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Grizzly grapplers declaw Lions to remain perfect in league play

KENNEWICK - Despite illness that kept three varsity wrestlers on the sideline, it was another day at the office for the Sunnyside High School wrestling team last night in a 52-22 dual meet win at Kennewick.

The Grizzlies grabbed the Columbia Basin League win Thursday with help from five forfeits issued by the host Lions.

"It was pretty much one-sided from the beginning," Sunnyside Coach George Paulus said of the match. The flu bug also claimed Paulus who had to miss the match-his 170th career win at Sunnyside-due to illness.

Baltazar Avalos (140 lbs.), Juan Galindo (160 lbs.), Christian Reyes (103 lbs.), Steven Romero (112) and J.T. Gonzalez (135 lbs.) were the Sunnyside wrestlers receiving forfeits, awarding the Grizzlies an automatic 30 team points overall.

In head-to-head competition, Sunnyside's Caleb Gomez was pinned by Jason Whitehead in the 145-lb. match. Danny Alvarez (152 lbs.) rebounded for the Grizzlies, earning a 5-3 decision over Kennewick's Nate Woods in a contest that was tied at 2-2 after two periods.

Sunnyside's Jesus Mendoza kept the momentum going at 171 lbs., with a 14-2 major decision over Carlos Rivera.

The Grizzlies had reserves filling in at 189 and 215 lbs., Adrian Ramirez and Joseph Juarez, and both were pinned in their respective matches.

In other competition, Sunnyside's Adam Peters was decisioned 12-3 in the 285-lb. match by Brian Riel.

The Grizzlies earned a win at 119 lbs., when Isaac Romero built up a 16-6 lead before pinning Kennewick's Steven Moreno.

The final two matches featuring competition saw wins by Sunnyside, as Josh Romero (125 lbs.) won by a major decision over Matthew Morris 21-7, and Shawn Olivarez (130 lbs.) defeated Kennewick's Ryan Ines, 17-1.

Sunnyside (4-0, 6-2) hopes to be healthy in time for tomorrow's triple dual meet at East Valley, in which the 3A Grizzlies will face 1A Zillah, followed by 2A schools Prosser and East Valley.

Besides getting some experience for his younger wrestlers, Paulus said his primary goal this Saturday is to keep his squad injury-free.

"We don't want to get anybody hurt," said Paulus. "Especially with the postseason coming up."

The Grizzlies are also looking forward to a key CBL dual meet at home next Tuesday against Eastmont that should decide the regular season championship.

Both teams are undefeated in league. Sunnyside is ranked fourth among 3A wrestling programs in the state and Eastmont fifth.

We got us a high level match coming up," Paulus said of Tuesday's tilt with Eastmont.

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