Former Pine River state wrestling champ eager for senior season at Michigan State

LEROY — Luke Jones has one more season remaining as a wrestler with Michigan State University, and the former Pine River athlete has his sights cast on some key objectives.

Recently, Jones and seven of his Michigan State teammates were at Pine River to work at a high school youth wrestling camp.

“This is my fourth one this summer,” Jones said. “I was up in St. Ignace for two big camps. I had the MSU camp, and then this one.

“We’re just getting these kids for the summer to work out. A lot of them want to be successful athletes so it’s good to see a bunch of kids in here working to get better and making a good name for Pine River and surrounding schools.”

At Pine River, Jones was a four-time conference champion and four-time state qualifier. He placed third in the state finals in 2009 and as a senior the following year, he took first at 174 pounds.

Jones was 9-6 at 197 pounds during the 2013-14 season.

“Halfway through the season, I separated a rib,” he said. “So I was out a couple of months with torn cartilage in my ribs. I missed the rest of the season.”

As a sophomore for the 2012-13 season, Jones was 21-15 overall, 5-7 in duals, and 16-6 in open tournaments. In duals, he took on ranked competition the entire year. He was 8-6 as a red-shirt freshman.

For next year, “I’m working to get bigger,” Jones said. “I’m actually moving up a weight. I have to gain about 20 pounds. I was at 197 last year. My goal is to be an All-American. I’m striving to be a national champion. I’m hoping for All-American status.”

Jone is confident he’s ready to achieve that goal.

“There’s a lot of learning that goes on during the collegiate career,” he said. “It’s definitely the professional level of the sport of wrestling. It’s at its peak in the Big Ten.”