Wrestlers win against Northern Illinois in first conference



Alex Atkinson

The Kent State wrestling team cruised over its first conference opponent, pounding Northern Illinois, 37-6, in the M.A.C. Center Friday.

“I think the score showed we pretty much dominated,” said Jim Andrassy, Kent State coach. “It’s good to be able to put in three backups and you still get a score like that.”

The Flashes took control of their home opener right from the beginning, as the match began at 157 with senior Matt Cathell upsetting Northern Illinois’ Bryan Deutsch with a

12-4 major decision.

Deutsch was the top-ranked wrestler at 157 in the Mid-American Conference and a former MAC Champion.

Cathell risked being pinned multiple times to score points in his non-textbook style.

“Matt ended up scoring some wild points, but that’s what Matt does,” Andrassy said. “If you aren’t careful with him he scores points like that.”

The major decision was Cathell’s third in three weeks.

“(Deutsch) is pretty good on his feet,” Cathell said. “I was just trying to utilize that.”

Kent State won the following eight matches. Junior Ross Tice at 165 took down freshman Matt Mougin 7-4, freshman Brandonn Johnson defeated freshman Caleb Busson 9-3, and Kent State backup at 184 sophomore Keith Witt pinned junior Brad Dieckhaus.

Already trailing 4-3 in the third period, Dieckhaus, who is ranked third in the MAC, had Witt in position to turn him for a cradle to take an even more commanding lead. However, both Witt and Andrassy said they were calm.

Andrassy said last year when the team was practicing moves, Witt said he had never been turned in a cradle.

“I said, ‘I bet I can,’” Andrassy said. “I had him in a cradle, we blew live and I couldn’t turn him… and that was my move when I was younger.

“So when (Witt) got in that cradle (today), the two other coaches got all nervous and I said, ‘Don’t worry. He doesn’t get turned in a cradle,’” Andrassy said. “I was very relaxed because I’ve been in that position with him and know how he feels. Those two were like, ‘It doesn’t look good. It doesn’t look good.’ Then all of a sudden he kind of popped up and pinned him on a reverse cradle.”

Witt said he was ready to go when Andrassy told him he would be wrestling at 184 the next day.

“I stepped in for the team and that’s what I needed to do,” Witt said. “Coming up with the pin was big for the team.”

Junior Dustin Kilgore followed by pinning Northern Illinois’ junior Mike Lukowski at 197. Junior Brendan Barlow extended Kent State’s lead by outscoring the Huskies’ heavyweight senior Dakota Greenhaw 4-1. Junior Nic Bedelyon then pinned junior Zach Taylor at 125, and Stevie Mitcheff, who normally wrestles at 125, filled in at 133 to defeat junior Izzy Montemayor 6-4.

“I think Stevie Mitcheff is the second best guy at 125,” Andrassy said. “We’re fortunate to have guys like him and Keith Witt.”

Northern Illinois snapped Kent State’s shutout at 141, the second to last match. The Flashes’ sophomore Sean Collins filled in for the injured sophomore Chase Skonieczny and was pinned by the Huskies’ senior Tristen DeShayer.

Junior Marcel Clopton closed the match at 149 by beating senior Vince Castello 5-1.

“We have a good team,” Andrassy said. “We showed that tonight. It’s our goal to win the conference and we’re off to a good start.”

The Flashes next match will also take place at the M.A.C. Center, as the team takes on Clarion at 7:05 p.m. next Friday.

Contact Alex Atkinson at [email protected].