Nov. 29, 2012
SPARTANS HOST EDINBORO IN HOME OPENER
Michigan State hosts No. 17 Edinboro in the 2012-13 home opener Friday at Jenison Field House beginning at 7 p.m. The Spartans are off to a 1-0 start following a 25-11 victory at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 16 in Ypsilanti. It marks the first dual of the season for the Fighting Scots.
"We're looking forward to getting the home season going," said MSU head coach Tom Minkel. "Edinboro is a great opponent - they're ranked in the Top 20 and are a very good team. We have a young squad and are a little bit untested, but I'm really optimistic about this group. They're really enthusiastic, they have a great work ethic, and academically it might be my best team ever. But it's just really a hungry, young group of kids. They're fun to coach and fun to work with, and I know they'll give us everything tomorrow."
Prior to defeating the Eagles, MSU posted strong showings in both the Eastern Michigan Open on Nov. 3 and the Michigan State Open on Nov. 11.
The Spartans placed 18 wrestlers, including 16 top-five finishers, in their first competition of the 2012-13 season at the EMU Open. Hermilo Esquivel (125 pounds) and Chris Nash (285) each took first place in their respective weight classes in the freshman/sophomore division and Mike McClure (285) placed first in the open division.
Nearly 30 schools from around the country competed in the MSU Open at Jenison Field House as the Spartans placed 10 wrestlers in the event. McClure placed first in the open division at 285 pounds and Ryan Watts placed second at 157.
Edinboro features five ranked wrestlers in the lineup, led by fifth-ranked A.J. Schopp (133) and Mitchell Port (141). Schopp claimed first place at the MSU Open, while Port took second. Four other Fighting Scots placed in the open division, along with four more in the freshman-sophomore division.
Schopp was named the 2012 Eastern Wrestling League Freshman of the Year last season after recording a 39-6 record; he was just one win shy of earning All-America honors. Port, Dave Habat (149) and Ernest James (heavyweight) are also returning NCAA qualifiers for the Fighting Scots.
Last season, Edinboro defeated the Spartans, 18-15. With the dual tied at 15, James recorded a takedown against Mike McClure at heavyweight with just 15 seconds remaining to secure the 3-1 win and the three-point dual victory.
|Probable Starting Lineups
||MSU: Josh Heinzer (So., 4-2) OR Brenan Lyon (Jr., 0-3) vs.
EU: Kory Mines (So., 5-3)
||MSU: Christian Olanowski (Fr., 7-4) vs.
EU: No. 5 A.J. Schopp (So., 4-0)
||MSU: Nick Trimble (Fr., 6-4) vs.
EU: No. 5 Mitchell Port (So., 4-1)
||MSU: Dan Osterman (Sr., 7-2) vs.|
EU: No. 18 Dave Habat (So., 6-2)
||MSU: David Cheza (Sr., 1-0) vs.
EU: Michael DePalma (R-Fr., 9-1)
||MSU: Ryan Watts (So., 5-1) OR Troy Lamson (So., 3-2) vs.
EU: No. 16 Johnny Greisheimer (Jr., 6-2)
||MSU: Jordan Wohlfert (Fr., 8-2) vs.
EU: Patrick Jennings (R-Fr., 8-4)
||MSU: John Rizqallah (So., 6-3) vs.
EU: Vince Pickett (Fr., 6-3)
||MSU: Nick McDiarmid (So., 3-3) OR Luke Jones (So., 7-3) vs.
EU: Warren Bosch (R-Fr., 4-3)
||MSU: No. 12 Michael McClure (Jr., 10-0) vs.
EU: No. 20 Ernest James (Jr., 5-1)
McCLURE OFF TO FAST START
Junior heavyweight Mike McClure is the highest ranked Spartan in the lineup at No. 12 in the latest InterMat rankings. McClure is 10-0 to start the season, including first-place finishes at both the Eastern Michigan Open and the Michigan State Open. McClure was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Nov. 13 after winning the MSU Open; he defeated 19th-ranked Ernest James of Edinboro in the semifinals before topping No. 8 Jeremy Johnson of Ohio, 3-1 in overtime, to win the open. McClure beat Chris Eggert of EMU in the first dual of the season, 5-0.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans won seven of their 10 matches over Eastern Michigan in the first dual of the season as both Nick Trimble and Jordan Wohlfert picked up their first dual wins of their collegiate careers. McClure (heavyweight), John Rizqallah (184), Dan Osterman (149), Ryan Watts (157) and David Cheza (165) also recorded victories for MSU.
CHEZA GETS A SIXTH YEAR
Senior David Cheza was granted a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA and will be back in the starting lineup this upcoming season at 157 pounds. Cheza lost multiple seasons due to injury and was granted a medical hardship waiver to compete this season.
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.
Michigan State opens the Big Ten season at Wisconsin next Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET before facing Northern Illinois on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. ET.