Nixon ends career with fourth-place finish

LEROY — Wrestlers attending the state finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills last weekend generally have the ultimate goal of being champions of their weight class.

That’s what senior Kyle Nixon had in mind as he closed out his wrestling career at Pine River.

Nixon placed fourth at 145 pounds. He started out 2-0 before losing his first match.

On Friday, Nixon won the second match of the tourney in a 1-0 decision over New Lothrop’s Aaron Bauman. But in the semifinals, he dropped a heartbreaker with a 6-5 setback in sudden death to Hudson’s JD Walter.

Nixon pinned Zack Taubitz of Montabella 1:24 in the consolation semifinals Saturday and then lost 7-5 in overtime for third place to Bauman in a rematch.

“He had over 170 wins in his career, just an outstanding wrestler,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “He was as good as any wrestler at his weight. When you get down there, it’s always a point here and there. He wrestled as good as he could have. We’re happy with his performance. He came back in one match where he was down on the mat and almost unable to continue. Kyle, being the person he is, won a tough 1-0 match to get to the semifinals.”

Nixon reflected on his performance a day after the tournament.

“I thought I wrestled really well and came up short in a couple of situations,” Nixon said. “In the semis, I thought maybe there was a bad call against me in the first period. I thought I should have gotten a near fall and didn’t wind up getting it. I actually led the whole match until about 20 seconds left and I lost it. That was the kid who won in the finals.”

His two matches to Bauman were obviously extremely close. In the rematch, “there was a lot more offense than there was between the two of us the first time,” Nixon said.

He also took fourth last season.

“I’m pretty blessed with my accomplishments and being part of the program,” Nixon said.

He’ll be wrestling collegiately at South Minnesota and is currently preparing for that transition.