Pine River qualifies 11 wrestlers for state finals

ROGERS CITY — Pine River wrestling headlined a solid Saturday for local prep grappling as the Bucks sent 11 wrestlers to the Division 4 individual state finals. Reed City had one move on from the Division 3 regional meet.

“These guys have been wrestling really well lately coming off of an emotional high from Wednesday,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said.

The hosting Bucks took first place at the Division 4 team regional meet on Wednesday. 

“We were concerned there might be a let down, but they wrestled pretty tough throughout the weekend,” Jones said.

The Bucks had three first place finishes at the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 4 meet in Tyler McCurry (189 pounds), Dominic Garcia (215) and Nathan Park (103). Park, a junior, won over his brother Andrew in the 103 pound regional championship match with a pin at 1:38.

Tony Moore (119), Josh Jackson (215) and Chase Morrison (285) placed second for Pine River. Jackson lost to teammate Garcia in a 3-2 decision.

Also moving on to the individual state final for the Bucks are Jordan Stone (112), Tucker Fansler (125), Phil Ragatzki (135) and Jeff Gross (171). It is the first time that Pine River has had 11 wrestlers move on to state finals.

“Ragatzki and McCurry both really had outstanding days,” Jones said. “Credit to all the boys, but those two dug down deep and wrestled some pretty tough matches.”

Reed City’s lone state qualifier was Evan Skiver (215), who took third place after an 8-4 decision over Delta-Kellogg’s Tyden Ferris.

The MHSAA individual state finals will be on March 5-7 at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

“This week, we will be kind of looking at the team stuff,” Jones said. “We will take the individuals from there and see how many we can put on the medal stand.”

MHSAA team state finals will be on Friday at the Kellogg Center in Battle Creek. Pine River wrestles fourth-seeded Manchester at 1 p.m.