SUNNYSIDE — Senior Mike Rivera received the 2019 Columbia Basin Big 9 Conference League Most Valuable Player award for his outstanding football season on both offense and defense, while helping guide the Grizzlies to a three-way share of the league title.

“I was pumped about the award,” Rivera humbly acknowledged. “It was definitely a blessing because I had to work on both sides of the ball.”

The three-year varsity starter was a unanimous selection for first team offense and defense as wide receiver and defensive back.

“This (past) summer, I ended up going to Eastern (Washington University) and the receivers’ coach talked to me about being aggressive. And, being aggressive on both sides of the ball could get you a long way. I just listened to what he said,” Rivera conveyed.

SHS coach John Lobbestael described Rivera’s hard work ethic and strong leadership, along with his appreciation for everything he’s contributed to the Grizzly program.

“He’s a great kid… I’m really proud of him and hope that he got enough out of playing football here,” Lobbestael expressed.

Grizzly senior linebacker Adam Sanchez earned first team honors on the Columbia Basin Big 9 Defense All-Conference list.

“A three-year starter, really hard worker and big-time leader, and a great kid. He doesn’t act any different from any player on our team,” coach proudly stated.

Defensive players chosen for the Second Team were junior defense back Julian Sandoval and sophomore linebacker Myles Newhouse.

Securing Honorable Mention included senior defensive back Jonathan Sanchez, junior linebacker Favian Oseguera and sophomore Raymond Ramierez.

Winning Offensive First Team recognition was senior offensive lineman Ever Diddens-Maldonado.

Achieving Second Team distinction featured senior running back Arturo Fernandez, receiver Jonathan Sanchez, senior offensive lineman Jaden Siller and junior Alex Mojica.

Meriting Honorable Mention were senior offensive linemen Miguel Ayala and junior Ethan Weron.

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

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