Sunnyside is not only churning out state championships. The Blue Devil dynasty is also producing college wrestlers at a strong rate.
Sunnyside senior Cristian Rivera, a two-time state champion, committed to the United States Air Force Academy on Saturday.
The Blue Devils have earned 36 state titles, including the last six years under coach Anthony Leon.
Rivera’s commitment means he will join his older brother Jaime Rivera Jr. (West Point) next season as one of 12 female and male wrestlers from Sunnyside competing in college. One of them — Michael Avelar — is in his first year at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (Colo.).
Roman Bravo-Young – Penn State
Anthony Echemendia – Ohio State/Iowa State
Rico Robles – Arizona Christian
Jesse Ybarra – Iowa
Sebastian Robles – Iowa
Jaime Rivera Jr. – West Point
Rene Fragoso – Arizona State
Tatiana Hernandez – Northern Iowa Area Community College
Fernando Villaescusa Jr. – Iowa State
Michael Avelar – Air Force Academy
James Armstrong Jr. – Grandview
Cristian Rivera – Air Force Academy
In addition to his two state championships the last two years, Cristian Rivera is an Academic All-American, maintaining a 4.2 GPA in Advancement Placement (AP)/Honors courses.
He won the state title at 132 pounds in 2021 and at 144 last season.