Pine River wrestlers second at Tri County hold back Manton 46-33 in dual match

LEROY — Pine River has had a strong start to the wrestling season so far.

The Bucks on Saturday were second in the Tri County Invitational. They defeated Ravenna 72-6, Comstock Park 40-21, Belding 41-35 and Tri County 36-28. The Bucks wrestled Byron Center in the finals and tied 36-36. But Byron Center took the match on criteria having won eight divisions compared to six for the Bucks.

Kyle Nixon at 145 and Adam Langworthy at 171 were undefeated during the day. Going 4-1 were Nate Park at 103, Jordan Stone at 112, Tony Moore at 119, Elliot VanDreumel at 130 and Chase Morrison at heavyweight.

“It was a tough tournament for us,” said Pine River coach Tim Jones. “Early in the year, Byron Center is ranked No. 2.”

Meanwhile, Manton had some quality wrestlers, but Pine River had too much depth and pulled out a 46-33 dual match victory over the Rangers Wednesday night.

Manton had a 21-16 lead after the 189-pound class. Tyler McCurry’s forfeit win at 215 put the Bucks back in front, but Noah Thompson of Manton came back with a pin in 54 seconds. Park’s pin in 40 seconds for the Bucks at 103 gave the hosts a 28-27 advantage.

Ryan Groendyk’s pin for Manton at 112 made it a 33-28 Ranger lead. But in the final three matches, Pine River took six-point forfeits for Moore at 119, Chris Terburgh at 125 and VanDreumel at 130.

“This team is really strong,” Moore said. “We’re looking good so far.”

“Towards the middle of this year, we’re going to tighten up a lot better,” VanDreumel said. “We have some guys a little high in their weight right now. Once they bump down it will tighten up our team a lot.”

Earlier in the match, Darwin Dean at 135 won his match while Nixon at 145 triumphed by technical fall and Dominic Garcia at 189 won by pin.

“It was nice that everyone got to wrestle and Manton was able to bring some extra kids in,” said Jones. “All of our extra kids wrestled some matches (Wednesday).

“Darwin Dean at 135 had a nice match and so did Dominic Garcia at 189,” he added.

The Bucks were also scheduled to wrestle Kalkaska, but the Blue Blazers canceled the trip because of weather conditions. Pine River had a B team match against Manton’s squad.

“We’re looking for Manton to be a factor in the conference,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to do some work to stay with them. They looked good (Wednesday).”

The Bucks are home Wednesday against Kingsley and Manistee.