By Allen Moff | Staff writer
Former Kent State standout offensive lineman Josh Kline started as a rookie for New England last Sunday, and was praised after helping the Patriots rout the Baltimore Ravens 41-7.
Kline, who had spent the majority of the season on New England's practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft, started at left guard. Starting left tackle Nate Solder missed the game due to a concussion, so the Patriots moved veteran Pro Bowler Logan Mankins into Solder's spot and inserted Kline into Mankins' usual spot at left guard.
Kline (6-foot-3, 295) was on the 53-man roster for New England's regular-season opener, but then was released and re-signed to the practice squad for six weeks.
He was activated before the Nov. 3 game against Pittsburgh after Sebastian Vollmer suffered a season-ending injury, but played sparingly until the Oct. 27 game against Miami.
"Josh was a good player in college. He wasn't drafted, we were able to recruit him and sign him as a college free agent," said Patriots coach Bill Belichick in a Boston Globe article last week. "He played guard in college, but we also worked him some at center. He played both center and guard in the preseason. Versatile guy, he's got good intelligence. He's worked hard and steadily improved through the course of the season in every area: his versatility, run blocking, pass blocking, work in the weight room. He's given us confidence in the way that he's practiced."
Kline grew up in Hartville until his family moved to Mason, Ohio, when he was in the second grade.
Another former Kent State football standout, defensive lineman Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, made his first start for the Cleveland Browns in Sunday's season-ending loss at Pittsburgh. The 6-1, 330-pound tackle from Youngstown Cardinal Mooney finished with three tackles.
Kent State senior Hannah Herc and sophomore Kelly Hutchison were named to the 2013 Academic All-MAC Team.
A psychology major with a 3.70 grade-point average, Herc finished her career third on Kent State's career digs list with 1,287. Her 479 digs rank as the third-most in a season in program history.
An exercise science major with a 3.90 grade-point average, Hutchison led the Flashes in several offensive categories. She played in 106 sets this past season and posted top marks on the team with 281 kills (2.65/set), 324 points (3.06/set) and 758 attack attempts.
Five Flashes earned honorable mention honors -- senior Aleksandra Nowak, juniors Lauren Engleman and Kaylee Koller, and sophomores Sarah Mills and Bridget Wilhelm.
Kent State stars Jessacca Gironda, Morgan Mah and Jenna Hellstrom were recently named to the Division I Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association All-Ohio team.
Gironda, a First Team All-MAC senior forward, led the Kent State offense and the MAC in scoring with 33 points on 14 goals and five assists.
Mah earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year and College Soccer Madness Defensive Player of the Year honors after helping the Flashes defense to seven shutouts.
Hellstrom, the College Soccer Madness Freshman of the Year, finished the year second on the team in scoring with 15 points on five goals and five assists while tallying three game-winning goals.