Pine River 215-pound wrestler looking forward to regionals

LEROY — Josh Jackson has been having a solid season at 215 pounds for Pine River’s wrestling team.

Among the highlights for Jackson was winning the 215-pound weight class at the Reed City Invitational in late January. He blanked Evan Skiver, of Reed City, 13-0 in the title match.

“I could have wrestled better in the last match and the match before it,” he said. “I need to work on a couple of things, but overall I think I wrestled some of my best matches.”

Jackson, a junior, has been at 215 all season.

“Last year I placed fourth (at the Reed City Invitational) and I lost to the kid I just (defeated),” he said. “We go up to Marquette every year (in December). I lost out there last year. I’ve improved my wrestling season greatly.”

Confidence has been a key for Jackson this winter, which also included taking third at Marquette.

“I’ve always had the lack of confidence that most people have when he wrestled,” he said. “A friend of mine told me something this year that hit home. Confidence has been the major thing.”

Before the season ends, Jackson is hoping to at least qualify for the state final and perhaps place in the top eight. It would be the first time he’s qualified for the state final. The key for that, he said will be “work hard and learn the key things like how to pin kids.”

He was second at the district and will compete in the regional this weekend.

Jackson said the strength of his wrestling has been movement.

“A lot of big guys don’t move very well,” he said. “If I can keep moving and throw combos together, I usually do well.”

It’s his third year at 215.

The Bucks are home for team regional Wednesday for the chance to be at the state final Feb. 27-28

“We’re looking pretty strong,” Jackson said. “If we work at it we might be able to make state this year. It’s a big possibility. I think the team is looking really strong.”

The individual regional is this Saturday at Rogers City.