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Grizzly Grapplers dominate

FIFE - Not even a heavy snowfall could deter the Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling team from taking control of the Larry Brown Invite in Fife this past Saturday.

The Grizzlies defended their 2009 tourney title with an impressive 282 points to win the team championship comfortably over Port Angeles, which scored 157 points for runner-up honors.

"We did well," said Coach George Paulus.

Well, indeed, as the Grizzlies placed eight wrestlers in the championship matches of their respective weight classes, with six of them winning titles.

At 103 lbs., Sunnyside's Jesus Barajas took the title with an 8-1 victory over Josh Basen of Port Angeles. The Grizzlies also got a boost at 119 lbs., where Nathan Gonzalez took the top spot by winning a 3-2 nail biter over R.A. Long's Tanner Acklerly.

"Nathan got a reversal in the second round and rode the kid from there in the third round," Paulus said of Gonzalez's winning strategy.

Also earning first-place honors for Sunnyside were Emmaneuel Tejeda (140 lbs.) and David Vidales (145 lbs.). Tejeda prevailed 9-6 over Fife's Jesus Gonzales in the title round, while Vidales rolled to a 14-4 title bout victory over O'Dea's Dominic Nicacio.

Rounding out Sunnyside's individual champions were Josh Romero (160 lbs.) and Adam Peters (285 lbs.)

Romero prevailed in the title bout by pinning Jared LaFrance of R.A. Long in the second round.

Peters also earned top honors by pinning Port Angeles' Daniel Jenkins in the third round.

All of Sunnyside's title winners sported perfect 4-0 records at the Fife invite.

Two other Grizzlies in the title round lost to settle for second place honors. Miguel Madrigal (152 lbs.) lost 6-4 in overtime to title winner Manuel Mendoza of R.A. Long, and Lupe Mendoza (171 lbs.) was pinned in the finals by Nick Belcourt of Fife.

The Grizzlies rounded out their dominating day with four third-place finishes at Fife. Santos Guerrero (112 lbs.) earned third-place honors by pinning Justin Lapham of R.A. Long in just 30 seconds in the consolation final. Sunnyside's Isaac Guerrero (130 lbs.) was also third after winning the consolation finals 4-1 over Joey Button of Interlake High School.

Sunnyside rounded out its third-place finishes in the consolation finals with Juan Barajas (135 lbs.) outpointing Bryce McDonald of Bainbridge Island by a score of 8-2, and Miguel Guzman (189 lbs.) pinning Timberlake High School's Tyler Saichonpoo.

Overall, Paulus said it was a good tourney for the Grizzlies, even if there were a couple of matches that didn't go Sunnyside's way.

"We lost a couple of matches we shouldn't have," he said. "You learn from it, you can't make a mistake at the wrong time or you pay for it and try not to do it again."

Sunnyside returns to action tomorrow, Tuesday, when it hosts Hanford in a make-up contest postponed earlier this month. The Grizzlies will host Southridge on Thursday.

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