Wrestlers eager to begin MAC action

Caleb Raubenolt

Flashes look to shut out Northern Illinois in first

The Kent State wrestling team is confident it can fulfill the goal that coach Jim Andrassy set in preparing for tomorrow’s dual meet against the Northern Illinois Huskies:

Shut them out.

In other words, when the Flashes’ first Mid-American Conference meet of the season begins at 12:05 p.m. tomorrow at the M.A.C. Center, every team member slated to wrestle in the 10-match event is expected to win.

“Our goal here is to be as dominant as possible,” said senior Jermail Porter, ranked No. 3 in the nation’s 285-pound weight class. “As a team, we can get the shutout if we wrestle our best.”

Last year, the Flashes traveled to DeKalb, Ill., and fell behind early in the contest, trailing the Huskies 7-3. However, Kent State prevailed throughout the remaining matches and won, 20-16.

When the Huskies (4-4, 0-1 MAC) arrive tomorrow, the Flashes (7-4, 0-0) are eager to make this year’s matchup convincingly different.

Assistant coach Josh Moore said a lot of matches will favor the Flashes,

“Overall, I think we’re a better, more experienced team,” Moore said. “Although they have good wrestlers, we should be able to win those key matches.”

Moore was referring to the weight classes between 149 and 174 pounds. Early in the season, this was the weakness in Kent State’s roster. However, after sweeping their competition last week against Cleveland State, Moore believes those wrestlers are “starting to catch up to their potential.”

Another promising matchup looking to gain the meet’s interest will be Kent State’s junior Danny Mitcheff (16-7 record) face-off against Northern Illinois’ Tristen DeShazer (17-7) in the 133-pound division. Mitcheff and DeShazer are nationally ranked in the weight class and sit atop the MAC standings.

“I feel confident,” Mitcheff said. “I’m always confident.”

Contact sports reporter Caleb Raubenolt

at [email protected].