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Greyhounds have District title in their sights

GRANDVIEW - Finishing the season with a share of the championship title of the Central Washington Athletic Conference south division, the Grandview High School wrestling team has its eyes on a bigger prize.

The Greyhounds go into this weekend's District tournament in good shape to bring home the team title.

The District tournament will be held at Othello High School beginning this Friday at 5 p.m. The District tournament will continue on Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. The top four placers in each weight class at Districts qualify for Regionals the following weekend in Chelan. The top four placers in each weight class at Regionals move on to the State tournament at the Tacoma Dome, Feb. 18-19.

"I think we have got a good shot at the District title," said Grandview Coach Jeff Sevigny.

Sevigny is expecting the rush for the District title to be a dogfight between Connell, Othello, Grandview and Kiona-Benton, the four teams that battled it out for the top prize during the regular season.

Grandview has two No. 1 seeds in the tournament, Tovias Magana (171 lbs.) and Andrew Morales (heavyweight). But Grandview also a number of two and three seeds that should boost the Greyhounds' chances even more.

"This whole year we have had kids stepping up," said Sevigny.

Sevigny, though, is admittedly worried about the rust that has built up on his team going into Districts. The last time Grandview wrestled competitively was Jan. 20 at Toppenish. Some of the Greyhounds did take part in an all-comers meet at Zillah last week, where Sevigny said his wrestlers weren't as sharp as he would have liked.

Magana looks to be tough for the Greyhounds at 171 lbs., as the top seed, said Sevigny. The toughest competition Magana should face at the tournament comes from teammate Rigo Rodriguez, who is the No. 2 overall seed. Sevigny said his two wrestlers have been the stiffest competition all year for one another. The Grandview coach is expecting an all-Greyhound finals at 171 lbs.

About the only stiff competition Morales can expect at heavyweight should come from Ruben Rios of Toppenish, the tournament's No. 2 seed. Sevigny said Morales has already beaten everyone he will face at Districts.

At 119 lbs., Grandview freshman Fernando Godinez grabbed a No. 2 seed, coming in behind top seeded Kellen Hopkins of East Valley, who was third at State last year. Sevigny noted the solid record of Godinez as a freshman, wracking up a 20-9 mark.

"That is awesome for a freshman," said Sevigny.

Sevigny said he isn't counting Godinez out from reaching the finals, as the Greyhound freshman has surprised him all year.

Shay Seimears is hoping to continue the stellar success he had this year for the Greyhounds into the postseason. Seimears is a No. 2 seed at 135 lbs., behind Phillip Ontiveros of Othello.

"His route to the finals is pretty good," said Sevigny.

Sevigny is expecting Ontiveros and Seimears to meet up in the finals.

Another No. 2 seed for the Greyhounds is Heleodoro Lopez, at 189 lbs. Sevigny is expecting good things from Lopez, who spent a lot of the season wrestling at 215 lbs. Lopez will have his work cut out for him, though. The No. 1 seed at 189 lbs. is Tony Lee of Connell, who is 24-0 on the year, after placing seventh at State last season.

Sevigny is expecting Jesus Soto to be in the finals of the 160-lb. weight class. Soto is a two seed. Todd Ferguson of Naches is the top seed.

Michael Benavidez overcame an injury plagued season to snag a three seed into Districts at 140 lbs. Benavidez will be looking to knock off top seeded Freddy Flores of Othello, who placed seventh at State last year.

"When Michael is on, he is as good as anybody," said Sevigny.

About the only issue Sevigny had with the seeding came at 152 lbs. Sevigny felt Grandview's Jacob Robillard should have been a three seed, but following a coaches vote at the seeding meeting, Robillard nabbed a fourth seed. David Ray of Connell, who placed fourth at State last year, is the top seed.

Grandview's Andrew Tucker will have his work cut out for him at 103 lbs. Tucker is seeded fifth into the District tournament, but this weight class is filled with talented wrestlers, said Sevigny. The top seed is J.J. Garza of Toppenish, who is 25-0 on the year.

"It (103 lbs.) is a very tough weight this year," said Sevigny.

The Greyhounds have two wrestlers at 125 lbs. Kaelan Nelson will be looking to propel some of his midseason success at the District tournament, going in as a No. 5 seed. Teammate Fransico Valencia is an eighth seed. Sevigny said the weight class is going to be tough, especially trying to knock off top-seeded Scott Thompson of East Valley.

Grandview also has two wrestlers seeded at 130 lbs. Matt Saldana goes into Districts with a fifth seed and Max Saldana is seventh. Both Grandview wrestlers are in different halves of the bracket, said Sevigny. The top seed at 130 lbs. is Edgar Mendez of Connell.

Kevin Concienne is a ninth seed for the Greyhounds at 135 lbs.

Two freshmen will represent Grandview at 140 and 145 lbs., respectively. James Whitney is a ninth seed at 140 lbs. Teammate Yoni Causor is an eighth seed at 145 lbs.

Rounding out the seeding for Grandview is Tony Chester, seeded sixth at 189 lbs., and Junior Pina, seeded fifth at 215 lbs.

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