Wrestling starts season 2-1 at EMU

Dan Armelli

Kent State’s wrestling team rolled past its first two opponents Saturday at the Eastern Michigan Duals, but lost to Rider University in its final dual of the day.

The Flashes finished with a 33-3 win over Bloomsburg University, a 46-6 win over Olivet College and a 18-14 loss against Rider.

“I think, aside from (fifth-year senior) Ian Miller not being able to wrestle, I don’t want to say it went how we expected,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “We had a chance to win (against Rider). It’s hard to win with a fourth string heavyweight.”

Miller did not wrestle due to injury. Redshirt freshman Casey Sparkman took his place, going 2-1 on the day with a major decision.

As for the heavyweights, junior Mimmo Lytle is out for the year with an injury. Redshirt freshman Devin Nye had a skin irritation and did not wrestle, which left sophomore Stephen Suglio to take on the starting heavyweight spot.

“It’s one of those things where you do have to know how to wrestle differently,” Andrassy said. “Stephen has never wrestled like a heavyweight so he struggles in some situations. But he’s a smart kid. Right now, he’s just undersized. But as soon as he learns, he’ll have a lot more success.”

Suglio ended the day with three losses after a close match against Rider that ended 3-2.

Four Flashes were able to win all of their matches: senior Mack McGuire, fifth-year senior Mike DePalma, fifth-year senior Cole Baxter, and redshirt freshman Kyle Conel.

DePalma finished with a technical fall win in the first period in the dual against Olivet before his match with Rider’s Bronc All-American sophomore B.J. Clagon.

DePalma came back from a 3-2 deficit after the second period to beat Clagon 4-3.

“It’s not the first All-American that (DePalma’s) beaten, but it starts his year off well,” Andrassy said. “I know he has some really high hopes. It puts all the work that he’s done over the summer into perspective. He’s made strides. He’s good enough to be an All-American. Now he just has to work through the rest of the season.”

Most Kent State wrestlers that didn’t compete in the duals competed in the Eastern Michigan Open. Four Flashes were able to place: sophomore Drew Dickson finished fifth; sophomore Anthony Tutolo finished second; sophomore Charlie Keenan finished eighth; and freshman Jared Walker, who wrestled unattached, finished seventh.

The Flashes will participate in the Ohio Duals at noon Saturday at Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Dan Armelli is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].