Wrestling dominates Clarion in 44-6 victory

Alex Atkinson

Kent State did not make its match against Clarion on Friday night look anything like a rivalry, as the Flashes buried the Golden Eagles with a 44-6 victory.

Clarion did not help itself by forfeiting three matches due to injuries and sickness. Sophomore Chase Skonieczny at 141, junior Dustin Kilgore at 197 and junior Brendan Barlow at heavyweight all picked up easy forfeit victories.

“Here’s an example of what can happen during a college season,” said Jim Andrassy, Kent State coach. “(Clarion is) a little beat up and broken. If your guys aren’t doing things the right way that could happen, so our guys are doing a good job.”

Two of Kent State’s wrestlers stood out. Junior Marcel Clopton, at 149, overcame a matchup he lost earlier in the year, and sophomore Mallie Shuster, who filled in for senior Matt Cathell, dominated in the 157-weight class.

After losing to Clarion’s Anthony White 2-1 in the Body Bar Invitational earlier this year, Clopton won his rematch on Friday, 3-2.

“Marcell’s gotten better,” Andrassy said. “It’s still a little frustrating how he wrestles. If you’re in the crowd you hear us because it’s frustrating, but he’s gotten better. From where he was last year to where he is now, no doubt about it, he’s gotten better.”

Clopton said he entered the match making sure he took precise shots rather than the unorthodox ones he took when he fell to White earlier in the year, and adjusted to White’s hand-fighting style.

“I learned how to hand fight a little better now compared to the beginning of the year,” Clopton said. “That’s pretty much been the difference.”

Shuster took the next match with a 19-0 technical fall over Kyle Braddock. Shuster was originally scheduled to face No. 12 James Fleming, but Fleming was out with an injury.

“It felt good to just be able to score points and score points and score points,” Shuster said of his performance. “You get the feeling you can’t be stopped. You feel bulletproof, and that’s when you really open up. You feel good. You look good. The match ends and you feel like everybody’s looking at you with their jaws on the floor, and that’s the feeling that you love.”

Andrassy said he does not worry about putting Shuster in high-pressured matches.

“He likes being in these situations,” Andrassy said. “Big crowd. Good match. Some guys get real nervous, and he’s the complete opposite. He doesn’t get nervous and goes out and does a good job.”

Shuster executed five different three-point near falls on Braddock. Shuster said he felt he pinned Braddock twice, but enjoyed being on stage longer.

“I kind of have taken on (the backup role) a good bit this year, and you get kind of pent up,” Shuster said. “In my heart and in my soul I’m still a competitor. Got a lot of that pent up stuff out of my system. Got to go to work and make it happen. There’s no better feeling in the world then being a competitor.”

The Flashes travel to Buffalo next weekend for a Mid-American Conference match at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Contact Alex Atkinson at [email protected].