As of Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The Grizzlies boys wrestling team finished third at yesterday’s 20-team Hanford Winter Cup.
Sunnyside posted 154 team points and nipped Kamiakin by a point to claim a Top-3 finish.
Grandview was 11th with 37 team points.
Mt. Spokane won the team title with 172 points, followed by Toppenish at 164.5 points.
Jacob Mendoza (126 pounds) and Diego Castaneda (145 pounds) led Sunnyside with titles in their respective weight classes.
Grizzlies Elias Romero (120 pounds) and Jector Ramirez (220 pounds) settled for runner-up honors.
“I was most pleased with Jector,” coach George Paulus said. “This is his second time he’s made the finals and he’s only a sophomore. He put in a pretty good day.”
Bringing home third-place honors for Sunnyside were Josiah Rodriguez (132 pounds), J.J. Rodriguez (152 pounds) and Moises Morales (160 pounds).
Grizzlies Jose Campos (113 pounds), Logan Case (182 pounds) and Daniel Huizar (195 pounds) were fifth.
“For the most part I was pleased with our performance,” Paulus said. “With 20 teams that’s a lot of competition, so I’m pleased with placing in the top three.”
Sunnyside’s varsity wrestlers have a nearly two-week break before competing at Eastmont on Thursday, Jan. 7. During the lay-off, Paulus said practices will focus on his wrestlers improving their takedown technique.
“Some of our kids are a little lax… we need to work on our takedown offense and defense,” he said. “Takedowns are so important in wrestling, they set the whole tone of the match. We gotta get better on our feet. We’ll keep on hammering that the rest of the week.”
Paulus said consistency throughout the line-up is also important as the Grizzlies approach the second half of the season.
“The key is going to be all stepping up at the same time,” he said.
This Saturday, Sunnyside’s varsity wrestlers host a JV boys tournament that will run simultaneously with a girls wrestling tournament.
Paulus said team scores will not be kept and there will be no individual awards.
“It’s just a way to give the kids some matches during the break,” he said.