Wrestler follows in his brother’s footsteps

Senior wrestler Stevie Mitcheff stands inside the wrestling training room Thursday evening. Photo by Brian Smith.


Senior wrestler Stevie Mitcheff stands inside the wrestling training room Thursday evening. Photo by Brian Smith.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State wrestling team has developed a close-knit relationship — becoming a family of sorts. The wrestlers get along as such, helping and supporting each other as the season goes on. For junior Stevie Mitcheff, this statement holds true in more ways than one: his older brother was a star for the Flashes.

“It’s been pretty cool,” Mitcheff said, speaking of his time with the team. “We are like a family. We’re all really close. It’s been cool getting to know everybody and being a part of the team.”

Mitcheff grew up in Lorain, Ohio, and attended Elyria High School. While on the wrestling team, he compiled a record of 159-24, qualified for the Ohio State Championships all four years and won a state championship in his sophomore year. After graduation, he prepared to wrestle at Kent State, knowing his older brother, Danny Mitcheff, had already achieved notable success for the Flashes.

Danny Mitcheff wrestled at Kent State from 2005-10. He became one of the most accomplished wrestlers in Kent State wrestling history, finishing his career with a 131-50 record. Stevie Mitcheff said that he was inspired by his older brother’s success.

“I’ve grown up watching him wrestle,” Stevie Mitcheff said. “He’s been a really good role model for me. His success made me want to work harder.”

Danny Mitcheff’s 131 wins was the all-time record for the Flashes until Dustin Kilgore surpassed it last year. Coach Jim Andrassy said Danny Mitcheff was the most technically sound wrestler he has ever coached. Having coached both of the Mitcheff brothers, he sees a very big comparison with the two.

“There is a big comparison in the way they move on the mat,” Andrassy said. “Danny had an advantage because he started right off the bat. This is Stevie’s first year as a starter, so he’s a year or two behind. But the more mat time Stevie gets, the better he’ll get.”

After graduating from Kent, Danny Mitcheff accepted an assistant coaching job at Army. While he can’t be there to watch Stevie’s matches in person, he is still very much involved with his younger brother’s college wrestling career.

“He watches all my matches online,” Stevie Mitcheff said. “He always calls me on the phone and gives me tips and pointers on how to improve.”

Andrassy said Stevie Mitcheff would be more successful wrestling in a different weight class. Stevie currently competes in the 133-pound class, but Andrassy said he will switch to the 125-pound class next year after senior Nic Bedelyon graduates.

“The way he wrestles will suit him better at 125 than at 133,” Andrassy said. “But he’s working hard where he’s at right now. He’s won some matches and he’s gained confidence.”

It’s that growing confidence that drives Stevie Mitcheff to work hard and take the necessary steps to improve.

“I know that he believes in himself,” Andrassy said. “Believing is a very dangerous tool in the sport of wresting. If he keeps believing in himself, he’ll keep getting better.”

Stevie Mitcheff said he wants to become an All-American and to receive an invitation to the national championships. With continued hard work, belief in himself and a little help from his big brother, he could very well achieve what he is striving for.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].