Jan. 5, 2012
Contact: Tim Ertle
CLEVELAND STATE PROBABLES:
SETTING THE SCENE: Cleveland State (3-6, 0-1 EWL) will continue its southern swing after the Southern Scuffle with three matches in two days - the first dual meet action since Dec. 21. CSU will take on the University of Tenneessee-Chattanooga at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday (Jan. 8). On Monday (Jan. 9), CSU has Appalachian State at 3:30 p.m. and then the host Campbell Camels at 5:15 p.m. on the schedule. Live video for the match with UT-Chattanooga is available through GoMocs.com while the Big South Network will carry the match against Campbell on Monday night. Live scoring for both Monday matches will be provided through TrackWrestling.com.
UNFAMILIAR FOES: The Vikings have defeated Appalachian State in each of the prior two meetings: 25-18 in 2007 and 28-20 in 2009. The matches against Chattanooga and Campbell will mark the first time the two programs get together. All three opponents participated in the Southern Scuffle Jan. 1-2. UT-Chattanooga placed seventh in the 22-team event with 79 team points, one spot ahead of Appalachian State who finished with 63.5 points. Campbell earned 21.5 points to finish 18th, two spots ahead of Cleveland State with its 15 points.
... BUT A FAMILIAR FACE: Former Viking standout Rocco Mansueto '03 is in his second season as an assistant coach at UT-Chattanooga, serving as Greg Eslinger's top assistant. Mansueto made three NCAA Championship appearances (2001, 2002, 2003) and won an Eastern Wrestling League Championship at 125 pounds in 2003 during his days as a Viking. He was a four-time conference place-winner and made a pair of finals appearances as aCampbell head coach Joe Boardwine is a native of Northeast Ohio, having wrestled at Streetsboro High School. He served as the head coach at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, University School and Walsh Jesuit - the alma mater of CSU assistant coach Josh Zupancic. Boardwine's assistant Rocco Caponi is from Akron and wrestled at St. Vincent-St. Mary.
LAST TIME ON THE MAT: Five different Vikings racked up wins at the Southern Scuffle, widely considered as one of the premier tournaments in the nation. Nick Flannery went 5-2 at 133 pounds to place seventh. His losses both came against Navy's Aaron Kalil, rated by InterMatWrestle.com as one of the top-20 133-pounders in the country. Ben Willeford (125) and Koort Leyrer (165) each went 2-2 while Mike Mencini (149) and Garry Yarborogh (285) were 1-2. CSU finished 20th in the 22-team field that was highlighted by eight programs ranked in the top-25.
TOUGH TESTS: The six teams that have defeated CSU have a combined record of 26-16 in duals, and nine of those 16 losses were against ranked teams currently ranked in the top-25.
REGIONAL RESPECT: Three Vikings received recognition in the Dec. 13 Atlantic Region rankings conducted by Allen Brown, editor of WrestlingReport.com. Junior Corey Carlo was slotted 19th at 165 pounds, while Nick Flannery (133) and Josh Palivoda (141) both earned honorable mention status.
PIN IT TO WIN IT: With five dual meet pins, 133-pounder Nick Flannery is one off the current school record shared by Tony DiGiovanni (1973-74, 1975-76) and Tim Payne (1978-79). The CSU sophomore has eight pins on the season, six shy of Matt Ghaffari's school record of 14 in 1983-84.
The head coach: Ben Stehura (Lock Haven '00)
THE STEHURA FILE: Ben Stehura is in his fourth season as the head coach of the Viking wrestling program, and has recruited a talented group of young wrestlers that expect to make noise in the Eastern Wrestling League this year. Stehura has a history of developing young talent, as he has coached seven NCAA qualifiers, three NCAA All-Americans and two Olympic alternates over the past seven years. Stehura joined CSU in 2008 after building a successful program at Limestone in Gaffney, S.C. The first head coach in Limestone's history, Stehura took the team from three wins his first year to 13 in 2007-2008. Stehura will use his experience with coaching a young program to lead the Vikings during the 2011-12 season, working to improve in EWL competition and continuing the history and tradition of CSU wrestling.
UP NEXT: The Vikings will participate in George Mason's Patriot Duals next Saturday (Jan. 14) in Fairfax, Va. Times are yet to be announced, but fans are encouraged to check CSUVikings.com next week for official start times.
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