Jan. 10, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State wrestling heads to Pennsylvania to compete in three dual matches for the second consecutive weekend. The Spartans will face North Carolina and Clarion on Saturday, Jan. 12 then square off against No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, Jan 13.
"We know it is going to be a challenging weekend," head coach Tom Minkel said. "We're going to take it one dual at a time, starting out with North Carolina on Saturday. Both Clarion and North Carolina are solid programs, we will wrestle hard against them and they usually have a strong turnout. Then we will go to Penn State and tackle them."
The Spartans went 2-1 at home last weekend, falling to No. 21 Purdue before beating both Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson and hope to benefit from wrestling three duals not too long ago.
"It's important that we wrestle well in all three duals," Minkel said. "I think we are in a groove now with the holidays behind us and we had a good weekend under our belt. As we hit this next stretch we are in good shape, we are healthy, highly motivated and going to try to learn from week-to-week."
Junior Michael McClure leads the Spartans and is now ranked fourth in the country at heavyweight according to InterMat. McClure has defeated six ranked wrestlers this season and is 20-1. Senior David Cheza broke into the rankings at No. 19 at 157 pounds and is a perfect 6-0 this season.
|Michigan State Probable Starting Lineups
|| Brenan Lyon (Jr., 5-8)
||Brandon Fifield (So., 9-7)
||Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-10)
||Dan Osterman (Sr., 14-5)
|| No. 19 David Cheza (Sr., 6-0)
||Nick Proctor (So., 13-6)
||Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 14-7)
||John Rizqallah (So., 17-4)
||Luke Jones (So., 15-6)
||No. 5 Michael McClure (Jr., 20-1)
McCLURE UP TO NO. 4 IN THE COUNTRY
Junior heavyweight Michael McClure is the highest ranked Spartan in the lineup at No. 4 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 20-1 to start the season, including first-place finishes at the Eastern Michigan Open, Michigan State Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions. He went 3-0 last weekend and was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13 after winning the MSU Open and on Dec. 17 after winning the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure's only loss came against No. 14 Connor Medbery of Wisconsin and he has defeated six ranked wrestlers this season.
MSU REBOUNDS WITH WINS OVER BUCKNELL AND LINDSEY WILSON
After falling to No. 21 Purdue last weekend, the Spartans came back with back-to-back wins over both Bucknell and Lindsey Wilson. MSU beat the Bison 28-11 in the first match of the doubleheader and won 28-12 over Lindsey Wilson. Michigan State dropped the first three matches of the dual against Bucknell, falling behind early 11-0. However, Dan Osterman was able to turn the tide for Michigan State with a fall over Adam Healey at 149 pounds in 0:49, leading to seven straight victories for MSU.
CHEZA BREAKS INTO RANKINGS
Senior David Cheza is an undefeated 6-0 in dual matches this year and moved to No. 19 at 157 pounds according to InterMat. Cheza defeated Tommy Churchard of Purdue, 7-5 and followed that up with a 12-2 major decision over Vincent Favia of Bucknell.
JONES LEADS MSU IN BONUS POINTS
Sophomore Luke Jones is in his first season in the starting lineup for Michigan State at 197 pounds and he leads the team in dual points. Jones in 15-6 on the season and has recorded bonus points in 10 matches. Jones has notched four falls and six major decisions this season.
RIZQALLAH ON A ROLL
Sophomore John Rizqallah is 17-4 this season and 7-0 in dual matches, wrestling in his first season in the starting lineup. Rizqallah has won 12 of his last 13 matches and recently finished third at the Reno Tournament of Champions. He also finished second at the EMU Open and sixth at the MSU Open. Rizqallah is the only Spartan to start and win all seven dual matches this season.
SPARTANS SHAKING UP THE LINEUP
In seven duals this season the Spartans have utilized seven different starting lineups. Freshman Jordan Wohlfert (174), John Rizqallah (184) and Michael McClure (HWT) have been the only mainstays this season, starting in all seven duals.
SPARTANS FINISH THIRD IN RENO
Michigan State wrestling took third place at the Reno Tournament of Champions, finishing with 107. 5 team points and also placed eight individual wrestlers in the event. Then-No. 11 Michael McClure led the Spartans with a first place finish at heavyweight and went 5-0 in the tournament. Dan Osterman (149 pounds), Nick Proctor (165) and Ryan Watts (165) each placed second in their respective weight classes.
BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR SECOND TIME
Junior heavyweight Michael McClure was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week as announced by the conference office on Tuesday, Dec. 18, after taking first place at the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure was also named wrestler of the week on Nov. 13 after taking first at the MSU Open. McClure defeated three wrestlers ranked inside the top 20 in Reno, including No. 6 Chad Hanke of Oregon State, No. 9 J.T. Felix of Boise State and No. 16 Odie Delaney of the Citadel.
TEN SPARTANS PLACE AT MSU OPEN
Michigan State wrestling hosted the annual MSU Open on Sunday, Nov. 11, at Jenison Field House with more than 29 schools from around the country competing in the event. The Spartans placed 10 wrestlers in the tournament and Michael McClure placed first in the open division at 285 pounds and Ryan Watts placed second at 157.
EIGHTEEN PLACE AT EMU OPEN
The Spartans placed 18 wrestlers, including 16 top-five finishes in their first competition of the 2012-13 season at the Eastern Michigan Open. Hermilo Esquivel (125 pounds) and Chris Nash (285) each took first place in their respective weight classes in the freshman/sophomore division and Michael McClure (285) placed first in the open division.
CHEZA MAKES MOST OF SIXTH YEAR
Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and is back in the starting lineup for the Spartans. Cheza, ranked No. 19, lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season. Currently he is 6-0 in dual matches on the season, joining Rizqallah as the only two Spartans undefeated in duals.
REPLACING SENIOR LEADERSHIP
Michigan State lost four NCAA qualifiers from last season and six seniors that saw regular action in the starting lineup. The Spartans have just two seniors this season in David Cheza and Dan Osterman. Cheza will serve as the captain for the 2012-13 season.
The Spartans will rely on young talent to contribute in the starting lineup this season and could have either freshman or sophomores starting in six different weight classes this season. Sopho more Josh Heinzer, a transfer from Iowa Central Community College, is penciled in as the starter at 125 pounds, while Terry Turner, Brandon Fifield, Nick Proctor, Troy Lamson, John Rizqallah and Luke Jones will each be counted on this season.
Following this weekend, the Spartans will host No. 4 Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 20 in its lone dual of the weekend.