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Feb. 14, 2013

Wrestling grapples with youth

By Christina Sanders

It’s been a rough season for the Cleveland State University wrestling team.

Victims of their own inexperience, the Vikings fell to Clarion 23-9 Sunday afternoon in their last conference match of the season.

Head Coach Ben Stehura isn’t too concerned with this season’s shortcomings, however. He said that the team is in a transitional period.

The Vikings boast a lot of young, inexperienced talent. The majority of the team is made up of freshmen and sophomores who are learning how to wrestle at the college level.

“It’s like starting in ninth grade all over again,” Stehura said. “You have to teach them how to wrestle at the college level.”

The Vikings have three standout wrestlers from each class who are having a successful season on an individual level.

Sophomore Mike Carlone continues to enjoy successful outings as he builds on his success from his freshman season.

Stehura understands that even though the losses are a learning process, maintaining morale on the team can be difficult.

To aid in helping each player maintain a positive mindset, he set individual goals for each member of the team outside of wrestling. He wants the players to be well-rounded men.

“They meet with a nutritionist, and one of the goals that we have is that everyone should work on getting at least a 3.0 grade point average this semester,” Stehura said.
With the majority of the season behind them, the Vikings are now focusing their sights on national and state tournaments that are approaching in March.

The Vikings have traditionally done well in the individual competitions. They have taken advantage of being in a hotbed of wrestling talent in Northeast Ohio and have had success recruiting state champions and runners-up.

The Vikings hope to build on their individual success as they plan to send their top wrestlers to tournaments next month.