PR wrestlers bow out early at state meet

LEROY — Pine River’s two qualifiers for the wrestling state finals both won their first matches but lost their next two and did not place in last weekend’s Division 4 state finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Larry Kissinger at 145 pounds defeated Ben Mallow of Constantine 8-6 but then lost to Jared Bruner of Addison 11-1 and to Wade Erhardt of New Lothrop 15-7. His season ended at 42-19.

“In Larry’s first match, he was the fourth seed going up against the first seed,” said Pine River Coach Tim Jones. “That kid was ranked sixth in the state and it was a great match. The following two matches just didn’t work out in his favor. But for a sophomore, he had a good tournament.”

Abel Langworthy’s season ended at 43-13 at 125 pounds. He beat Tom Conway of Manchester 12-3 but lost to Bela Nemeth of New Lothrop 10-6 and to D.J. Burden of Mio 8-4.

“It just wasn’t one of his better tournaments,” Jones said. “He’s a solid wrestler and had a great junior season. We’ll just look for bigger and better seasons.”

Both wrestlers are returning next year.

“A majority of them are coming back,” Jones said. “We’ll lose three starters, three of the 14.”

The Bucks were conference and district champs this year.

“It’s a close knit thing and we’ll do some team-building things during the offseason, and see what we can do next year,” Jones said. “We go camping for a week together in the U.P. And we wrestle at a tournament and go to Central Michigan (University) for a camp.”