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Spartans Host No. 11 Central Michigan on Senior Night

Senior Dan Osterman will wrestle in his last match at Jenison on Friday night.

Feb. 21, 2013

Dual #18: Michigan State (4-13, 0-8) vs. No. 11 Central Michigan (16-3, 5-0 MAC)
 Date | Time Friday, Feb. 22 | 7 p.m.
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Jenison Field House
 Live Stream Big Ten Digital Network on Spartan All-Access
 Live Stats
 Notes  Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State

Michigan State wrestling closes out the dual season at home on Friday night against No. 11 Central Michigan at 7 p.m. inside Jenison Field House. The Spartans will recognize three seniors prior to the dual in David Cheza, Chris Lyon and Dan Osterman.

"All three of them have played significant roles in our program," head coach Tom Minkel said. "We all wish them the best as they move on, but at the same time we feel bad that they won't be back. We've enjoyed having them a part of our program and look forward to Danny's last stretch here. I am certain he will have a strong finish."

MSU will face a ranked opponent for the fifth straight dual and head coach Tom Minkel noted that the in-state match always brings a little extra to the table.

"They are a very good team and a very good program," Minkel said. "A lot of our kids have wrestled against them in tournaments and in high school and know them well. Whenever you wrestle Central or Michigan and Eastern Michigan, it adds a twist to it because of the guys you know, the history and rivalries that exist."

The Spartans hope to close out the dual season strong, leading into the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10 and then NCAA Championships on March 21-23.

"We just need to continue to address areas that need work," Minkel said. "It's a matter of being a little better this week than we were last week. The Iowa State dual was a bit of a setback for us, but progress isn't always a straight line. Our goal is to wrestle better, and I'm confident that we will."

Michigan State vs. Central Michigan Probable Starting Lineup
 125 MSU: Brenan Lyon (Jr., 8-15)
CMU: Joe Roth (Jr., 16-3)
 133 MSU: Brandon Fifield (So., 11-15)
CMU: Tyler Keselring (So., 21-5)
 141 MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-20)
CMU: Scott Mattingly (Jr., 19-13)
 149 MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 18-9)
CMU: Donnie Corby (Sr., 18-10)
 157 MSU: Ryan Watts (So., 18-10)
CMU: Lucas Smith (R-Fr., 18-8)
 165 MSU: Nick Proctor (So., 13-15)
CMU: Mike Ottinger (So., 19-13)
 174 MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 15-16)
CMU: Craig Kelliher (Jr., 20-10)
 184 MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 22-8)
CMU: No. 2 Ben Bennett (Sr., 22-0)
 197 MSU: Luke Jones (So., 20-12)
CMU: Jackson Lewis (R-Fr., 10-18)
 Hwt. MSU: No. 7 Michael McClure (Jr., 28-3)
CMU: No. 5 Jarod Trice (Sr., 20-2)

Central Michigan is led by four wrestlers ranked according to InterMat, including No. 2 Ben Bennett at 184 pounds and No. 5 Jarod Trice of CMU. The Chippewas have won their last nine dual matches and topped Stanford, Cal poly and CSU Bakersfield all last weekend. CMU's last loss came at the hands of Virginia on Jan. 12. This is also the final dual of the season for Central and they will compete in the MAC Championships on March 10.

Michigan State will recognize three seniors on Friday night, wrestling in their last match at Jenison Field House. Dan Osterman will be in the starting lineup against Central Michigan, while David Cheza suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and Chris Lyon isn't expected to wrestle. Osterman has qualified for two straight NCAA Championships and has 89 career victories at MSU.

"I'm just going to focus on it just being another match," Dan Osterman said. "It's definitely going to be emotional. I've had a lot of great memories here over the years. I'm excited, it's going to be a great dual."

David Cheza was granted a medical hardship waiver at the beginning of the season due to multiple injuries and this season was cut short due to yet another shoulder injury. He competed in three different weight classes during his time at MSU and qualified for the NCAA Championships as a sophomore at 149 pounds and last season at 165 pounds. Cheza finished his career with 69 victories overall.

"David has been with us for six years and unfortunately wasn't able to complete this year," Minkel said. "He has always brought a lot to the program, not only as a wrestler but as a leader as well. We're going to miss him a lot."

Minkel arrived at Michigan State in 1991 from his alma mater, where he was the head coach for two seasons and served as an assistant coach for 12 years (1977-89). As a collegiate wrestler at Central Michigan, Minkel was a three-time All-American - twice in Division II and once in Division I - and is the only wrestler in school history to go through an entire career undefeated in dual meets (35-0-1). He was the conference champion in 1969 and 1970, and earned the conference's Outstanding Wrestler Award in 1970.

"I went to college there, went to graduate school there and lived there for 25 years before I was an assistant coach," Minkel said. "I trained there and coached before I came here. I have a lot of history in Mt. Pleasant and a lot of friends. It's where I developed as an athlete and as a coach."

Five Spartans were ranked in the first RPI (rating percentage index) rankings released by the NCAA. The final coaches' panel rankings and RPI will be two of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

125 pounds: No. 30 Brenan Lyon
149 pounds: No. 21 Dan Osterman
184 pounds: No. 14 John Rizqallah
197 pounds: No. 21 Luke Jones
Heavyweight: No. 6 Michael McClure

Michigan State will face its fifth straight ranked opponent this weekend and its eighth in the last nine matches. Overall, MSU has faced a total of nine ranked foes this season.

Following the dual with Central, the Spartans will have more than a week to prepare for the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10. The championships will be held at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill., and tickets can be purchased at

Junior Brenan Lyon pinned No. 15 Sean Boyle of Michigan on Feb. 10, in 2:01 and has won three of his last five duals. The Ithaca, Mich., native had lost his previous eight matches. Lyon won by major decision over Kevon Powell of Ohio and scored another major decision over Eric Coufal of Nebraska.

"Brenan has matured so much in the last couple months," Minkel said. "He has really improved his technical skills and is night and day from where he was. He has showed that and has come around with some pretty big wins for us."

After dropping three straight matches, two to ranked wrestlers, No. 17 John Rizqallah took down Chris Heald of Michigan last weekend, 6-0. Rizqallah boasts a record of 22-8 and is second on the team in dual victories with 12 this season.

Sophomore Ryan Watts is filling in for the injured David Cheza at 157 pounds and has won four of his last five dual matches. Last weekend, Watts topped Logan Molina of Iowa State, 2-1. Before that, he defeated Mike Carpenter of Michigan, Danny Zilverberg of Minnesota and Sparty Chino of Ohio.

MSU fell to No. 22 Iowa State at Jenison Field House last weekend, 30-10. The Spartans couldn't overcome an early 12-0 deficit, but took three matches, winning at 149 pounds, 157 pounds and heavyweight

No. 7 Michael McClure is 28-3 this season and 7-2 against ranked opponents after beating No. 19 Ben Apland of Michigan on Feb. 10. He placed first at the Eastern Michigan Open, Michigan State Open and the Reno Tournament of Champions this season and he was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13 after winning the MSU Open and again on Dec. 17 after winning the Reno Tournament of Champions. McClure's two losses have come at the hands of Big Ten opponents, No. 14 Connor Medbery and Jon Gingrich of Penn State. Last weekend, McClure earned a major decision over Matthew Gibson of Iowa State, 9-1.

Michigan State wrestling fell at home to No. 19 Michigan on Sunday Feb. 10, 24-15. The dual got started at 184 pounds and the Spartans (4-12, 0-8) led 12-3 after junior Brenan Lyon won by fall over No. 15 Sean Boyle of Michigan at 125 pounds. However, Michigan won three of the final four matches and took the dual, 24-15.

Michigan State wrestling lost a hard-fought match to No. 13 Nebraska, 23-19, in the final match at the NU Coliseum. Senior Dan Osterman gave the Spartans a 19-14 lead with only two matches remaining after pinning No. 12 Jake Sueflohn in 2:55 at 149 pounds but MSU couldn't hold off the Huskers as they went on to take the remaining two matches.

Senior David Cheza suffered a season-ending shoulder injury and will be out for the remainder of the season. Cheza has battled injuries to both shoulders throughout his career and received a sixth-year of eligibility at the beginning of the season. Cheza won 69 matches for the Spartans while wrestling in three different weight classes. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2010 at 149 pounds and in 2012 at 165 pounds.

Every Big Ten opponent on the MSU schedule has been ranked at one point this season, including eight teams in the top-25 this week, along with No. 11 Central Michigan.

Sophomore John Rizqallah is in his first year in the starting lineup and is second on the team in dual victories with 12 on the season and has won 10 of his last 13 matches overall. Rizqallah, wrestling at 184 pounds, had won nine consecutive matches before falling to No. 1 Ed Ruth of Penn State.

Redshirt freshman Roger Wildmo went 2-0 in duals filling in for Dan Osterman. Wildmo, a three-time state champion, is 21-2 on the season, including eight falls. Last year, he led MSU in wins and falls with 28 and 15, respectively.

The NCAA released the second of three coaches' panel rankings for the 2012-13 wrestling season on Thursday, Feb. 14. The final rankings will be one of the tools used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

The following three Spartans are ranked in the coaches' panel:
149 pounds: No. 21 Dan Osterman
184 pounds: No. 17 John Rizqallah
197 pounds: No. 32 Luke Jones
285 pounds: No. 9 Michael McClure

Michigan State wrestling head coach Tom Minkel announced on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the signing of Christian Pagdilao (Corona, Calif./Corona Santiago) to a National Letter of Intent, bringing the 2013-14 recruiting class to four student-athletes. Pagdilao will be joined by Javier Gasca (Kingsburg, Calif./Kingsburg), Josh Pennell (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns), and Mitch Rogaliner (Temperance, Mich./Temperance Bedford) who each signed a NLI in November.

"This is an outstanding group of young men," Minkel said. "Not only are they exceptional athletes but they are all very good students. They are men of great character and were exactly what we were looking for as we head into the future."

The Spartans are relying on young talent to contribute in the starting lineup and have had either a freshman or sophomore starting in seven different weight classes this season. Nick Trimble, a freshman at 141 pounds and Jordan Wohlfert, a freshman at 174 pounds have each started this year for MSU, along with sophomores Brandon Fifield (133), Ryan Watts (157), Nick Proctor (165), John Rizqallah (184) and Luke Jones (197).

Following this weekend, the Spartans will have a week off before prepping for the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10 in Champaign, Ill.



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