Pine River defeats Benzie in wrestling dual

LEROY — Pine River had too much for Benzie Central in a 54-19 Mid Michigan Wrestling Conference victory Wednesday night.

Mitchell Kelsey’s overtime victory the third match of the night at 135 pounds lifted the Bucks, who fired out to a quick 14-0 lead.

Kyle Nixon had a 16-0 technical fall over Christian Dylas at 125 pounds and Abel Langworthy pinned Chase Buist in 26 seconds at 130 pounds to start the night.

Kelsey then came through with his takedown 25 seconds in overtime to score a 6-4 victory over Jake Rosa at 135.

“The key thing is the first takedown. Not the fastest,” said Kelsey, who is 3-0. “This was my best match.”

Benzie won at 130 but Pine River got back on track when Larry Kissinger defeated Jamario Raglin 12-1 at 145 and Carson Rawson pinned Jared Middleton in 1:09.

Benzie scored a pin at 160 but Joe Miller got the Bucks back on track with a pin in 2:33 over Dylan Sauer and Thomas Watson pinned Zach Lawrence in 3:35 at 215 pounds. Kyle Charles at 285 had a pin in 1:14 over Orville Ramey. Josh Phillips pinned Erin McLaren in 1:25 at 103 and Elliott VanDremmell won by forfeit at 112.

Miller usually wrestles at 171 but went to 189 against Benzie. He’s 5-2 after a 19-19 record a year ago in his first season.

Pine River improved to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the league.

“It was a good night,” said Pine River coach Tim Jones. “They’re a tough squad and have a good team this year. It just went our way in one or two matches and it just kept rolling. We were expecting a tight match.

“Mitchell Kelsey had a big swing match that went our way. Joe Miller had a big win for us.”

Benzie fell to 2-6 and is 0-1 in the conference.

“Pine River is looking good, they’re looking tough in all weight classes,” said Benzie coach Josh Lovendusky, whose team lost close matches last week to Big Rapids and Reed City.

Pine River wrestled at the Marquette Invitational on Saturday in the Upper Peninsula. The Bucks practiced in Munising on Friday, travel to Marquette on Saturday to face teams from northern Michigan and Wisconsin and return on Sunday.

“We’ve been going there about eight years now,” Jones said prior to the trip. “It’s a tough tournament. If we’re in the middle of the pack, that will be a good shot for us.”

As it turned out the Bucks were 10th overall out of 20 teams.

Three wrestlers placed — Abel Langworthy in second at 112, Kyle Nixon at 125 taking fifth and Cason Rawson nabbing sixth place at 152.

“Abel Langworthy had a great day,” Jones said. “Kyle Nixon beat a state placer. Teamwise, it was OK. We have a lot of little things to work on.”

Pine River wrestles Dec. 28 at Traverse City West, in what is generally considered a junior varsity meet. Pine River is at the Hastings Invitational on Jan. 7.