couple of junior varsity wrestlers filling varsity spots last night because of discipline problems.

Prosser was also in East Valley last night, beating the Red Devils, 39-31.

The Grizzlies went up against Toppenish first with matches starting at 119 lbs. Sunnyside's Michael Christensen took it to Toppenish's Josh Gutierrez, winning by pin in 28 seconds. Christensen received a forfeit victory against East Valley.

At 125 lbs., Sunnyside's Greg Burbidge pinned Toppenish wrestler Ignacio Castandeda in 5:22. Burbidge wasn't as fortunate against one of East Valley's top wrestlers, Kameron Hopkins, losing a 15-0 technical fall, which came in the third round.

Sunnyside's Eric Garcia won a 7-5 decision over Toppenish's Nick Romero at 130 lbs. Garcia won by forfeit against East Valley.

Omar Magana lost a 12-6 decision at 135 lbs. to one of Toppenish's better wrestlers, Jess Leon. Magana took a forfeit victory for the Grizzlies against East Valley.

Rudy Martinez recorded the first of two victories on the night for Sunnyside at 140 lbs. Martinez won by major decision, 9-1, over Toppenish's Cesar Godinez. Martinez then pinned East Valley's Josh Stahl in 1:18.

"That was good for Rudy winning two matches," said Paulus. "He had a nice night."

At 145 lbs., Sunnyside's Ray Romero also recorded two victories to move to 21-1 on the season. Romero pinned Toppenish's Juan Cortez in 1:05 and then pinned East Valley's Brandon Rose in 1:23.

After winning by forfeit at 152 lbs. against Toppenish, Sunnyside's Michael Graham, normally a JV wrestler, pulled off an upset against East Valley's Corey Bronkhorst, winning by fall in five minutes. Paulus said the victory by Graham was especially nice to see because Bronkhorst, one of the Red Devils' top wrestlers, walked out on to the mat like he was going to massacre Graham.

Reece Paulus also racked up two victories last night for the Grizzlies at 160 lbs. Paulus pinned Toppenish grappler Gerardo Rodriguez in 3:54. Paulus then beat East Valley's Craig Barnes in 2:30.

At 171 lbs., Joe Evans received a forfeit victory against Toppenish. Evans recorded six takedowns in his match against East Valley's Jordan Scott before winning by fall in 1:59. Evans increased his school takedown record to 94 last night.

Carlos Padilla-Garza lost to Toppenish's Teo Rios 9-1 at 189 lbs. Padilla-Garza rebounded win a 45-second pin of East Valley's Mick Gause.

Casey Smith, another Grizzly who normally wrestlers JV, went 1-1 at 215 lbs. Smith pinned Toppenish's Dustin Howard in 1:15 before losing to East Valley's Paul Santos by pin in 5:13.

Grizzly heavyweight Pete Garza had a rough night. Garza lost a 6-4 overtime decision in his Toppenish match. Garza was then pinned by East Valley's Kyle Fay.

The Grizzlies gave up forfeit losses at 103 lbs. against both Toppenish and East Valley.

Alex Valencia won by forfeit at 112 lbs. against Toppenish. Valencia had the misfortune of being paired against the defending 2A State champion, Scott Thompson, in the last match of the night. Thompson pinned Valencia in 1:58.

The Grizzlies return to Mid-Valley League action this Thursday night at Grandview. Paulus believes if everyone is healthy and ready to go, the Grizzlies should do well in the team scoring. Paulus said there are some individual match-ups with the Greyhounds that worry him.

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at


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