Kent State football players shine in the classroom

By allen moff | staff writer Published:

After setting new milestones on the field throughout the 2012 season, Kent State's football team also broke new academic ground during the fall semester.

The Golden Flashes put together their highest in-season grade-point average in recorded program history (since 1982), with 45 players carrying a GPA of 3.0 or better.

"I am very proud that our guys did not get distracted by such a great season," said Talea Drummer, athletic academic counselor for football.

The Dean's List (3.4 or higher) includes 18 football players, while freshman Jordan Italiano made the President's List (4.0).

The Flashes' best in-season performance in the classroom comes on the heels of a spring semester that produced 50 GPAs of 3.0 or better.

"The entire coaching staff emphasizes academics," Drummer said. "And players are coming in a lot more any time they have a question or concern. The 3.0 wall inside the football office makes a statement, and everyone wants to be on it."

The Flashes (11-2) earned a school-record 11 wins and captured the Mid-American Conference East Division title in 2012. They will battle Sun Belt Conference champion Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl Jan. 6 in Mobile, Ala.

WRESTLING

Kent State picked up where it left off last season in MAC duals with a 29-9 victory over Northern Illinois last Tuesday. The Flashes took 7-of-10 matches, including six straight from 149 to 197 pounds.

Senior Dustin Kilgore (197) earned his 51st straight dual victory in impressive fashion, taking down Parker Settecase three times then pinning him in 47 seconds.

"He pins people," KSU coach Jim Andrassy said. "That's what he talks about and that's what he does."

The string of victories began with redshirt freshman Nick Carr (149), who overcame an early 3-2 deficit to top Rob Jillard 10-4. Senior Mallie Shuster (157) and sophomore Caleb Marsh (165) followed with 8-2 victories.

Redshirt freshman Sam Wheeler (174) made his first M.A.C. Center appearance a memorable one. He trailed 4-1 after two periods and 5-3 in the third before recording a takedown and pin of Matt Mougin with 52 seconds left in the match.

Senior Casey Newburg (184) made it five straight wins with a 13-4 major decision over Bryan Loughlin, and senior Stevie Mitcheff (125) started the match with a 10-0 shutout of Derek Elmore.

Kent State returns to action Dec. 29 at the Brute Invitational in Lock Haven, Pa.

BASEBALL

Kent State junior Tyler Skulina has been named a Pre-Season Second-Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association after an impressive 2012 season.

Skulina went 11-3 in 18 starts for the Flashes. The righty struck out 106 batters in 107.1 innings while issuing 45 walks.

The Walsh Jesuit High School product was a big part of Kent State's historical postseason run to the College World Series. He went six innings, allowing just four baserunners and two hits in the Flashes' MAC Tournament win over Buffalo. Skulina also threw 5.2 scoreless innings against Oregon in the NCAA Super Regionals, allowing just two hits.

Skulina, who sat out the 2011 season after transferring to Kent State from Virginia, was named MAC East Pitcher of the Week on three occasions last year. He went 26-0 at Walsh Jesuit, and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 46th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.

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