Bucks sending two underclassmen to state

LEROY — Abel Langworthy and Larry Kissinger will be making the trip for Pine River to the Division 4 state wrestling finals on Thursday with hopes of taking home state medals when the meet concludes Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Langworthy, a junior at 125, is 42-11. He’ll start out against Tom Conway of Manchester, who is 27-12.

At regionals, Langworthy was second.

“It’s probably the best I’ve wrestled all season,” he said. “I’ve been happy. It’s the best record I’ve had in high school.”

Langworthy notched his 100th career victory this season. Langworthy also qualified for the finals last season, a factor which should work in his favor this time.

“I’m going to place this year,” he said. “I have to go in there mentally focused and not give up.”

Langworthy might see Chris Aiken of Clare again. Aiken nipped Langworthy 15-14 in the regional finals. “It was a good match, fast-paced,” Langworthy said. “I slipped out at the last second.”

Kissinger, a sophomore at 145 is 41-17. In his first match this Thursday, he will wrestle Ben Mallo of Constantine, who is 54-8. It’s Kissinger’s first trip to the state finals.

“I’ve improved quite a bit from last year,” he said. “I did a number of things during the summer.”

He also plays soccer. “Wrestling is my favorite sport,” he said. “It’s a lot more challenging.”

At regionals, Kissinger was fourth. “I was real happy,” he said. “My goal was to make it to regionals this year and I make it to state. My goal this weekend is to go in with a positive attitude and wrestle to the best of my abilities.”

Kissinger said he’s hoping to “be a little nervous and get my excitement up.”

Regardless of what happens at the finals, Kissinger has been happy with his season.

“I’ve accomplished a lot of things I wanted to get done,” he said.