Highland Conference gives special honors to pair of Pine River football players

LEROY — A memorable season for Pine River’s football team included a Highland Conference title and two players received special honors. Mason Powell was the league Most Valuable Player, while Joe Rigling was Defensive Player of the Year.

Powell, a three-year starter and senior quarterback, was 39-of-84 in passing for 999 yards and 14 touchdowns with three interceptions.

He had 855 yards rushing on 151 carries and 12 touchdowns.

Rigling, a senior linebacker, was a two-year starter. He had 67 tackles and one fumble recovery.

“He was a defensive leader of our team,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said.

Hunter Esiline, Bryan McCurry and Elijah Lewis also received all-conference honors on offense.

Esiline a senior wide receiver was a three-year starter with 848 yards on 21 catches and 11 touchdowns.

McCurry is a second-year starter and sophomore offensive lineman, who allowed no sacks, while the team rushed for 2,082 yards.

Lewis, a sophomore running back, was a first-year starter. He rushed for 503 yards on 41 carries and six touchdowns.

Other defensive honorees for Pine River included Tristen Nelson, Raden Holmes, Andrew Park, Mac Peterson and Andrew Frisbie.

Nelson is a senior defensive back and two-year starter. He had 45 tackles, four tackles for a loss and one interception.

“He’s a great cover corner and only allowed four receptions during the season,” Martin said.

Holmes is a senior defensive end and second-year starter with 58 tackles, three sacks, 10 tackles for losses and one interception.

Park had 52 tackles as a junior linebacker and first-year starter.

“He had very good coverage for us,” Martin said

Frisbie, a third-year starter and defensive tackle, had three tackles for a loss and 30 tackles overall.

Peterson, a senior outside linebacker and second-year starter, had one tackle for loss and 12 tackles overall.

Senior linebacker Jeff Johnson is a two-year starter and had 17 tackles.

Pine River won the regional title this season and lost 34-20 to Glen Lake in the Division 6 semifinals last week.


Last Wednesday’s article on Evart all-league football players had an incorrect reference to honors for Cody Pritchard. He was actually a nominee for Most Outstanding Player.