Pine River takes seventh straight wrestling title

LEROY — The number of consecutive wrestling championships is now seven in a row for the Pine River Bucks.

Now coach Tim Jones’ wrestlers will try to extend their fortunes in the postseason.

Saturday at Benzie Central, Pine River won the Mid-Michigan Wrestling Conference tournament and clinched their seventh straight league title.

Pine River was first at 263 points, followed by Manton at 134, Kingsley at 132, Manistee at 89, Forest Area at 79, Benzie Central at 66, Frankfort at 50, Lake City at 29 and Mancelona at 18.

Individual first-place winners for the Bucks were Nate Park at 103, Tony Moore at 119, Dustin Beebe at 125, Tucker Fansler at 130, Brady Long at 140, Tyler McCurry at 189 and Chase Morrison at 285.

Taking second places were Jordan Stone at 112, Philip Ragatzki at 125, Jeff Gross at 171 and Josh Jackson at 215. Third places went to Travis Carlson at 135 and Joe Ringling at 152 while Raden Holmes was fourth at 160.

“It’s unusual to have all 14 wrestlers place,” Jones said. “For that day, we were right where we want to be going into the postseason with 14 kids staying in the tournament all day. It shows that they’re moving in the right direction.”

Jones said Moore, Beebe and McCurry were lower seeds and beat wrestlers through the tournament and finals to win their respective titles.

“Those were tough, hard-fought championships for them,” he said.

Moore took his 100th career victory earlier this season.

Pine River has won 16 of the last 17 conference titles including the last seven.

This Thursday, Pine River, 22-5, is home for the districts and has a semifinal match against Manton at 5:30 p.m. Forest Area takes on Lake City in the other semifinal match. The finals are at 7 p.m.

“We saw Manton last Saturday and we’re certainly not looking past them,” Jones said. “We’ll treat them as though they’re the best team we’re going to wrestle and from there take one team at a time and see how far that gets us.”

The Division 4 individual districts are Saturday at Manton. The team regionals are Feb. 18.

Reed City wrestlers

Coach Roger Steig’s wrestlers are coming off a sixth-place performance Saturday at Tri County in the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) Gold Division tournament.

The Coyotes wound up fourth in the conference’s final standings.

Devin Ward was conference champ at 189 pounds. and earned first-team all-league honors.

“We moved him up a weight class for the conference meet and he still came through as champion,” Steig said.

Matt McGahey at 125, Evan Skiver at 285, Thayne Stieg  at 145 and Dylan Chrispell at 215 all took fourth places and earned honorable mention honors.

This week, Reed City is at the Division 3 team districts at Big Rapids. Reed City faces Big Rapids in the first round while the Warriors face Shepherd. The first round starts at 5:30 p.m. with the finals at 7 p.m. The individual districts for the Coyotes are at Chippewa Hills on Saturday.