Area youth wrestlers heading to ‘state’

Sunnyside grapplers won 38 medals last weekend


Alexis “Lulu” Taylor reacts with surprise after winning her first mach of the season, 8-4, over a Mabton opponent. She scored 3 of her points in the last 30 seconds.


Bryan Soto of Sunnyside uses a head-and-arm to throw a Toppenish opponent during Saturday’s tournament in Granger.

— Lower Yakima Valley Little Guy wrestling teams will be headed to Spokane on Friday to compete in the annual statewide Jason Crawford Memorial Tournament.

Benton City, Prosser, Grandview, Mabton, Sunnyside, Granger and Zillah will be among the hundreds of teams at the event in the Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd.

“Approximately 1,400 wrestlers all under one roof,” Sunnyside Little Grapplers coach Daniel Guillen said yesterday. “A lot of our kids look forward to this one. I know we are ready.”

Guillen said Sunnyside and other area wrestling clubs anticipate coming home with “a lot of hardware.”

“The experience of this tournament is something a lot of these kids have never experienced,” he said. “I am hoping they make the trip and make some memories with our Little Grappler family.”

Little Guy competitors will weigh in for the tournament tomorrow night at either East Valley High School in Moxee or Chiawana High School in Pasco.

Many will travel to Spokane on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s “state” tournament, Guillen said. Wrestling begins at 9 a.m.

Guillen’s team is coming off some big wins last weekend at Granger.

Little Grappler champions included Julian Gaspar in the 5/6-year-old division, James; James Perez, Damien Diaz and Maricela Garcia in 7/8; Julia Puga and Marvin Salais in 9/10; Edwin Puga in 11/12; and Leonardo “Lenny” Avalos, Benjamin Martinez, Anthony Denson and Bryan Soto in 13/14.

“As expected, tough competition there,” Guillen said of the bouts at Granger. “Slow start for the tournament. But once it got going, it turned out OK.”

Guillen said 38 wrestlers ages 5-14 represented Sunnyside at the tournament.

“The ones that were there represented Sunnyside very well,” he said, noting Little Grapplers had 11 champions, eight silver medalists and seven bronze winners.

“I’d say that was a very good day for the Little Grapplers,” he said.

Silver medalists from Sunnyside included Elijah Wood in 5/6; Jeriel Carreon in 7/8; Alejandro Aguilar, Joe Ayala, Julian Gonzalez and Cesar Salais in 9/10; and Elijah Reyes and Jasmine Rodriguez in 13/14.

Third-place finishers from Sunnyside included Rolando Gonzalez in 7/8; Kalani Bodine, Julian Borrego, Dalilah Torres and Isaac Esquivel in 9/10; and Jesus Carreon and Marcos Graciano in 13/14.


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