EAST WENATCHEE — The spotlight was aimed directly on the No. 3 ranked Sunnyside boys’ wrestling team and from top to bottom, they showcased their athletic grit and won 61-18 over Eastmont on Thursday, Jan. 9.
“We did well. It was a good job from top to bottom,” coach George Paulus stated as he pointed out the main difference between wrestling in league and tournament competition. “You’re very much spotlighted in a dual match. In a tournament, there’s four or five other mats going on all at the same time… In a dual meet, you’re right up front… You are the show!”
The mental preparation is also different. There’s an individual awareness which comes to light when stepping onto the mat. As all eyes are focused on every move within the 28-foot area circle, the competitive moment can be nerve wrecking.
“The nerve situation is a little bit different. And they’ve got to open it up and not be afraid to do things,” Paulus added. “There’s nobody else diffusing all the situation out there. It’s you and them, and you can see, ‘alright, who’s got the stuff?”
One of the wrestlers not effected by the intensity of the dual meet challenge was sophomore Jeydian Salazar in the 182-pound weight class. According to coach, the sophomore went beyond his normal routine of moves and applied new tilts and load up maneuvers during his match win.
“I worked my moves and got a lot of back points, and got the pin at the end,” Salazar reported after he pinned Eastmont’s Luke Harrison at 2:16. “I’m getting my technique back and looking a lot smoother out there.”
His mat awareness combined with an improving ability of recognizing in match strategies and being able to leverage them against his opponent, proved to be successful for the up and coming grappler.
“A lot of the arm bars came into play and I worked out this whole week, so that helped me throughout the match,” Salazar explained. “During practice, I’m trying to work whatever I can to get better.”
He’s still has a little technical difficulty with some of the moves and maneuvers, yet he’s trying them. So, when he tries them in competition, he’ll eventually figure them out,” coach conveyed. “It’s nice to see he’s advancing and starting to think about some of that stuff!”
Sunnyside is tied with Wenatchee for first place in league at 2-0 while Eastmont drops to 1-2. The Grizzlies will host Davis on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. and visit Eisenhower on Thursday, 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 a.m., the team takes part in Ray Westberg Invite at Ellensburg High School, 1203 E. Capitol Ave., Ellensburg.