Eastern Michigan University hosted its first dual meet Friday, defeating Cleveland State University 38-3 at Bowen Field House.
“I’m proud of our guys, they dominated the meet,” coach Derek DelPorto said. “If we compete at this level against Northwestern (Dec. 12 at Evanston, Ill.), maybe a little better, then we have a good chance of stealing one on the road.”
The Eagles (3-1) started the night 9-0, winning their first two matches over the Vikings.
Redshirt freshman Jared Germaine (125) started collegiate play with a 10-3 victory over Cleveland State’s Ben Willeford (125). Junior Filiberto Colon (133) continued the festivities pinning his opponent, Nick Flannery, at 2:05 in the first period.
The Eagles mascot, Swoop, showed up to the home opener and greeted fans in the bleachers.
The only loss of the night came from redshirt freshman Mike LeHolm’s (141) loss (7-3) against Cleveland State (1-1) giving it its only points.
“Mike came out flat tonight,” DelPorto said. “When he wrestles at a fast pace he can wrestle with the best of them. I expect him to do better next time.”
Junior Corey Phillips (141) won his decision 6-2. Redshirt freshman Aaron Sulzer (157) also won his bout, 16-3. At halftime, DelPorto and Athletic Director Derrick Gregg took center stage. They recognized EMU wrestling supporters for sponsoring the renovations made to the team’s locker room. Each sponsor also received a certificate thanking him or her for the contributions.
The 165-pound bout showcased EMU redshirt senior Nick Hendrick over senior Rob Michaels in comeback fashion with a final score of 6-4. The win put the Eagles up 19-3. DelPorto was found during the bout jumping out of his seat coaching Hendrick to continue what he was doing.
“We wrestled tough,” Hendrick said. “I’m proud of our younger guys stepping up. They showed EMU wrestling has come a long way. I’m excited to see what they’re doing in the future.”
The Eagles went on to win their next three bouts decisively. Redshirt sophomore Chis Eggert (174) defeated redshirt sophomore Aric Thurn (174) by a technical fall 21-4. Redshirt freshman Khodor Hoballah (174) beat redshirt freshman Cobin Boone (184) by technical fall 16-0. The third bout ended with redshirt freshman Nick Whitenburg (184) pinning sophomore Nick Anthony (184) at 4:33 in the second period.
Eastern Michigan ended the night when redshirt junior heavyweight Wes Schroeder defeated sophomore Chris Weber to put the final score at 38-3.
The Eagles have won four straight over the Vikings under DelPorto’s tenure.
“We’ve been consistent in beating teams that we’ve already figured out we can beat,” DelPorto said. “Now, we just got to go out and beat the rest.”
After the match, DelPorto and his coaching staff conducted a public tour of the new locker room renovations. The locker room includes new
lockers with an embedded signature of each donated sponsor. The renovations also include a lounge area sporting all black furniture and
appliances further illuminating the wrestling program’s dedication to hard-work this year.
DelPorto said, “When you have ownership of something, you take more pride in it, and these guys finally have ownership of a wrestling room, a lounge upstairs with our offices, and now their locker room. So, all of that lipstick portion of change the culture is done, it’s complete. We have everything we need. Now it’s time to produce on the wrestling mat and I think we are going in the right direction to doing that.”