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MACKEY CLAIMS DIVISION V TITLE

Indian knocks off rival in overtime

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MACKEY CLAIMS DIVISION V TITLE

Ripon's 171-pounder Ryan Mackey won the SJS D-V crown with an overtime win over Escalon's Charlie McDonald.

Bulletin file photo/


POSTED February 22, 2009 5:20 a.m.
OLIVEHURST – There may not be a better rivalry in Sac-Joaquin Section Division V wrestling than the one at 171 pounds, where Ripon’s Ryan Mackey and Escalon’s Charlie McDonald have battled the past two years for Trans Valley League and D-V supremacy.

After knocking off Mackey, 4-3, at the TVL tournament last Saturday, McDonald was the favorite to capture the D-V crown at Lindhurst High Saturday evening.

But after a week of preparation in which Mackey and the Ripon coaching staff focused on defending McDonald’s take-downs, it was Mackey who ended up walking away with the D-V championship, collecting an overtime take-down after the pair battled to an escape-apiece 1-1 deadlock in regulation.

“Charlie usually beat me with his initial takedown,” Mackey said. “It was just about defending how he sets up. I changed up my stance and played defense.”

Mackey finished 5th at last season’s divisional tournament after McDonald eliminated him the semifinals. After knocking off McDonald this time around, Mackey says his confidence is back heading into the Masters.

“I was disappointed at league when he beat me,” Mackey said. “This win brought back my self-esteem a little bit. I’ve gotten used to cutting weight. I feel strong, I’m getting quicker. It’s pretty fast at 171 (pounds), but I’m getting the hang of it.”

But Mackey wasn’t the Indians lone feel-good story Saturday.

Junior heavyweight Matt Baker also inked his name at the Masters after finishing fourth overall.

Baker will compete in the Masters for the first time in his three-year wrestling career when the tournament begins Thursday at the University of the Pacific.

“We’re really excited about Matt,” Ripon head coach Glen White said. “He’s come a really long way in a short amount of time. He’s really shown a lot of improvement.”

Freshman Trevor Daniel finished sixth overall, missing the Masters cut by one spot.

— Brandon Petersen
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