Pine River wrestlers eye another championship

LEROY  — Pine River will start its pursuit of another league and district championship wrestling season when it attends the Sanford Meridian Invitational this weekend.

A home quad is on the schedule for next Wednesday Dec. 11.

Coach Tim Jones is still working on weight lineups but knows who some of his top wrestlers are likely to be this season.

Tony Moore is a returning state qualifier for the Bucks and was at 103 last season. It looks like 112 or 119 for him this season. Jordan Stone, a junior, is set for 103 or 112. Robert Ragatzki appears ready for 119 after being a regional qualifier last season. Kyle Nixon, an all-state wrestler who was fourth last season at 140 pounds, is also back. Adam Langworthy returns at 171 after placing seventh at the state finals. Jeff Gross, a regional qualifier, is at 171.

The Bucks lost to Hesperia in the regional finals last season. They wrestle in the Mid-Michigan Wrestling Conference and hope to have league, district and regional titles this year. They’ve won five straight league crowns.

“We have a real good junior class,” Jones said. “We have several seniors, four have been with us for awhile. We’re hoping to be really good. We’re shooting for a similar season as last year.”

Tough conference foes are expected to be Benzie Central and Manistee. The non-league slate features tough opponents like Hesperia and Montabella.