Wrestling team hosts first-ever outdoor practice


Wrestlers practise in Risman Plaza on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013. Photo by Time Dorst.

Kent Hushion

Students walking through Risman Plaza on Monday afternoon might have noticed a rare sight.

For the first time in school history, the Kent State wrestling team scheduled an outdoor practice on the path connecting the Student Center and the University Library. A 67-degree day and constant sunshine greeted the Flashes as they took over the plaza at 3:30 p.m., and practice ensued.

“The idea was just to get the guys outside, it was a beautiful day,” Coach Jim Andrassy said after the practice. “It allowed the university to get behind us and the student body to get behind us as well.”

This season will mark Andrassy’s 11th at Kent State, where he has tallied a 123-64-1 record in duals. In the previous 10 seasons under Andrassy, Kent State wrestling had never held an open practice outside, an idea Andrassy got from his assistant coaches.

“Matt (Hill) and Josh (Moore) saw Virginia Tech do it, along with some other schools out west … We thought there was a few places we could do it, so we talked to the university, and they let us do it right here,” he said.

The open practice also gave the Kent State wrestlers an opportunity to showcase their ability and gain excitement for the upcoming season to the student body.

“It’s fun having people watch us practice out here,” senior Tyler Small said.

“At first I was a little skeptical about it, but once you’re out here, it’s kind of cool. It gets people more excited about our sport.”

The outdoor practice provided the players with the feeling of what it is like to wrestle in front of crowds during the season as well.

“It was fun, I liked having the big crowds, it definitely gives you a feel for what the crowds will be like,” junior Ian Miller said.

Andrassy viewed the practice as a big success and said it grew the reputation of the team on campus and provided a bigger motivation for the day.

“There’s no doubt it motivated us a little more, and there were about 50 or 60 people just sitting around watching us, so the idea is to get more people involved and more people watching so they can understand what is going on for us,” Andrassy said.

Because of the success of the practice, Andrassy said he would like to see more outdoor practices, saying “it’d be a great thing if we could put something on like this each year.”

The Flashes open their season at the Virginia Duals on Nov. 10.

Kent Hushion is a sports correspondent for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].