Pine River wrestlers open season on Saturday

LEROY — Pine River advanced to the Division 4 state semifinal last season and wouldn’t mind enjoying similar success this spring under veteran coach Tim Jones.

Practices started on Nov. 14 but not with a full team. Several wrestlers still were playing for the football team, which ended its season on Nov. 19 in the state semifinals.

“We have quite a few coming back from that team,” Jones said.

Josh Jackson and Nathan Park were two key seniors who have graduated.

Several outstanding wrestlers return to the lineup.

Dylan Stevens (112) and Jacob Roberts (125) were state qualifiers last season. Andrew Park (135) was a state placer. Hunter Fansler also was a state qualifier.

Joe Rigling (171) also returns as a state qualifier as was Raden Holmes (189), plus Bryan McCurry (215), a state placer.

Filling the 103 weight class will be critical, Jones said. He’ll have some younger wrestlers filling the middle weights.

The football season overlap doesn’t seem to have much if any adverse impact, Jones indicated. There were 20 without the football players.

The Bucks had some scrimmages going into the first tournament which is Dec. 10 at Tri County. Pine River is at Marquette on Dec. 17.

“That will be a gauge to see where we’re at,” Jones said. “Getting our lineup into place is something we’ll have to work on the first few weeks.”