KENNEWICK - The Sunnyside Grizzly wrestling team nearly doubled its contingent to Sub-Regionals this coming weekend by advancing 13 JV wrestlers from a JV qualifier held last Saturday in Kennewick.
It would have been 14, but one of the Grizzly JV athletes missed the bus, noted Coach George Paulus.
Combined with the 14 SHS varsity wrestlers already tabbed for Sub-Regionals, Sunnyside will take 27 grapplers to Sub-Regionals this coming weekend in Spokane. Amazingly, that will account for nearly one-fourth of all the competitors there, considering there are eight wrestlers in each of the 14 weight categories.
The top six in each weight class this coming Saturday will advance to Regionals the following weekend here in Sunnyside.
"We're really pleased," Paulus said of adding so many JV's to his team's Sub-Regional roster. "It's really encouraging, but we would have had 14 because the kid who missed the bus would have qualified."
The Sunnyside JV wrestlers now joining the varsity at Sub-Regionals this week are Sylvester Rodriguez (126 lbs.), Javier Mendoza (152lbs.), Jesse Torres (106 lbs.), Andres Torres (120 lbs.), Brendon Wood (170 lbs.), Omar Sanchez (138 lbs.), Jacob Mendoza (113 lbs.), Isaiah Guerrero (145 lbs.), Eric Silva (160 lbs.), Jose Pacheco (182 lbs.), Gerardo Lepez (195 lbs.), Mario Prado (220 lbs.) and Xavier Cortez (285 lbs.).
Perhaps the best news for Sunnyside coming out of last weekend is that seven Grizzlies will head to Sub-Regionals as the number one seed in their respective weight classes.
All of the Grizzly varsity wrestlers drew at least a third seed.
"I think that's the best we've ever been," says Paulus, the Grizzlies' longtime wrestling coach. "The seeding pays off for all the hard work they did during the season."
Sunnyside wrestlers competing in Spokane as top seeds are Homer Romero (106 lbs.), Jesse Barajas (113 lbs.), Santos Guerrero (120 lbs.), Anthony Chavez (126 lbs.), Noe Palomino (145 lbs.), Sam Romero (152 lbs.) and Austin Carman (220 lbs.).
Daniel Guillen (170 lbs.) secured a second seed for Sunnyside, along with Christian Ruiz (138 lbs.), Ramon Hernandez (160 lbs.) and Daniel Avalos (182 lbs.).
Four more Grizzlies will trek to Spokane boasting a third seed; JV qualifier Jesse Torres (106 lbs.), Max Ramos (170 lbs.), Isaac Palomino (195 lbs.), and Pedro Cardenas (285 lbs.).
Paulus says the significance of a high seed is that his wrestlers will go up against lower rated grapplers in the opening round.
"With seven number ones we're looking pretty good," he said. "Hopefully they'll wrestle up to their credentials and we'll have them in the finals."