LEROY — Raden Holmes had a strong team tournament performance for Pine River’s wrestling team in late February. He was hoping to carry that into the individual state tournament  at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Holmes had wins in both matches for the Bucks, who won in the team quarterfinals and lost in the semifinal.

In the team district, Holmes (171 pounds) won the first match of his team’s title contest and continually has set a positive tone for his teammates.

“It’s an important match to go out there and give it your all,” he said.

Holmes is a junior and has wrestled in the Pine River program since his freshmen season and has been on the varsity since last year. His 43-8 record is a “drastic improvement” from last year. It’s been a 100 percent turnaround, Holmes added. “I went to clinics and meets during the summer, plus practicing whenever you can. It’s just a lot of hard work.”

Taking first place at Mio was a memorable match for Holmes. He contributed to his team’s 35-34 state quarterfinal win over Decatur.

Holmes didn’t make it out of districts last year, but went to the state individual tournament. He was 0-2

“I need to work on taking shots, having good form and work hard,” he said late in the season. Cradles have been among Holmes’ best moves.

“I’m working on improving my form,” he said prior to the close of the season.