Cole ends Pine River sports career on high note


LEROY — Winter sports teams are just looking ahead to next year, but Pine River’s Justin Cole won’t forget one particular moment.

The Bucks went to the state semifinals and won another regional team championship. In the regional title match against Roscommon, Cole had a big come-from-behind win to spark his team.

“I was down by two,” Cole said. “I came back and felt pretty good. That’s about as good as it gets.”

Cole is a senior. He missed his 10th-and 11th grade seasons and decided to return to Pine River wrestling as a senior.

“I love the sport,” he said. “I did it my whole life since I was 4 years old. My first match or two I felt a little (rusty), then I got the hang of it.”

Cole was 38-6 after team regionals. He was first in individual districts.

“The thing is never giving up,” he said. “I like to throw, so I’m good when it comes to neutral. That’s my No. 1 thing.”

The Bucks won another regional title this season as the school’s wrestling success continues.

“(Tim) Jones is a great coach,” Cole said. “I’d give him everything if I could. He works hard with us. He interacts with us in practice.”

Cole was hopeful of the state title and the Bucks came close, losing in the state semifinals in a close match to Hudson.

Cole wound up taking eighth place in the state individual finals at 140 pounds.