Pine River’s Nelson set for basketball season


LEROY  — For Pine River basketball players like Tristen Nelson, it seems like only yesterday when they were playing football.

Actually, it was.

Nelson was among the football players who led Pine River to the state semifinals on Nov. 19, less than three weeks ago. Tuesday night, Nelson and several other athletes were on the basketball court.

Nelson had 45 tackles and one interception, plus four tackles for loss.

“He’s a great cover corner,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “He only allowed four receptions during the season. He’s only 5-foot-8 and covered a handful of great athletes this season. He pretty much shuts down half of the field.”

The Bucks were 6-3 during the regular season, and won the Highland Conference title. They were 3-1 in the playoffs with district and regional crowns.

“We had nothing to be ashamed of,” Nelson said. “We played a great season. We were the underdogs. A lot of people thought we would be 3-6. But we came out and showed them what it was about. We were a team, a family. We all loved each other.”

The final game was played in wintry conditions at Traverse City.

“We couldn’t get air in the ball, the wind took it away,” Nelson said.

Pine River and Nelson open their Highland Conference season Dec. 14 with Beal City.