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Sunnyside advances 11 JV wrestlers to Subregionals

RICHLAND - The Sunnyside High School wrestling team nearly doubled its team of 14 varsity wrestlers heading to Subregionals this weekend in Kennewick.

That's because 11 JV wrestlers advanced out of this past weekend's JV qualifier meet at Hanford High School.

Also for the first time, team scores were kept. Mirroring the final regular season standings, Sunnyside finished first with 253.5 points, followed by Eastmont and West Valley in second and third with 185 and 163 points, respectively.

Sunnyside had five JV wrestlers win their respective weight classes, earning eighth-place seeds at Subregionals.

Christian Reyes won the 103-lb. championship for the Sunnyside JV team with a 20-5 technical fall in the title bout over Jace Elenich of West Valley.

Sunnyside JV wrestler Rigo Valdez (119 lbs.) was also first with a 12-2 major decision in the title bout over Kamiakin's Alex Mercado.

Rounding out the Grizzly JV quintet of first-place finishers with wins in the finals were Nick Martinez (130 lbs.), who decisioned Luis Ramirez of Eastmont 8-2, Leroy Rodelo (135 lbs.), who pinned Dillon Thornton, and Adrian Ramirez (171 lbs.), who decisioned Southridge's Pablo Cesar 7-2.

Sunnyside's Kevin Alvarez (112 lbs.) and Andy Cantu (140 lbs.) punched their JV tickets to Subregionals with second-place finishes.

The Grizzly JV squad also had two third-place and two fourth-place finishers to wrap up Subregional qualifying.

Jaime Garcia and Frank Rivera took home JV third-place honors for Sunnyside at 145 lbs. and 215 lbs., respectively.

The fourth-place finishing and final Subregional berths went to Sunnyside JV wrestlers Juan Galindo (160 lbs.) and Frankie Ochoa (189 lbs.).

The Sunnyside JV squad had three other wrestlers compete at last weekend's qualifier, Jorge Ramirez (125 lbs.), Lupe Mendoza (152 lbs.) and Jose Alcantar (285 lbs.). All three captured fifth-place spots and will serve as alternates if one of the top four JV wrestlers in their weight class has to drop out due to injury or illness.

Sunnyside wrestling Coach George Paulus was pleased with the JV team's overall performance, and noted that some of his Grizzly JV wrestlers defeated opponents who they lost to earlier this season.

"They were a little bit more savvy," Paulus said. "It's good to see they made adjustments in their game."

Paulus noted the Subregionals meet at Kennewick High School on Feb. 1-2 will include wrestlers from the Greater Spokane League. "We don't know much about them," Paulus chuckled. "Every year it's kind of a crapshoot. There are always surprises."

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