Berthold’s cradle lifts KSU wrestling over Cleveland State


Jan. 26, 2019 – Shane Mast wrestles against Brett Perry of Buffalo.

Brandon Lewis

In the final matchup of the night, redshirt freshman Spencer Berthold used his signature cradle maneuver with 1:37 remaining in the first period to secure a pin and victory for the Kent State Wrestling team against Cleveland State Friday night.

The victory for Berthold completed a 20-9 comeback for the Flashes. Coach Jim Andrassy said Berthold is known for his cradle for a reason.

“Spencer’s twitter handle is the cradle king for a reason,” Coach Andrassy said. “At the end of the day, that’s pretty much what he’s going for. We knew that’s what he was going for the whole match. He was able to cradle him up, and we won the dual.”

Coach Andrassy added that he thinks Berthold is the most improved wrestler on the team this season.

“Where he is now compared to where he was at this point last year, he’s probably the most improved guy on our team,” Andrassy said. “At Ohio, he gave us an opportunity to win the dual. We didn’t win, but he did everything he could, and here at Cleveland State, he did the same thing. He gave our team a victory. I’m proud of him. His teammates are proud of him. It was a feel good moment for him.”

Sophomore Andrew McNally kicked off Kent State’s comeback by picking up his ninth straight victory and his ninth overall by major decision. Andrassy didn’t think McNally had his best match, but he thinks part of that is because of the pressure the coaches put on him to get the team back into the dual.

“In the second period when he was on his back, I did not think he was getting off his back,” Andrassy said. “I think as coaches and as a staff, we just need to go tell Andrew to wrestle his match, and not worry about the team scoring. Whatever happens, happens. We can’t expect McNally to bail out the team everytime he wrestles. It’s not fair to him.”

Junior Tim Rooney broke his five match losing streak, picking up a win via a 6-2 decision.

“I just think Tim needs to wrestle his match,” Andrassy said of Rooney. “Sometimes, he worries about using too much energy too early, and then he does not have enough to finish. If you just wrestle hard, it takes care of itself. I’m hoping Tim just realizes he’s better than the way he has performed, and hopefully he can carry this momentum through the end of the year.”

Shane Mast and Cory Simpson picked up big wins early on to keep the Flashes in the dual. Both wrestlers are part of a whole group of wrestlers who were not expected to contribute this season, but have had to due to injuries. Andrassy has preached finish to his young group all year long, and he feels like that is the message he has to continue to preach as the team hits the home stretch of the season.

“We have a lot of guys that we weren’t expecting in our lineup at this point,” Andrassy said. “Because of some of the guys we lost, we’ve had to throw some guys into the starting lineup that are fourth and fifth string guys. We did not expect Cory Simpson in our lineup. We didn’t expect Kade Byland in our lineup. We didn’t expect Spencer Berthold to be in our lineup. We didn’t expect Shane Mast to be in our lineup. So, we got a lot of guys who weren’t expected to be playing key parts in our lineup, and they are, so they just have to learn how to deal with the pressure and go along with it, and the hope is they’ll improve the more they wrestle. Mast is better than his record shows. He’s wrestled well against some kids, but he always seems to find a way to lose. Tonight, he found a way to win, and that’s a good sign. Same goes for Cory.”

Kent State looks to extend its winning streak on Sunday when they return home to the MAC Center next Sunday for a dual with Eastern Michigan at 1.

Brandon Lewis is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected]