MATTAWA - Despite an abundance of competition at last Saturday's youth wrestling tournament in Mattawa, the Sunnyside Little Grapplers returned home with 15 championship trophies in hand.
Of the 39 athletes who represented the Sunnyside wrestling club, another eight grapplers earned runner-up honors and three of the youngsters notched third-place finishes.
According to the head coach of the Little Grapplers, Daniel Guillen, the Mattawa tourney was the largest competition his team has participated in this season. The Saturday, March 20, event drew a total of 19 teams.
"We ran into good competition," Guillen said. "Although the competition was tough, our Little Grapplers were still able to shine," he added, explaining that 26 of the 39 club members earned placing medals.
The 15 wrestlers who returned to Sunnyside last weekend with tourney titles included 5/6-year-olds Eric Cortes, Noah Lopez, Andrew Macias and Josh Montelongo; 7/8-year-olds Abraham Arreola, Jayden Lopez, Alan Ochoa and Stephanie Blankenship; 9/10-year-old competitior Clay Camp; 11/12-year-olds Issac Palomino, Desmond Rodriguez and Santos Valdez; and 13/14-year-olds Fidel Medina Jr., Angel Ochoa and Sylvester Rodriguez.
The eight members of the Sunnyside Little Grapplers earning second-place medals included Jesus Ledezma (5/6-year-olds); Juan Macias Jr. (7/8-year-olds); Sylvestre Cortes Jr. and Victor Ochoa Jr. (9/10-year-olds); Daniel Cardenas and Jacob Mendoza (11/12-year-olds); and Jason Franklin and Noe Palomino (13/14-year-olds).
Third-place finishers for the Sunnyside club at the Mattawa tourney were Oscar Alvarez (5/6-years-olds), Christopher Martin (11/12-year-olds) and Phil Blankenship (13/14-year-olds).
Guillen said the local wrestling club is scheduled to compete at the 18-team Prosser invite this coming Saturday.
"We are expecting and hoping for tough competition there, also. Our Little Grapplers are ready," he said.