Pine River wrestler commits to Southwest Minnesota State

LEROY — Kyle Nixon began preparation this week for his senior high school wrestling season.

Next season, Nixon will embark on a new career with college wrestling at Southwest Minnesota State University, an NCAA Division II school.

“We had a wrestler a couple of years back, Craig Draper Johnson, who graduated from here and wrestled for a college out there at the same school,” Nixon said. “I had contact of the coaches from him.”

Last spring, Nixon started talking with Southwest Minnesota coaches and went out to the school for a visit in

August.

“After I was out there, I was pretty sure that’s where I was going to go,” Nixon said. “I had to think about it a little bit. I had it narrowed down to CMU, MSU and there.”

He had talked with Central Michigan and Michigan State. Southwest Minnesota offered him scholarship aid.

“They’re pretty good,” Nixon said of the wrestling program. “Their conference is pretty tough. They’re ranked fourth in their conference right now and the top three teams are in the top 11 in the

nation.”

Nixon is hoping to make an impact when he’s at the school and will go there in August.”

Nixon was 53-4 and fourth in the state last season at 140 pounds in Division 4. A state title is his goal for this season

“When I got into high school, I decided I wanted to wrestle in college some day,” he said. “I wanted to have my decision made before the season. I didn’t want to be stressed out during the season.”

Nixon had a solid season in football and indicated that sport kept him in shape for wrestling.

Pine River coach Tim Jones has a son, Luke, currently at Michigan State. Maverick Martin has also been in the collegiate ranks in recent years. Jones expects Nixon to have a strong career.

“He’s a hard worker,” Jones said. “He can make the next level.”