Grapplers heading to Selah on Saturday

Sunnyside Little Grapplers wrestler Lenny Avalos hits a fireman’s carry on Royal City’s Eric Bonilla in a 140-144-pound bount in the age 13-14 division of a youth wrestling tournament Saturday in Moses Lake. The tournament included 32 teams, from Sunnyside all the way to Tonasket.

SELAH — The Sunnyside Little Grapplers head to Selah on Saturday, March 31, for their final regular tournament of the season.

That event will lead to the big one, the Jason Crawford Memorial Tournament, set for April 7 in the Spokane Convention Center.

“Many call it (Jason Crawford) our little ‘state’ tournament because all the wrestlers in our league attend and are all under one roof,” coach Dan Guillen said, noting that event may also break the world record for the largest tournament with the most wrestlers under a single roof.

“But first, let’s get through the Selah tourney,” he said.

Looking back at March 24, Guillen said his Little Grapplers did an excellent job in a tournament in Moses Lake.

“The ones that did make it had a chance to see competition we hadn’t seen this season, which was the goal,” Guillen said.

Sunnyside kids had a chance to see wrestlers from Republic, Keller, Selkirk, Wilbur, Tonasket, Omak, Nespelem, Tonasket and other areas, he said.

“It’s always good to see the competition from the northeast part of the state,” Guillen said. “Although there were a few hiccups with the bracketing, most of our Little Grapplers had some good, tough matches on Saturday.”

Due to the errors with the bracketing, Saturday turned into a long day.

Some families didn’t stay to the end, he said.

“We had several leave, but were still being called for their championship matches,” Guillen said, noting the Sunnyside club forfeited three championship bouts that evening and two or three third-place finishes.

“Sad to see, but I couldn’t blame them,” Guillen said. “It was getting pretty late for some.”

Of the 37 participants from Sunnyside, 25 came home with medals.

There were 12 champs, five runners-up and eight third-place winners. Local medalists are:

Champions — Julian Gaspar, 5/6-year-old division; Jeremiah Gomez, Kira Mesa, Marvin Salais, Jeriel Carreon, and James Perez, 7/8; Julian Puga and Alex Aguilar, 9/10; Carmelo Reyes, 11/12; and Alexxus Ramos, Jesus Carreon and Lenny Avalos, 13/14.

Second-place — Katalina Rodriguez and Elijah Amaro, 5/6; Chris Tabares, 7/8; Joe Ayala, 9/10; and Edwin Puga, 11/12.

Third-place — Jovani Ayala; Ian Ramos; and Eduardo Ortega, 5/6; Alicia Ramos, 7/8; Chema Cisneros and Aldo Martinez, 9/10; and Jayden Jasso, 11/12.

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