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Red Devils no match for Sunnyside grapplers

MOXEE - Winners of 11 of the 14 matches staged last night, the Sunnyside Grizzlies made short work of the East Valley Red Devils. Sunnyside prevailed handily, 56-14.

The non-league win boosted Sunnyside's overall record in head-to-head match-ups to 7-1.

The Grizzlies' 119-lb. standout, senior Steve Sanchez, continued his winning ways Tuesday by posting a 14-2 major decision against Kellen Hopkins. For Sanchez, it was his 21st victory of the season in 22 outings.

Sunnyside freshman Isaac Romero (103 lbs.) improved to 26-3 on the season last night when East Valley was unable to field a wrestler in that weight class. Teammate Joseph Villanueva (125 lbs.), another freshman, also accepted a forfeit to improve his record to 19-8.

Grizzly sophomore Ricardo Rivera (112 lbs.) also won by forfeit to up his season record to 23-5.

East Valley didn't get its first taste of victory until the fifth bout of the evening. At 130 lbs., Cameron Hopkins claimed a fall against Sunnyside's Greg Burbidge with 25 seconds remaining in the first period.

The Red Devils made it two in a row when their highly regarded 135-pounder, Scott Thompson, scored an 18-3 technical fall against Juan Salinas. Thompson has just one loss this season in 24 matches.

Omar Magana got Sunnyside back on the winning track by pinning East Valley's Josh Stahl in their 140-lb. bout. Magana claimed the fall just past the midway point of the opening round.

At 145 lbs., Zeke Galvan of Sunnyside eked out a 6-4 decision over Miguel Valencia.

Michael Graham then forged a 6-0 lead on his 152-lb. counterpart, East Valley's Jake Nester, only to have the Red Devil wrestler put Graham to his back in the final period. Graham fought off the pin and held on for a 7-5 win.

At 160 lbs., Sunnyside's Victor Moreno improved to 21-7 on the year by dominating his East Valley opponent, Nick Duran. Moreno blanked the Red Devil, 16-0.

The last victory of the night for East Valley came in the 171-lb. match. Marshal Smith decisioned Sunnyside's Frankie Candido 8-3.

The Grizzlies closed out the match with three consecutive pins to account for the final 56-14 team score. Scoring the falls were Carlos Garza at 189 lbs., Daniel Cruz at 215 lbs. and Pete Garza at 275 lbs.

In looking ahead to this coming Thursday, when Sunnyside travels to West Valley to close out regular season play, Grizzly Coach George Paulus said he is hoping for a large fan base.

"Thursday's match will decide the league championship," said Paulus. "We'd like to see as many of our fans there as possible."

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