Local wrestlers place at state finals

AUBURN HILLS — Pine River’s Andrew Park wound up in fourth place over the weekend at the Division 4 state wrestling finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Park (112 pounds) lost his third-place match to Anthony Mack, of Dansville, 7-2.

Josh Jackson (189) took fifth place, He won his last match, 5-3, over TJ Moore, of Cass City.

Dylan Stephens (103) was sixth. He lost his match for fifth place to Ash Stokes, of Marcellus, 18-8.

Bryan McCurry (215) placed eighth. He dropped his match for seventh place against Dominic Johnson, of Burton Bentley, on 4-3 decision. Nate Park (43-9) also placed eighth. He lost his match for seventh to Taylor Barkley, of Carson City-Crystal, 9-3.

Tucker Fansler (130) was 1-2. Jacob Roberts (119), Joe Rigling (160) and Raden Holmes (171) were all 0-2.

“For a few of them, it was their first time down there,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “They didn’t let the environment get too big for them to wrestle. They went out and weren’t intimidated at all. It was nice to see the kids who were there for their first time perform really well, like Dylan Stephens and Bryan McCurry. It can be tough to come into that arena and get psyched out a little bit.

“There were two seniors, Josh Jackson and Nathan Park, and they both had good tournaments. Nathan’s weight was tough and he wrestled some tough matches. Josh wrestled the No. 1 189-pounder in the semifinals which would have allowed him to get to the finals. It was a tough draw for him. It was nice to see him end his career at fifth. Andrew Park wrestled tough all weekend. He set a goal to place higher than he did last year and achieved that goal. He has two more years to wrestle. It’s just one stepping stone closer to a state championship.”

Alex Brummel (135) was Reed City’s only qualifier and went 1-2 in Division 3.

“I thought Alex did a good job of not letting the pressure of the state (tournament) getting to him,” Reed City coach Roger Steig said. “It was his first trip down there. He’s a junior and got a taste of it this year. He’ll be back next year and can put an exclamation point on it.”