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Scheduling snafu draws complaints
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Ceres High seniors Ryan Rodriguez, David Burris, Dante Ribeiro, Roger Chiprez, Ignacio McKenzie, Peter Betschart and Tara Farris were looking forward to wrestling under the spotlight in the Ceres High big gymnasium on Thursday. But the team's final home dual meet was moved into the school's small gym.

"If that could have been prevented it would have," said Ceres High Principal Steve Thiessen. "Golden Valley requested the switch because of a conflict."

The Golden Valley and Ceres High girls basketball teams switched their home and away game dates.

"This has been the worse two weeks," said Rodriguez, 40 minutes before wrestling for the last time at Ceres High School.

Ceres' coaching staff was dismissed on Jan. 28.

"They're very disappointed because they didn't get to wrestle in the big gym," said Ceres interim coach Bruce Scott.

Added Rodriguez: "Once the decision was final we couldn't do anything. We tried to make the best out of the situation. We tried to get everyone pumped up."

Ceres won just four of 14 matches during its 50-21 loss to the Downey Knights Wednesday night. The Bulldogs lost four matches via forfeit.

"Overall, I thought we had a good performance," Scott said. "The kids wrestled inspired."

Burris and Ribeiro won by pin. Burris pinned Downey's Brian Doster in the second round (3:24) in the 125-pound division. Ribeiro pinned Downey's Paul Irizarry in the second round (3:54) in the 130-pound division.

Rodriguez won by technical fall in the 119-pound division. He posted a 16-0 victory over Downey's Bryan Conrad.

McKenzie won by major decision in the 135-pound division. He defeated Downey's Erik Alvarez 17-7.

"We wanted to show the administration that we deserved to wrestle in the big gym," Rodriguez said.

Ceres finished the year in sixth place in the Central California Conference with a 4-5 record. Downey placed third in league with a 7-2 record.

Ceres went 1-8 in league last season.

Rodriguez attributed this year's success to his former coaches.

"Jaime (Guerra) and Frank (Madrid) made us better through our practice and bringing kids up from junior high," Rodriguez said.

Ceres had a week to prepare for the CCC Tournament, which is being held at Downey High School on Thursday. The top six teams advance to the Sub-Section Meet, which is being hosted by Pitman High School in Turlock Feb. 20-21.

"I'm hoping we can get some more guys to the next level," Scott said.

"Ryan and David should contend. Roger and Dante are dark horses."

Added Rodriguez: "A lot of our guys can make it to sections if they work hard." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier