Wrestling State Finals Prep: Pine River Set for Rematch with State Power Hudson
This is the first in a series of five stories previewing the 2019 MHSAA team wrestling state finals.
The Bucks received the six seed in the eight-team tournament and will face third-seed and two-defending state champion Hudson on Friday at Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center.
Hudson handed Pine River a 45-24 loss in last year’s state semifinals en route to its seven state championship. The Tigers have three state runner-up finishes to their credit as well.
Pine River is seeking its first state title match bid since finishing runner-up in the 1991 Class C finals.
The Bucks punched their quarterfinal ticket with wins over Mason County Central (64-13), Evart (68-7), Mancelona (forfeit) and Whittemore-Prescott (45-27).
“This is a good team,” said Pine River coach Tim Jones after a win over Whittemore-Prescott for the regional title. “We’ve come a long way from the beginning of the year. We were pretty young and inexperienced and added a lot of brand new kids in the lineup, over half our kids are new to the program in the last couple years so to watch them grow by leaps and bounds from then till now is big.”
In addition to the team state finals, the Bucks are sending seven to the individual state finals that will take place March 1-2 at Detroit’s Ford Field.
Friday’s quarterfinal is set for noon. The winner will face either second-seed Carson City-Crystal or seven-seed Onaway in a semifinal Saturday at 9:30 a.m.