HUGHSON — As all wrestling coaches know, timing is everything.
After a ho-hum Trans Valley League regular season in which Ripon High struggled on most nights, the Indians picked up the collective pace in a major way Saturday at the TVL Championships, sending nine varsity wrestlers and qualifying every last one for next weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Tournament.
Ripon finished second overall as a team in the point standings and claimed two individual league champions, senior Daniel Linder (125 pounds) and freshman Trevor Daniel (145).
Ryan Mackey wrestled at 171 pounds and finished second to Escalon’s Charlie McDonald, falling in the title match, 4-3.
“Ryan gave up a quick takedown,” Ripon head coach Glen White said. “It was kind of the same as the last match (between Mackey and McDonald). Ryan had to battle to get off the bottom. The early takedown doomed him. He’s going to have to learn to defend that a little better.”
Both Mackey and McDonald were called for stalling, costing each one point.
Linder collected his crown after a perfect TVL regular season, pinning a Waterford wrestler in the title match.
White said Daniel’s unexpected title was an added bonus.
Christian Spence (189), freshman Junior Yciano (215) and heavyweight Matt Baker all made it to the title match before falling, while Travis Smith (160), Joe Greenwood (130) and Hailey Owens (112) all inked their names in next week’s tournament with top four finishes.
“Everyone made it through,” White said. “We talk to the team about trying to peak at the right time. We wrestled the best that we have all year, and we’re hoping it continues through next week.
“We can’t be satisfied.”
Ripon will make the long trek to Lindhurst High Friday to kick off the D-V tournament.
The event will last two days, with the championship round to begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The top five wrestlers at divisionals make it through to the Sac Joaquin Section Masters Tournament.
— Brandon Petersen