Pine River looking ahead to the future
LEROY — It wasn’t the season the Pine River football team or head coach Terry Martin envisioned during summer workouts and preparation.
After emerging triumphantly 42-20 to open the season against Manton, the Bucks struggled to remain form over what turned out to be a COVID and injury-riddled campaign.
In Martin’s eight seasons as Buck coach, Pine River went 1-6 overall.
“We were young but had expectations of being more competitive than we were,” Martin.
Martin said defensive struggles, coupled with the loss of a few key players to injury, didn’t help his team’s chances down the stretch.
Throughout the course of the season, the Bucks kept their heads held high and came to play week in and week out, producing some quality individual performances.
In the kicking game, Omar Aguilar was named Highland Conference Special Team Player of the Year.
Aguilar converted on 11 of his 12 point after touchdown attempts, was responsible for five successful onside kickoff recoveries, averaged 35 yards per-punt and also had one touchback.
Isaac McKinley was a first team wide receiver, coming down with 15 receptions for 428 yards and six touchdowns.
Offensive lineman Dillon Blood was also named to the first team for the Highland Conference.
Fullback Gavyn Nelson was an Honorable Mention, rushing for 256 yards on 43 carries and scoring three touchdowns in five games played.
Elijah Carper was also an Honorable Mention.
Next season, the Bucks will be without the likes of seniors McKinley, Nelson, Carper, Zach Lemmon, Taylor Hemboldt, Andrew Stevens and Parker Deboard.
Austin Dean, Connor Rouse, along with most of PR’s offensive and defensive line are expected to return to the squad for 2021.