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SHS wrestlers sweep triple-dual matches

MOXEE - The Sunnyside High School wrestling team swept to non-league wins against Prosser, Zillah and host East Valley this past Saturday.

The 3A Grizzlies defeated 2A Prosser 61-17, 1A Zillah 40-24 and 2A East Valley 42-22 to improve to 9-2 overall.

Against Prosser, Sunnyside opened with three wins in the first four matches.

Baltazar Avalos (140 lbs.) and Andrew Swinehart (160 lbs.) recorded pins over their Mustang opponents. Sunnyside's Danny Alvarez (152 lbs.) recorded a 7-0 decision over Prosser's Rene Moreno, while Caleb Gomez (145 lbs.) was defeated 20-5 by Prosser's David Huizar.

After Sunnyside's Jesus Mendoza was pinned by Nathan Bauer at 171 lbs., Frankie Ochoa recorded a pin at 189 lbs. over Justin Hymes of Prosser.

Sunnyside's Frank Rivera was pinned in the 215-lb. match, while teammate Adam Peters received a forfeit win at 285 lbs.

Sunnyside went on to sweep the lighter weights, with consecutive wins by Christian Reyes (103 lbs.), Steven Romero (112 lbs.), Isaac Romero (119 lbs.), Josh Romero (125 lbs.), Shawn Olivarez (130) lbs and J.T. Gonzalez (135 lbs.)

In the contest with Zillah, Sunnyside actually lost four of the first five matches, with Alvarez providing the lone win early with a 13-1 major decision over the Leopards' Kyle Tynan.

Sunnyside turned it around, though, with seven wins over the final nine matches to pull away.

After Rivera earned a pin in the 215-lb. match, Peters was pinned at 285 lbs.

That, again, set up a run through the lighter weights for Sunnyside led by the three Romero brothers.

Reyes received a forfeit win at 103 lbs. for Sunnyside, followed by Steven Romero's win in what was probably the match of the day, according to Grizzly Coach George Paulus.

Romero, ranked number one among State 3A wrestlers at 112 lbs., battled Zillah's Skylar Davis, top-ranked among State 1A wrestlers in that weight class. Romero took control early and pulled away with a comfortable 11-4 win.

Isaac Romero (119 lbs.) followed with a pin, and the third Romero brother, Josh, followed with a convincing 19-5 major decision.

Olivarez (130 lbs.) and Gonzalez (135 lbs.) continued Sunnyside's run of wins, before the match concluded with Avalos' defeat at 140 lbs.

In the East Valley match, the hosts surprised Sunnyside at the start with a 5-3 overtime win over Alvarez at 152 lbs. The Red Devils' Jim Logozzo secured the win with a takedown in the first minute of overtime.

Swinehart (160 lbs.) and Mendoza (171 lbs.) got the Grizzlies back on the winning track with pins over their opponents.

Things remained tight, though, as Ochoa was decisioned 11-3 at 189 lbs., only for Rivera and Peters to score points for Sunnyside with wins at 215 lbs. and 285 lbs., respectively.

Those wins in the heavier weight classes would prove to be important against East Valley, as the Grizzlies were not as dominant in the lighter weight classes as they were against Prosser and Zillah.

Reyes (103 lbs.) was decisioned by East Valley's Konner Hopkins 7-2 and Steven Romero (112 lbs.) suffered a rare loss when he had to surrender an injury default loss due to a thumb injury.

"Somehow he caught his thumb in the other kids' uniform and it popped," said Paulus, who confirmed that a trip to the E.R. showed the injury was a disclocation not a break.

Any hopes the Red Devils had of upsetting Sunnyside, ranked in the State 3A top five, came to a crashing halt when the Grizzlies won the next five matches.

Isaac Romero got the rally started with a pin over Jordan Vanderhoof at 119 lbs., and Josh Romero earned an 8-3 decision over Mason Yates at 125 lbs.

Sunnyside's Shawn Olivarez (130 lbs.) kept the party going with a tight, 3-1 overtime decision over Shawn Stone. Olivarez trailed 1-0 entering the third period, but forced an extra session with an escape. After a scoreless sudden death minute in overtime, Olivarez scored the winning points with a reversal.

Gonzalez (135) pinned Jeremy Standfill, and Avalos wrapped up the win string with a 7-2 decision over Doug Chartier at 140 lbs.

The match, and day, ended with East Valley's Andre Uribe pinning Caleb Gomez at 145 lbs.

Sunnyside returns to league action this Tuesday in what is likely the match of the year, at least during the regular season, as the Grizzlies will host Eastmont, which is also undefeated in CBL action. Both clubs are 6-0 in league competition.

One of Paulus' primary goals out of the East Valley competition was to come away healthy. Other than Steven Romero's thumb injury, the Grizzlies came away unscathed. Paulus said Romero will be ready to go against East Valley. "There's some things we can do to wrap and stabilize the thumb," Paulus said. "But he'll have to deal with some pain."

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