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Security Federal Athlete of the Week: Feb. 20-26

Partnering with Security Federal, the Warren County Sports Authority will honor a standout local athlete each week. The WCSA and the Friendliest Bank in Town love seeing great athletic achievement and there are plenty to pick from every week in Warren County. From winter to summer, spring to fall, and on courts, fields, diamonds, dance floors and anywhere else an athlete can succeed, Security Federal and the Sports Authority are going to be on the lookout for the best of the best!

WCHS wrestler Caleb Mackie and Zerek Keel

While they didn't end their seasons on the podium in the TSSAA state tournament, Caleb Mackie and Zerek Keel can say they got further than hundreds of other wrestlers in Tennessee. Mackie and Keel both saw their seasons end over the weekend as they matched up against the best of the best in Williamson County.

Mackie made his second trip to the state tournament as a senior, only to fall in heartbreaking fashion. In what proved to be his final match, Mackie went toe-to-toe with William Griggs from Beech. Both wrestlers, battling in the 138-pound division, knew if they lost, their careers would be over, so they grabbled to a stalemate after three rounds.

Their battle was so intense and close, it took an ultimate tiebreaker to decide who would move on. At the very end, Griggs was able to prevail and move on. Both of the wrestlers Mackie fell to over the weekend - Griggs and Independence's Spencer Kon - ended up on the medal stand by the final day.

While it wasn't how anybody wanted to see it end, coach Matt Turner had high praise for his senior after his final match.

"Mackie has done it all. He was the region's freshman of the year, made it to state twice and really it should've been three years if not for the rule changes last season," said Turner. "He worked hard, always trying to getting better and went out giving it his all. That's all we can ask for from the people who come through this program."

While Mackie was finishing his decorated career, Keel was showing he's next in line to be the next great WCHS grappler. Keel had one of the toughest draws in the 160-pound division, starting up with 2021 medalist Brady Jarvis. Jarvis was able to send Keel to the consolation bracket, where he matched up for Aiden Enters from Farragut.

Enters wasn't able to pin Keel, but he didn't take home the victory to advance, while Keel was eliminated.

It was a tough way to end his freshman year, but Keel is already turning heads in his division. He was one of only two freshmen to make state at his weight, while nine of 16 competitors were seniors. Keel will be back next season as a lynchpin in coach Turner's rotation on the mat.

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