Long set to make critical contributions

LEROY — Brady Long is among the several Pine River football players coming off a strong fall season and is looking to carry over that success to the wrestling schedule.

Long is a senior at 140 pounds. He was around the class last season.

“I was hurt for half the season,” he said. “Two years in a row I’ve only wrestled half a season because of (knee) injuries.”

He indicated he has fully recovered from those injuries.

“My sophomore year, I lost in regionals by three to a kid who took fourth,” Long said. “That was two years ago. I’ve improved a lot. I’ve been wrestling varsity all four years.”

The season will start Dec. 13 at the Tri County Invitational. The Bucks have a home quad on Dec. 17 and are at the Marquette Challenge Dec. 20 and at the St. Louis Invitational on Jan. 3.

“Making it to state,” would be a goal, Long indicated. “We don’t just want to make it to state, we want to win it.”

He hopes the team can go undefeated.

Long also hopes to qualify for the individual state final.

“I’ll give it all I’ve got,” he said. “It will take extra practice in the mornings and after (regular) practice.”

Hand control and bottom work are among his strengths, Long indicated, along with defensive work on his feet and avoiding getting pinned.

He hopes to improve on his top work and putting two moves together effectively.