Lincoln’s Ramirez heads to CIF State Meet

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Lincoln High senior wrestler Tony Ramirez will represent the Zebras at the CIF State Meet in Bakersfield this weekend. The tournament will begin Friday morning and end Saturday evening. I'm pretty excited, Ramirez said. I really don't know (what to expect). This is my first time. But I have already faced some of the people that are ranked high and I have learned from that. Ramirez, competing in the heavyweight division, placed third in his weight class at the Masters Meet at the University of the Pacific in Stockton. The top eight wrestlers in his weight class, among a field of 32, advanced to the state meet. The two-day tournament wrapped up Friday. Lincoln seniors Steven Culverson (152 pounds), Marcos Lopez (171) and Richard Manuel (145) also competed at the Masters Meet but did not qualify for the state meet. Ramirez went 0-2 at the Masters Meet as a sophomore and 2-2 as a junior but he went 6-1 this year. He also avenged his only loss of the tournament. Elk Grove's Larry Alai beat Ramirez 3-1 in the quarterfinals but Ramirez came back to beat him 5-2 in the third-place match. The two had never faced each other prior to this tournament. I don't know (how he turned it around), you just try really hard, Ramirez said. This weekend will be the final match Ramirez will ever wrestle for Lincoln. It will be a little bit (emotional), Ramirez said. My goal is to make it to the second day and from there I don't know yet. Lincoln also had one wrestler reach state last year and that was 2007 graduate Jordan Nakasone at 112 pounds. Nakasone went 2-2 and did not reach the second day of competition. Both his victories came by way of pins.