LEROY — Pine River has been to the Division 4 state semifinals the past two seasons and hopes to have enough talent to make another move this year.

The Bucks started their season Saturday at the Tri County Invitational.

Top wrestlers back for the Bucks include Jacob Roberts, Brock Nelson, Andrew Park, Tim Rizor and Bryan McCurry.

“I’m not quite sure at what weight class some of them will be this year,” veteran coach Tim Jones said.

Tyler Signor and Malachi Holmes are among the top returning state qualifiers.

“Right now, we’re looking pretty decent,” Jones said. “We had a scrimmage last weekend. We’re on track. We have 37 kids right now. We have a lot of numbers. But we do not have a lot of big guys so we’re real thin from 171 and up. We don’t have a lot of people.

“But we do have a lot overall and it’s a pretty good group of kids. We’re pretty well balanced. We have seven or eight in each (grade) class. It looks promising. We have some early injuries that will put kids out. Our 171-pounder (Creed Watson) will be out six weeks. He broke his wrist recently”

“The Bucks are home on Dec. 20 in a dual with Petoskey.

“Our schedule is different this year,” Jones said. “We’re going to see Sparta and Carson City-Crystal who is ranked No. 3 in preseason ranks. We’re ranked sixth. We’ll see them the first weekend. Sparta and Tri County are good in their division. We were at Marquette (Dec. 16) and we’ll see ranked teams like New Lothrop. We’re going down to Lowell (Jan 20) and will see ranked teams. We try to toughen our schedule up and prepare the kids for the rest of the season.”