KENNEWICK - In one of the Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling program's most dominant victories ever, the squad dominated host Kennewick 70-6 last night, Thursday, in the Big Nine league opener.
"It could have been worse (for Kennewick)," said Grizzly Coach George Paulus. "We had a guy who didn't make weight."
As it turned out, it was the very first match of the night at 112 lbs. where the Grizzlies were missing their usual starter. Sunnyside substitute Trey Dezote was pinned in the first round by the Lions' Michael Hosfield.
It was all Sunnyside after that, as the Grizzlies won the next 13 matches, six of them by a pin.
Nathan Gonzalez (119 lbs.) got the ball rolling for Sunnyside with a second round pin of Edvan Meraz. Grizzly Daniel Guillen (125 lbs.) followed with a convincing 10-1 win over Ty Smith and Isaac Guerrero (130 lbs.) pinned Kennewick's Hunter Scantlin in 1:40.
Grizzly domination continued in the 135-lb. weight class, as Isidro Ramirez recorded a pin over Joseph Robles in 1:06. Sunnyside's Emmanuel Tejeda (140 lbs.) got the better of Brock Schuh in a 12-2 win. In the next match at 145 lbs., David Vidales recorded a 17-1 technical fall victory over Kennewick's Christian Gill.
The closest match of the night was at 152 lbs., where Sunnyside's Miguel Madrigal decisioned Nathan Ottley 7-2. Josh Romero (160 lbs.) followed with a second round pin over Julian Gutierrez.
Sunnyside's Lupe Mendoza (171 lbs.) won by a forfeit and teammate Miguel Guzman (189 lbs.) pinned Demetrio Ramirez in 1:11. After Austin Carmen (215 lbs.) won in a forfeit for Sunnyside, Heavyweight Adam Peters pinned Kennewick's Roger Valbuena in just 42 seconds.
The evening concluded with Sunnyside's Jessie Barajas (103 lbs.) winning by forfeit.
"I kind of suspected it was going to be that way, they're kind of young," Paulus said of the one-sided victory. At the same time, he noted that Kennewick has some athletes who should do well in the postseason, including Schuh, who is ranked in the state.
Paulus says the yardstick he uses to measure his team's ability are tournaments like the White River event last weekend, or the Larry Brown Invite coming up tomorrow, Saturday, in Fife.
"We have some pretty good kids," he said. "It's just a matter of testing them. We had a couple of close matches yesterday that fell our way and those (Sunnyside) kids still have to work on their skills."
As for the 14-team Fife event, Paulus says it should be a good experience for his squad. "The competition will be pretty good," he said.
Also in action tomorrow is the Grizzly wrestling program's second team, which will compete at the Granger Ironman event.
The Grizzlies make their home debut next Tuesday, Dec. 14, against Hanford.