LEROY – Maverick Martin now has 100 wins in his career. The Pine River wrestler hit that mark over the weekend. Martin, a senior, is 18-3.

“I’m having a pretty good year,” he said. “There’s a couple of key losses I can get out of the way.”

Martin is having his best varsity season.

“I want to push myself, outcondition my opponents, work harder and beat them in every aspect of the game,” he said. “I go to the whistle. I never stop. I’m OK on my feet. I want to be able to turn them a lot easier and score points.”

Looking ahead, “I’d like to make a run for the state title,” Martin said.

Pine River is 21-5.

“We have a young team this year and are battling a lot of injuries,” Martin said. “If we keep firing up.... and we’re ranked eighth now (in state Division 4 ratings).”

When it comes to Pine River wrestlers vs. Hesperia, a pair of Division 4 powers, the Bucks know where they stand.

Hesperia was dominant in a 53-6 victory over Pine River in the championship match of the Bucks’ home team invitational earlier this month,.

Both teams entered the title match at 4-0. The Bucks had wins of 64-12 over Whitehall, 72-3 over Traverse City Central, 40-25 over Portland and 58-18 over Wyoming Godwin Heights.

“I think for the most part the kids wrestled pretty well,” said Pine River coach Tim Jones. “The match against Portland I thought we were a little flat. Then we came back against Godwin Heights a lot better.”

But Hesperia, a perennial state power, proved to be too much for the Bucks.

Kyle Nixon was 5-0 for the Bucks but was the only wrestler to go undefeated.

Those that went 4-1 were Larry Kissinger at 145, Kyle Charles at heavyweight, Martin at 152, Justin Seeman at 160 and Tony Moore at 103.

“We lost some close ones with Hesperia, a real tough club,” Jones said. “We knew we’d have to win some matches where on paper we weren’t supposed to better than them. That didn’t happen today. We’ll see them later on this year again and see if we can’t improve on that.”

Jones indicated the Bucks will benefit from the Hesperia match.

“When you see that caliber more often, regardless of win or lose, when you wrestle good teams, you get better,” Jones said.

Martin lost his match 4-2 against Hesperia’s Cash Bolles.

“I thought I wrestled pretty good,” he said. “I have to work on being able to turn him on top. I’ll get to see him in March when I’m in better shape.”