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Mackey moves on to Day 2
Ripon 171-pounder goes 3-1, can finish as high as 3rd
Ryan Mackey - photo by Bulletin file photo
BAKERSFIELD — There would be no slow start for Ryan Mackey this time around.

Not even close.

The Ripon High senior, and the lone area qualifier for the 2009 California Interscholastic Federation State Championships, went 3-0 to start and finished with a loss Friday, cementing his spot in today’s Day 2.

Guaranteed of at least a 12th-place finish at this point, Mackey must win two matches Saturday to assure himself of at least a sixth place finish.

With four wins Saturday, Mackey would finish as the third best wrestler at 171 pounds in California.

“Overall, it was a great day,” Ripon head coach Glen White said. “The shoulder is doing okay; we didn’t have too many problems with it. He looks good.”

Mackey started the tournament with an impressive 6-4 win over Poway’s Alex Brown, who also qualified for Day 2 after the opening-round loss.

Mackey dominated most of the match, giving up a pair of stalling calls.

“We were glad to get that one,” White said. “(Brown) is a tough wrestler.”

The road got even tougher from there, as Mackey then faced Devan Santos of Palma, the third-rated wrestler in the Central California Section.

Mackey won 4-2 in a match very similar to the one against Brown.

Round 3 was the most exciting match, and Mackey’s best, against Zach Belway of San Marcos.

With the score knotted at zero after the first period, Mackey chose the bottom position.

“(Belway) cradled him,” White said. “But Ryan was able to work out of it with a Dodson. He stuck the kid flat on his back and made him pin himself.”

Mackey faced Tulare Union’s Dwight Flores in Round 4 and lost 15-3.

“(Flores) was a thrower,” White said. “We knew he was a thrower, and Ryan still got thrown. That match didn’t go well. He was frustrated afterward, but he got over it pretty quickly.”

And for good reason.

Despite the setback, Mackey is still in solid position to become the highest state placer in Ripon High history.

Up first today will be Napa High’s Connor Trombetta, who finished fourth overall at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament.

“He’s a tough kid,” White said of Trombetta. “He’s from our section, but Ryan’s never wrestled him. It’s going to be tough, but at this point, every match is tough.”

Wrestling begins today at 9 a.m., and the consolation championship matches begin at 12:30 p.m.

— Brandon Petersen