Wrestling’s Keegan Knapp and Kody Komara shine in loss


Jacob Cover (Gold) and Austin Chapman (White) during Kent State’s matchup against Clarion on Jan. 29.

John Hilber, Reporter

Freshman Keegan Knapp earned his second win of the weekend and graduate student Kody Komara earned his 15th win for Kent State’s wrestling team.

Kent State’s 29-6 loss to Clarion Sunday was its ninth loss in a row. 

Knapp is the only KSU wrestler to win his matches against Southern-Illinois Edwardsville and Clarion. The win on Sunday was Knapp’s eighth win of the season.

“Keegan Knapp did an amazing job,” coach Jim Andrassy said. “He goes really hard, and he fights really hard. Sometimes it’s about effort and how hard you wrestle and he wrestles hard every time.”

Knapp had a 13-8 victory over redshirt senior Trevor Elfvin in the 157-pounder match. 

Komara won on a 4-0 shutout decision over sophomore Kyle Schickel. Komara’s 15th win is the second-highest on the team, behind sophomore Enrique Munguia’s 19 wins.

“He wrestled hard, that’s how he wrestles,” Andrassy said. “He’s usually pretty good at the end of the year, so I’m expecting him to keep on doing well until the end of the season and then he’ll make his run.”

“We fought hard, but they were just better than us,” Andrassy said. “They were more physical than us. They looked the part. Our guys didn’t and they just were better.”

The loss put the team at a program-worst 0-9 start to the season. It is the worst start in the program’s 90-season history.

With the loss, Kent State remains at last place in the Mid-American Conference’s Western division, with an 0-4 record against MAC opponents. 

Clarion stays at first place in the MAC Eastern division, following the win. The team has a 10-3 overall record and a 7-1 record in the MAC.

Meet results

The first three matches of the dual went to Clarion.

In the first match, 125-pound graduate student Jake Ferri lost by a 3-1 decision to sophomore Joey Fischer. This gave Clarion a 3-0 lead. 

In the 133-pounder match, sophomore Mason Prinkey held on to a 10-9 victory over freshman Jacob Houpt. Houpt came back from an 8-4 deficit to cut the lead to one point. Clarion led 6-0 following the match.

Andrassy made note that Houpt wrestled up a weight class, as he is typically a 125-pound wrestler.

Sophomore Landen Hacker lost by a 12-4 major decision to senior Seth Koleno in the 141-pounder match. 

This match gave Clarion four points, making the score 10-0.

Komara’s shutout gave KSU their first win of the day in the 149-pounder match. This cut the lead to 10-3.

Komara said that he is familiar with Schickel, as he has wrestled him before.

Kody Komara (Gold) squares off with Kyle Schickel (white) during Kent State’s contest against Clarion Jan. 29.

“He’s high-paced and he comes at you,” Komara said. “I knew I had to weather the storm a little bit and get to my attacks and take good attacks because he wants to score off of those bad attacks by pressuring me. I took quality shots, finished on what I could, and just wrestled a sound match.”

“I’ve been improving every year and I’m a veteran guy here,” Komara said. “I just continue to do the right things on the mat and off the mat, which is really important, especially at this level. I expect to win this much because I train hard and do the right things.”

In the following match, Kent State would cut the lead to 10-6 with Knapp’s victory.

Kent State would score zero points after Knapps’ win. The last five matches of the day were won by Clarion.

Freshman Colby Dalon lost to redshirt junior Cameron Pine by a 12-1 major decision in the 165-pounder match. This gave Clarion four more points, making the score 14-6.

In the next match, redshirt sophomore John Worthing defeated sophomore Ashton Breen in the 174-pounder match. Breen lost by a fall, lasting only one minute and three seconds.

Andrassy said that Dalon, Breen, and Hacker were “Under matched.” following their results.

Clarion earned six more points, making it 20-6.

The last three matches of the day ended with decisions. Each win gave Clarion three points, making the final score 29-6.

Senior Mike Caniglia was shutout 6-0 by redshirt senior Will Feldkamp in the 184-pounder match. 

In the 197-pounder match, freshman Blake Schaffer lost by a score of 5-1 to redshirt senior Tyler Bigoly.

“Blake Schaffer’s doing the best he can,” Andrassy said. “He’s just not physically ready to be there yet.”

In the final match of the day, sophomore Austin Chapmon beat redshirt senior Jacob Cover in the heavyweight match on an 8-6 decision. 

Andrassy said that the team was “outmatched at the upper weights.” Following losses in every weight class after 157 pounds.

“We knew going into their heavyweights were really good,” he said. “Their 184-pound, 197-pound, and heavyweight wrestlers are all fifth-year seniors, and they were just better than us.”

Injuries and Looking ahead

After the game, Andrassy said that the team “needed guys” to fill in due to injuries. 

“Houpt’s a 125-pounder and Colby is a 157-pounder that we bumped up,” he said.

Colby Dalon (Gold) pushes against Cam Pine during Kent State’s battle against Clarion Jan. 29.

Houpt wrestled in the 133-pounder match and Dalon wrestled in the 165-pounder match today.

Kent State had four new wrestlers that did not wrestle in the dual against SIUE on Friday.

“We’re a little banged up as a team right now- we have a lot of true freshmen in our lineup, a lot of backups and we have some hurt guys, and some guys moving weight classes,” Komara said. “I think some guys fought hard, but I think we have to get healthy and get our guys back out there.”

Houpt replaced freshman Matt Ellis in the 133-pounder match. 

Munguia was out of the lineup today, following his match against SIUE. He was rehabbing an undisclosed injury, leaving Dalon to replace him in the 165-pounder match.

Caniglia replaced redshirt senior Tyler Bates as the team’s 184-pound wrestler.

The last wrestler out of the lineup after wrestling against SIUE was redshirt junior Louis Newell, who is cutting weight to wrestle in the 133-pound weight class for the rest of the year. Hacker took his place in the 141-pounder match.

The Flashes will wrestle Ohio University (3-7) Feb. 3 in Athens.

OU is 3-2 in MAC play this season with a 3-7 overall record. They are fourth place in the MAC Western Division.

Kent State has a 5-5 record all-time against OU, with the Flashes losing three out of the last four matchups.

OU has lost seven out of their last eight games. The Bobcats have scored 13 or fewer points in those losses but scored 27 points in their win against Cleveland State.

“Hopefully everyone is healthy,” Andrassy said “Hopefully, we can get one or two wins this weekend, and go into Cleveland State with the team we think that we’re gonna be at the MAC tournament with.”

Andrassy added that the team needs “to coach better, and to wrestle better.”

“Our guys continue to come into work and they want to be here and they’re working as hard as they can,” Andrassy said. “We just need to keep working. If we get some guys to do a little better than they’ve done throughout the year we can do really well.”

John Hilber is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]