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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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‘There are glimpses of really good wrestling’: Wrestling earns first winning weekend of its season

Kody Komara (Gold) squares off with Kyle Schickel (white) during Kent State’s contest against Clarion Jan. 29.

The Kent State wrestling team traveled to Clarion, Pennsylvania, and grabbed wins over Long Island University and Morgan State while dropping one to Clarion University.

In its first event, the Flashes fell to Clarion 24-10 after losing four of the opening five matches.

The second event was all KSU, beating Morgan State 38-6 and winning the final eight matches.

In the final event, Kent State pulled away from LIU, winning 26-7.

The Sunday Showcase

A pair of sophomores, 141 lbs. Pablo Castro IV and 197 lbs. Blake Schaffer carried a big load Sunday, winning all three of their matches.

Castro contributed a fall against Morgan State, as he had a pin in the first period. He would also pick up a 10-0 major decision win and an 8-1 decision in his Clarion matchup.

Schaffer was able to get a 9-1 major decision win against Clarion and a 9-3 win in his Morgan State matchup.

The Flashes’ two victories, 26-7 over LIU and 38-6 over Morgan State, were highlighted by a great team effort. They were able to pick up 17 victories in 20 matchups with the Sharks and the Bears.

LIU saw a barrage of six straight losses from the Flashes, showcased by shutouts from Castro and junior 157 lbs. Aaron Ferguson. 

They both recorded a pair of takedowns to secure wins.

Sophomores 157 lbs. Keegan Knapp and 285 lbs. Josh Boggan went to the extra frame, where they each had a takedown and earned wins over LIU.

Against Morgan State, sophomore 141 lbs. Billy Meiszner had a huge match with four takedowns en route to a 17-1 win. 

Graduate student 174 lbs. AJ Burkhart also recorded a pin in the match with the Bears.

Burkhart, a transfer student who was a graduate of Lehigh, is embracing his role in his last year. 

Despite not wrestling last year due to injury and missing the first half of the season, he is doing all he can to make his last year count, coach Jim Andrassy said.

“He’s a little bit behind on things, but we’re hoping that he can just keep grinding,” he said.  “And catch up right around the end of the season, which will be mid-season form for him.”

The Flashes are now 4-13 as they look forward.

“We are improving, and there are glimpses of really good wrestling,” Andrassy said. “There are still too many glimpses of bad wrestling that I feel like we need to continue to work out.”

With only a handful of matchups remaining, the Flashes look to make the most out of a tough season. 

“We’re starting eight freshmen, and we have a pretty young team, and it’s been a little bit of a grind this year,” Andrassy said. “We’re just trying to get these guys ready and trying to get some consistency with them.”

Back on the road 

The Flashes will now focus on its Mid-American Conference dual against Bloomsburg on Feb. 3.

Kent State is 4-0 against the Huskies all-time and won 32-9 last season.

In the following weeks, the team will look to practice hard to continue its push in the second half of the year.

“Normally, we aren’t pushing our guys as hard,” Andrassy said. “But we’re just so young that we feel that we’ve got to continue to push it.” 

Andrew Gold is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]

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