Pine River sophomore bidding for state wrestling title

LEROY — Andrew Park has high hopes for the rest of the season at 119 pounds in Division 4.

The Pine River sophomore’s brother, senior Nathan Park, is also on the team. Both are coming off first-place finishes at the individual districts and regionals the last two weekends.

Another key highlight for Park was taking first place at the Reed City Wrestling Invitational last month.

“I wrestled great,” he said after that performance. “I wrestled a pretty good kid in the finals and I beat him.”

After his first 37 matches, Park was 34-3.

“The three I lost were close matches against good kids,” he said.

Park placed fifth in the state finals at a different weight class last season. But he said, “it’s about the same” as his new class but it might be a little tougher. “But feel I’ve improved a lot. In overall wrestling, I fixed a lot of my mistakes from last year and put a lot more time into it.”

Pine River will be at the team state finals Friday at Central Michigan University. 

“This team is looking just as good,” Park said. “We just have to fill our middle weights and get our weakest links (corrected).”

The individual state finals will be March 3-5 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“I’m hoping to get to state and take first,” Park said. “I think I’ll take first this year.”

To accomplish that, “I can’t make any mistakes,” Park said. “I have to shoot my shots on key.”