Pine River seniors set for final game

LEROY – Seniors Dakota Wieczorek and Cason Rawson will be closing out their seasons Friday night for the Pine River Bucks at Beal City.

For both it’s been a memorable season for several reasons.

Wieczorek has been at running back most of the year although he was pressed into action a couple of games with No. 1 quarterback Skyler Nelson, who sustained a season-ending collarbone injury.

“It’s been a challenge,” he said. “We’ve had to move people around to different positions and see what we can do. We’ve had to overcome some adversity.”

Wieczorek had seen quarterback action in past seasons at a different school on the freshman team.

When Nelson went down, Wieczorek had been pegged to be the quarterback with very limited experience. The biggest transition to that spot, he said, “is definitely being able to call the plays,” he said. “I’m not the biggest passing threat but I can give it to you.”

Running was obviously Wieczorek’s biggest asset as a quarterback, On week 7 in a win over Marion, Pine River put Mitch McDonald, who had some health issues of his own, into the quarterback spot.

“Mitchell did really good, I was surprised with how good he did,” Wieczorek said. “I know he was good on the JV level. He’s made the transition on the varsity level.”

Wieczorek smiled while admitting it didn’t necessarily hurt his feelings to move back to being a ball carrier.

“Running back is my position. I love running back,” he said. “I like being the workhorse, pretty much.”

Cason Rawson has been focusing on defensive tackle this season for the Bucks. It’s his first year at tackle. He had been a linebacker and nose guard prior to that.

“I like (defensive tackle) more than linebacker,” he said. “I’m way more physical than most of the people I come up against.”

Injuries have taken their toll on the Bucks.

“We’ve pretty much been holding our own,” Rawson said. “Clay Stokes, he was one of our main linebackers and he’s out (for personal reasons).”

The Bucks face an undefeated Beal City team this week. Cutting down mental mistakes will be critical, Rawson said.

But the win against Marion on homecoming was a sweet one.

“It was big, we hadn’t won a homecoming in awhile. It meant a lot to us to win that,” he said.