Wrestling team holds second annual outdoor practice


KSU wrestling practice at Risman Drive

Ray Strickland

Kent State showcased their wrestlers at Rizman Plaza on Wednesday for its second annual outdoor practice.

The Flashes held their first official practice Oct.10, but this event included recruits and their families watching from the sidelines.

Coach Jim Andrassy said there were people outside in the past who didn’t know the school had a varsity program. He said holding practice outside in such a high-populated area could help by bringing more exposure to the program.

“It gets students to realize we do have a wrestling team and we are good,” Andrassy said. “Maybe they will look us up on the website or maybe they’ll come to a match now because they saw us practicing. Free exposure is great.”

The practice gives guys a chance to wrestle in front of large crowds of people and see how they’ll react to practice, Andrassy said.

The 2014 season will be a big test for the Flashes. Kent State enters the season as the fourth best team in the MAC, according to the Mid-American Conference’s preseason rankings released on Thursday, Oct.9.

This year’s group of wrestlers will feature six individuals near the top of their class in their respective weight classes in the MAC preseason rankings.

Junior 157-pounder Ian Miller holds the number one spot for his weight class. He became just the second Kent State wrestler to receive an invitation to the NWCA All-Star Classic on Nov. 1st at the Palestra in Philadelphia.

Mack Mcguire is tied with Northern Iowa’s Levi Wolfensperger for the number one spot in the MAC rankings at 133 pounds. McGuire is a two-time NCAA qualifier, and also completed his 2013 campaign with 27 wins, second only to Miller among Kent State wrestlers.

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 No. 4 spots in their respective weight classes. 

Andrassy said he thinks the No. 4 preseason MAC ranking is “okay” but believes the MAC is one of the best conferences in the country with the additions of Northern Iowa, Missouri and Old Dominion. Ultimately, he feels the team is better than it was last year.

“I think we are a Top 25 team,” Andrassy said. “Our goal is to be a top 5, top 10 team every year, so we are going to just keep working at that.”

Kent State begins competition Nov. 8 at the Brockport/Oklahoma Invitational.

Contact Ray Strickland at [email protected].