Area wrestlers qualify for state finals

Reese Ransom (right) tries to make a move on his opponent
Reese Ransom (right) tries to make a move on his opponent

EVART — Reese Ransom of Evart took third in Saturday’s Division 4 individual regional meet at 125 pounds and will go to the state finals. Darrin Gostlin competed at 103 but didn’t place.

Pine River had four champions at Saturday’s regional in Charlevoix.

Ransom is the first wrestler since the Wildcats started their program four years ago to advance to the state finals.

“It’s because of all the hard work he puts in behind the scenes that nobody sees,” Evart coach Ryan Hopkins said. “He is a true champion at heart. He truly deserves to be where he’s at. We’ll go to various places to try to get him some (practice time). We’ll keep doing what we’re doing because obviously it’s working.”

The top four placers in each class from the regionals competes in the state final on March 2-3 at Ford Field.

For Pine River, Tyler Signor (125) won his title match 7-1. Jac Roberts (130) took a 10-0 decision for first place. Andrew Park (140) notched a pin for the title. Caleeb Nolf (103) won 4-2 in the title match.

Brock Nelson (145). Tim Rizor (189) and Bryan McCurry (215) all took second. Dylan Stephens (119) took third.

“Everybody had a really good day,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “Everybody did what they could have.”

Pine River wrestles at Wings Arena in Kalamazoo on Friday at noon in the state meet and takes on Mendon in a quarterfinal round match. Pine River is seeded fifth and Mendon is fourth.

Pine River is 20-2 and ranked seventh in Division 4.

Pine River will return to the state finals in Kalamazoo after beating host Mancelona 69-10 and Oscoda 62-17. Against Oscoda, winners for the Bucks were Roberts, Park, Nelson, McCurry, Nolf and Tim Rizor. The Bucks will wrestle in the quarterfinal on Feb. 23 at noon in Wings Event Center. The semifinals and finals are on Saturday, Feb. 24.

Ryan Simmons (112) and Brett Walker (189) of Reed City both failed to get into the top four from their Division 3 individual regional at Kalkaska

Walker was one match away from qualifying. Simmons was 0-2 Simmons returns next season. Walker will graduate.

“We had a strong regional,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “We knew it was going to be a battle, Ryan lost two tough matches, by one point and in overtime. We didn’t have our best day.”

Reed City returns all wrestlers except Walker next year.