YAKIMA - Six-for-six on the season, that's where the Sunnyside High School wrestling team is at in dual meet competitions this season.
The Grizzlies' latest victory came at West Valley High School last Saturday, a 47-21 win over the 2A East Valley Red Devils. The head-to-head team match-up was Sunnyside's first foray outside of the 3A Columbia Basin Big Nine Conference this season. The Grizzlies were also to have wrestled 2A Prosser last Saturday, but the Mustangs failed to show for the scheduled double-dual.
Sunnyside closes out its dual meet portion of its schedule this week with league encounters against visiting Pasco on Tuesday and a trip to West Valley to face the Rams on Thursday, then will tackle both 4A Davis and Eisenhower in the Ike gym on Saturday. The 3A postseason tournaments begin the following week.
In clipping East Valley by a 26-point margin last Saturday, the Grizzlies were handed 24 team points via forfeits. Of the nine bouts that were actually contested, Sunnyside was victorious in five of them.
Of those five Sunnyside wins, two came via pins. Claiming the first fall for the Grizzlies was Jesse Barajas, wrestling at 113 lbs. against East Valley's David Mata. Barajas turned Mata and notched the pin with 31 seconds still remaining in the opening period. The second fall the Grizzlies got on Saturday was earned by 126-pounder Nathan Gonzalez. He, too, scored his pin in the first round, at the 1:51 mark, against the Red Devils' Luis Aguilar.
Two of Sunnyside's victories went into the books as major decisions, each worth four team points because the margin of victory is greater than seven points. Coming away with the two major decisions were Sunnyside's Daniel Avalos and Santos Guerrero.
Avalos, at 182 lbs., had no trouble in getting past Daniel Flores of East Valley, winning 11-1. Enroute to notching the win, Avalos turned Flores twice onto his back for near fall points.
Guerrero was a 13-2 major decision winner over East Valley's Austin Mitchell in their 120-lb. bout. Guerrero also registered two near falls in his match.
The one other Grizzly who took to the mat and came away victorious was 152-pounder David Vidales. Scoring all his points via takedowns and escapes, Vidales bested Ben Montoya 7-3.
The four bouts East Valley laid claim to on Saturday came in the 106-lb., 132-lb., 165-lb. and 170-lb. weight classes.
At 106 lbs., Berkley Aguilar of East Valley avenged a loss he sustained to Homer Romero at a tournament in Ellensburg the previous weekend, edging the Grizzly last Saturday by a 5-3 score.
Logan Merkle, at 132 lbs., jumped out ahead of Sunnyside's Cristian Ruiz by a 12-1 score before pinning the Grizzly late in the second period.
At 165 lbs., Sunnyside's Omar Cantu actually built a 9-6 lead on Ezekiel Romero, but the Red Devil flipped the Grizzly onto his back late in the second round and recorded a fall.
East Valley's fourth win on the day, at 170 lbs., occurred when Antoine Yates pinned Sam Romero at the 3:30 mark.