Michigan State wrestlers work with Pine River athletes

LEROY -- The summer for Pine River’s wrestling team has had a definite Michigan State flavor to it.

Last weekend, Bucks coach Tim Jones had several members of the Michigan State program working with him at a summer wrestling camp.

Throughout the summer, the Pine River wrestlers have had weight-lifting plus open mat sessions.

“We get some of the boys to come in and wrestle and we also have our team camp with the Michigan State kids, who come up and donate their time for us this weekend,” Jones said. “They run four sessions then we’ve had one session (Saturday) and went canoeing on the Pine River. Around 20 wrestlers were at the camp. It’s more of a fun-type camp.”

The sessions included a period for instructions and also live wrestling.

“All the college kids wrestle all the high school kids,” Jones said.

It’s the first time the MSU wrestlers, which include Jones’ son and former Bucks were among the Spartans in attendance. ”It’s very inexpensive for the kids,” Jones said.

Other MSU wrestlers at the camp included Mike McClure, Dylan Jensen, Kevin Nash, Joe Johnson and Ryan Watts will be a redshirt sophomore for the Spartans. The Roseville native was 7-9 in NCAA action last season and was third-place in the state finals.

“Luke Jones is a friend of mine and we came here to help out,” Nash said. “It’s a lot of different techniques, mainly the fundamentals. We’re showing them moves and how to react, like if the first move doesn’t work.”

Mike McClure will be a redshirt junior for the Spartans. He was fourth on the team with 22 wins last year.

“At one point, I was ranked 11th in the nation,” said McClure, a heavyweight. In high school, he wrestled at West Ottawa and was a state champ as a senior.

“We’re trying to show these guys techniques and show them things that we do that’s worked for us,” he said. “It gives them the chance to see that stuff.”

“We’re showing them a lot of technique,” Johnson, a former state runner-up, said. “We’re trying to focus on stuff they’ll be able to pick up and use.”

Watts will be an MSU sophomore next season and said the high school athletes responded very favorably to the collegiate wrestlers.

Dylan Jenson will be a redshirt freshman next season.

“We’re here to help kids,” he said. “There’s not many people supportive of it who want to keep it going. If you want to be good, you have to keep working in the offseason. That’s where champions are made.”