Here is an inside look at the 2019 Sunnyside Grizzlies football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
7-3 in Columbia Basin/Big Nine (second place)
John Lobbestael, fifth season
Offense – 4. Defense – 4.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
OL Ever Diddens-Maldonado, 5-6, 175, sr.
RB Devin Escamilla, 5-7, 170, so.
RB Arturo Fernandez, 5-8, 165, sr.
WR Mike Rivera, 5-10, 170, sr.
WR Johnny Sanchez, 5-10, 165, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
LB Favian Carrasco, 5-8, 185, jr.
DL Oscar Moldanado, 5-10, 225, sr.
DB Mike Rivera, 5-10, 170, sr.
LB Adam Sanchez, 5-7, 175, sr.
DB Julian Sandoval, 5-10, 185, jr.
THREE TO SEE
Favian Carrasco, linebacker
Started all season as a sophomore – and now he’s veteran of inside-linebacking group
Mike Rivera, wide receiver
One of fastest burners in state, he doesn’t just rely on speed – he runs crisp routes
Adam Sanchez, linebacker
Not big, but strong and tough to beat in pass coverage on strong side of defense
Over the past half-decade, Lobbestael has done as good a job of turning a league doormat — the team lost 22 games in a row until 2015 — into a playoff contender as any coach in the state.
Offensively, the Grizzles play quick and air it out. And this might be one of those seasons they set a few school records, even while breaking in sophomore Logan Rodriguez as the new starting quarterback.
It helps that Rodriguez has two experienced wide receivers, especially Rivera, an all-CBBN first-teamer who placed fourth in the Class 4A state 100-meter finals last spring. Lobbestael kids that he never asks his senior to just run a vertical route, because no quarterback has the arm strength to throw it that deep.
Early on, the Grizzlies might have to carry the load. Lobbestael’s defense has just three returners with varsity experience. But that unit boasts a ton of speed, with Rivera switching from cornerback to free safety to oversee all of the action.
Sept. 6: at Prosser, 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: Cleveland, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: at Richland, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: West Valley of Yakima, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4: Eisenhower, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Hanford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: Eastmont, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: at Wenatchee, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1: at Davis, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7: at Moses Lake, 7 p.m.