Flashes of interest? Freshmen feelings mixed when it comes to KSU sports

Mike Ashcraft


Credit: Steve Schirra

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” is a popular comedy series on HBO.

It is also a phrase that could describe the feelings of some of Kent State’s freshman class when it comes to rooting for the university’s athletic teams.

The biggest game that recently took place at Kent State was on Aug. 31 against Minnesota. It marked the first time a Big Ten opponent ever played at Dix


Students “got their gold on” and were quite vocal about it throughout the first half. Unfortunately, six turnovers and several blown opportunities on offense and special teams led to Kent State’s demise in a 44-0 blowout.

The defeat left an impression on many who were attending their first Kent State football game. Now, however, the Flashes are in first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division and ready to make a statement against cross-town rival Akron.

But before the team’s two straight wins, things didn’t look to good.

“I went to the football game, and it sucked,” freshman business major Nick Piazza said. “I don’t think I’m going back now. It was a good atmosphere. It’s just that they weren’t very good.”

Piazza said it is going to take more than a tailgate party outside of Dix Stadium to quench some freshmen’s thirst for


The Flashes have had only one postseason appearance in the history of the program. That came in 1972 when Kent State fell to the University of Tampa Spartans 21-18 in the Tangerine Bowl. Back then, Hall-of-Fame linebacker Jack Lambert was in his junior season at Kent State. Now the Spartans don’t even have a football team.

However, winning is not everything. For some of the freshmen, being able to cheer for a collegiate program is enough to satisfy them.

“I’m more excited about college than I am high school, sports wise,” freshman architecture major Bobby Iseman said.

Seeing good universities come to play Kent State is reason enough for others to sit in the stands.

“If they ever play a Big Ten team at home again, I’ll go back,” said Tom Ferrante, freshman athletic training major. “It was exciting seeing them play a Big Ten team. If I got a chance. I would go.”

There have been murmurs that the football team may lose its Division I-A status and membership in the Mid-American Conference, sending the program down to the I-AA level, if attendance at Dix Stadium does not improve significantly.

Surprisingly, some freshmen said they would be OK with this move if it would improve the team’s chances to have a winning season.

“If we go to I-AA, we might be more competitive,” freshman education major Scott Ingersoll said. “I’m from a winning high school football team, so it kind of hurts to come here.”

The freshman focus on the university sports scene seems to lie squarely on the major sports – football and basketball. Teams such as field hockey, soccer and cross country do not seem to draw the interest that those sports do.

Some blame the lack of publicity for the sports that draw smaller crowds.

“(The other teams) might be good, but there’s not too much attention toward them,” freshman architecture major Corey Wargo said. “There’s stuff at the M.A.C. Center, but there’s just a little sign.”

Renee Rawlings, freshman special education major, echoed Wargo’s sentiment.

“The first football game, it was a huge deal,” Rawlings said. “But I didn’t hear anything else about any other game.”

Contact sports reporter Mike Ashcraft at [email protected]. Justin McGonigle contributed to this story.