Michigan State wrestlers visit Pine River for camp

LEROY — Michigan State wrestlers put on another camp at Pine River last weekend, continuing a tradition that Bucks coach Tim Jones and his grapplers have enjoyed for three seasons.

There were nine at the camp this season, including former Pine River grappler Luke Jones, the coach’s son. It started on Friday and ended Saturday morning.

“(Friday) we did a bunch of neutral takedown stuff,” Tim Jones said. “We put them all up in groups and rotated them. Each college kid has their own specialty. They would teach each group what they’re special at.”

Luke Jones focused on two-on-one takedown series.

“We did some stuff on the mats, bottom and top stuff,” Tim Jones said, adding that for the late Friday afternoon sessions, “we’re going to work them pretty hard.”

There were 28 wrestlers at the camp, including some from Big Rapids, Evart, Pine River and Reed City.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays during July, Pine River grapplers wrestle on the mats, then lift weights.

Having Michigan State wrestlers come for camp “is really helpful because most of the guys end up wrestling with our kids,” Jones said. “We don’t bomb them with a bunch of techniques, just a few things, so they’re not overwhelmed. A lot of times at a clinic, they show so much that sometimes you don’t really don’t retain them all. Here we keep it simple, show them six to eight things and hopefully that fits in with the way we wrestle. Some of these guys are good at certain areas. We try to have the best in the nation come and help us out.”

Tyler McCurry, a Pine River senior, was among the camp participants. He’s wrestled at 189 pounds.

“(The Michigan State wrestlers) come up here and roll around with us, beat us up a little bit and teach us stuff and have fun,” he said. “I learned a lot of defense, plus takedowns. I learned some tieups.”

McCurry is also a football player and has had a busy summer.

“I go to wrestling workouts before football, then I go to football workouts, then I go home and sleep the rest of the night,” he said. “Being in wrestling shape and football shape are two different things. But wrestling shape definitely helps football.”

Football practices will begin Aug. 11.