Flashes open wrestling season in New York


Kent State’s Michael DePalma wins his final match at the 2014 MAC Championship wrestling meet Sunday, March 8, 2014, in the M.A.C. Center. DePalma’s final defeat against an Ohio University player won him third place in his weight class.

Ray Strickland

The Kent State wrestling team will compete in its first tournament of the season at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational this weekend in Brockport, New York.

The Flashes are coming off of a season in which they became the only Mid-American Conference program to have an individual champion in nine straight seasons.

Kent State also has six players in the preseason MAC rankings. Two Flashes earned No.1 spots in junior 157-pounder Ian Miller and 133-pounder Mack McGuire.

Senior 174-pounder Caleb Marsh and junior 149-pounder Mike DePalma each received a No. 3 ranking. Sophomore heavyweight Mimmo Lytle and senior 141-pounder Tyler Small each claimed the No. 4 spots in the MAC rankings.

Kent State ranked in 4th place in the MAC preseason poll behind Northern Iowa, Missouri and Old Dominion.

”The goal is to get your wrestlers as well prepared for the national tournament at the end of the year as possible,” Kent State wrestling coach Jim Andrassy said. “In doing that, hopefully you can win a MAC championship.”

The experience from the veteran wrestlers returning will help the team immensely, particularly mentoring some of the younger guys who are part of a talented recruiting class, Andrassy said.

“Leadership usually comes from people with experience,” Andrassy said. “They can help the younger guys out. The hope now is that they can help out, and the team can pull together and have one of those seasons that’s great.”

The Flashes will compete against Oklahoma, Buffalo, Army, Bloomsburg, Brockport and Lock Haven.

The Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational will begin on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Contact Ray Strickland at [email protected].