Pine River wrestlers set to contend for more titles

LEROY — It appears to be another season in which Pine River’s wrestling team can go after conference and district titles.

The Bucks wouldn’t mind going after some other jewels, also.

The season will start Dec. 13 at the Tri County Invitational. The Bucks have a home quad on Dec. 17 and are at the Marquette Challenge Dec. 20 and at the St. Louis Invitational on Jan. 3. They are home with Forest Area and Manton on Jan. 7. Pine River is also hosting a quad Feb. 4, the team districts Feb. 11 and the team regional Feb. 18.

“I think we have a lot of potential,” Pine River coach Tim Jones said. “We always seem to be real deep at different weights. That creates a lot of competition within the room. We’ve got a good core of seniors and juniors. We’re really well balanced with our freshmen, sophomore, juniors and seniors in the lineup.”

The Bucks have around 35 grapplers on the roster.

“The thinnest we are is right in the middle (of weight classes), but I think we have enough replacements there to either move around or bump up,” Jones said. “Hopefully that’s the case all year long. At both ends, light weight and heavyweight, that’s where we’re the strongest.”

Seniors returning include Jordan Stone at 112, Tony Moore at 119, Phil Ragatzki at 140, Brady Long at 145, Jeff Gross at 171, and Tyler McCurry at 189.

“We have some very good juniors coming back, too,”  Jones said. “We have a lot of potential this year. It’s like anything else, if you can avoid injuries and internal destruction, we’re pretty good.”

The Mid-Michigan Wrestling Conference tournament is Feb. 7 at Kingsley. The Bucks are defending conference and district champs. They hope to win both those titles again and contend for the regional crown.