CSU gets a proper post season recap and look-ahead.
Josh Moores Cleveland State Vikings had a special and streaky season effort in 2022. At one point they lost five5 duals in a row after winning four straight. They rocked out at their own CSU Open with a champ and seven placewinners. They improved round by round at the MAC championships, finishing mid pack. 3 Vikings went to the NCAAs and they stretched their presence out through two days and three rounds of competition. In January they instituted a new and exciting addition to the support plan for the team. In short, they had a YEAR, folks, and Coach Moore was kind enough to share his thought on it and what’s next on and off the mat.
What part of CSUs season produced the most progress? What parts showed the most opportunity for improvement?
“I would say that starting the season with a hard-fought win over Binghamton and battling Rutgers tough was a good confidence booster for the team. During the season conference wins over Clarion, Edinboro, Rider and George Mason showed our guys that we could win the MAC East dual title. Unfortunately a few injuries prevented us from accomplishing that major goal. We also finished the year on a positive note with six MAC placewinners and a MAC Champ and three automatic qualifiers. We still had a fairly young team, so they will continue to grow and learn. We will work on adding depth to all weight classes with our recruiting and through the transfer portal.”
Hvt. star John Kelbly and 165 lb stalwart Riley Smucker were your two athletes honored on senior night. Kelbly was listed as a rs junior and Smucker as a rs sophomore. What have they meant to the program and what are their plans?
“Both John and Riley have been a huge part of this program during their time at CSU. We could always count on both of them to give a great effort every time they stepped on the mat. Both improved year after year and became leaders in the practice room. Kelbly was part of the ROTC and will enlist full time this summer while Smucker will attend Chiropractic school in the fall.” [Apparently at Life University where Riley may very well explore the possibility of joining Coach Omi Acosta’s national powerhouse Runnin Eagles team].
How active are you in the Portal and can you share any new names or weight classes the fans can be excited about?
“Like any coach I look in the portal a few times a week. We may pick up a few transfers to add to our already strong incoming recruiting class and roster.” Said roster boasts 7 returning All-Conference Academic stars in addition to a 5 man recruiting class featuring three Ohioans and star wrestlers from both Missouri and South Carolina. These Vikings raid FAR, folks.
CSU has a unique approach to their support system with the Weight Class Champions program. How did it come about, what do you see it doing for the team, and where do you see it going?
“It was designed to bolster support for the program by additional (assistance) in a few areas. The two main ones are student-athlete scholarships and Enhanced Travel and Competition Budget. With CSU being a mid-major university fundraising is extremely important to the current and future success of our wrestling program. We continue to cultivate alumni and donor involvement through the program by highlighting our student-athletes and honoring our many loyal supporters!”
There’s all kinds of noise about N.I.L. in wrestling. What’s your take on it?
“NIL is interesting. It’s going to be very lucrative for some, and a mess to track. This is just the start of many changes that could be on the way.”
Where do you send visitors to in Cleveland for good food/coffee? Feel free to share your secret spots, please!
“Cleveland, Ohio is a foodie hotspot. So many great places. On East 4th you have the Butcher and the Brewer, (brewpub) by Playhouse Square you have Cibreo (Italian) or the Republic. (American and Contemporary). Slymans (Deli) is also a must-have! If you’re by campus, Ah Roma is a popular spot for a coffee and a bagel or a sandwich, especially the Feisty Bagel.”
Last words, your words…why be a Cleveland State Viking?
“Cleveland State is such a unique place that is starting to get the attention it deserves. Our athletic department has some amazing coaches that truly care about the success and well-being of our student-athletes! We are proud to be part of this university and community and will continue to do great things.”
THANK YOU, Coach Moore. A final late CSU note: an advertisement for a new Assistant Coach for the Vikings went out as this column was being prepared. The direct link is on their Twitter page.
See you sometime soon!