Lone KHS Wrestler advances to Region Competition

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Richard ?Ricky? Pickering, a senior, is the Kennedale High School 2015 Wildcat Wrestling team. The Wildcat “team” placed 3rd (in his weight division) and Pickering will advance to region competition this Friday. {{more}}
Pickering, who has wrestled since he was in 5th grade, picked up the sport in Germany. He moved this last year back to the States and started school during the spring semester. Still wanting to continue competitive wrestling, Ricky was happy to learn that he could, even without Kennedale having wrestling program.
Under UIL rules a student can compete if the school is willing to sponsor the student, provide a team uniform and additional support as needed. Ricky trains with Arlington Martin but competes for Kennedale High School.
Kennedale has one other student that is a sole representative for the high school in UIL competition. Blake Bunnell has swam for KHS for the last four years and has earned a trip to the state finals each year up to and including this year.
While wrestling is big in other states, not so much so in Texas. As a UIL sport, it is recognized at the 5A and 6A levels (big schools). To compete, a smaller school has to compete at the 5A level. It is not that unusal for schools to have to compete up. When the high school baseball and softball program first started, both programs played up a class level. The same was true for the Kennedale soccer program. This is the first year for the soccer program to compete at level (4A).
For both Pickering and Bunnell, the only option is to compete at the 5A level. For wrestling, Kennedale is in District 6-5A along with Arlington Seguin, Grapevine and Fort Worth Schools Carter-Riverside, Dunbar, Timble Tech, Western Hills and O.D. Wyatt. Last week Pickering placed 3rd in his weight division. A video feed shows Ricky in one of his wins.
Wrestling competition is a double elimination tournament. Last week in district competition, Ricky lost his first match dropping down to the single elimination bracket. He fought his way back, winning his next three matches in the 182 weight division, to claim the third place spot.
The top four in each weight division advance to the region meet. The 5A Region 2 meet is in Frisco at Frisco Liberty High School on Friday and Saturday. Region 2 is made up 4 districts representing 48 high schools in the north Texas area.

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