NEW SUNNYSIDE HIGH SCHOOL HEAD COACH — Jason Moyer standing to view the time remaining in a match at Mat Classic XXXII in Tacoma last year. “Even when our athletes lose, there’s a rich opportunity to learn and become a better person as a result as they move forward,” freshly appointed Grizzly varsity boys wrestling head coach Moyer said.

SUNNYSIDE — Continuing the renowned tradition of Grizzly boys wrestling, new head coach Jason Moyer plans to instill his own emphasis on the program for creating positive memories – ones which will be considered as a life highlight, regardless of result, is the direction the program will be taking when the second season sport aims to begin.

“I want our athletes to be building just incredible memories that are generally separate from their own personal results, the wins and losses,” coach Moyer humbly acknowledged. “For both them and their folks, that it’s been one of the most rewarding experiences from their high school career, is their involvement in our wrestling program.”

As the school district prepares to implement the hybrid learning model, he remains cautiously optimistic there will be a wrestling season at some point. Moyer feels confident his team will be ready when it’s safe to compete in one of the four sporting seasons this year.

“Some aspects are looking positive, I’m thinking shortly within a week or so, all the sports will be able to have what they’re calling a second summer, which is socially distanced and conditioning type workouts. So, we’re headed in the right direction.”

The summer conditioning and workout regimen is an important time for the development of up and coming wrestlers, which is critical to the team’s ongoing success. Sunnyside’s deep roster is generally filled with athletes capable of winning matches, scoring points, and placing, which adds up to winning titles, coach Moyer affirmed.

“For us, it’s the overall depth that we are trying to develop and that’s where the lack of a summer season affects us the most.”

Moyer was appointed to the position on Monday, Sept. 28, pending board approval said Sunnyside High School Director of Student Life and Athletics Dave Martinez in a press release. The history teacher, who has a master’s degree from Western Washington University, began coaching at SHS in 2003 and was named twice Big 9 assistant coach of the year.

Coaching longevity has been one of the contributing elements in the Grizzlies wrestling program’s overall success. Moyer said no one can replace “the one-in-a-million,” Hall of Fame Coach George Paulus, who retired after 31-years and guided the team to a second place 4A team finish at the Mat Classic XXXII in Tacoma last year. Paulus had 21 Mat Classic team finishes in the top 10, along with 24 state champions and 118 medalists.

“We still have an elite coaching staff and because we’ve been together for so long, we know what needs to be done and we know how to do it. And that part doesn’t change,” he stated.

The head coach added another key factor in the program’s high level of achievement has been its core fundamentals and the strong foundation for lasting results. “We always have to evolve and improve while remaining current.”

Moyer intends to implement his coaching philosophy in building lifelong memories, matched with team and individual goals as part of the program’s overall messaging and daily approach. The entire coaching staff recognizes how tough and unforgiving the sport of wrestling can be, coach shared.

And, for those dedicated athletes competing in the moment and leaving the mat one last time with nothing more to give, the Grizzly coaches will be by their side giving an encouraging hug of loving support, while telling them everything is going to be alright, Moyer described.

“That’s where I think our success lies and it’s in those principles we have continued to follow and what we consider to be winning practices, and that will continue. I am confident that our desire to create positive experiences for our kids, to help them to develop, even the elite ones to continue to improve, to stay motivated, to stay fresh and to have fun. That’s the fundamentals of the program and that will never change.”

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.