Redshirt sophomore Marcus Robinson has a 3-1 record so far in the 2021-22 campaign.
Credit: CSU Athletics Department
Redshirt sophomore Marcus Robinson has a 3-1 record so far in the 2021-22 campaign.

CSU wrestling opens 2021-22 season with strong individual performances

Cleveland State's wrestling team split four matches to begin the 2021-22 season with notable performances from familiar faces.

The CSU wrestling team has had a solid start to its 2021-22 season, going 2-2 in four matchups. The Vikings opened with a 2-1 record in their 3-match series at Rutgers, but fell in their home opener to No. 21 Purdue University.

Familiar faces are anchoring Cleveland State, which the Mid-American Conference ranked second in the 2021-22 preseason with 96.5 points. 10 Vikings were ranked:

  • Logan Heil, a redshirt sophomore, is ranked No. 4 in the 125-weight class. The Brunswick, Ohio, native went 3-4 last season. Heil was also named to the Mid-American Conference All-Academic team.
  • Cody Moosman, a redshirt junior from Waterville, Ohio is ranked No. 11 in the 133-weight class.
  • Caleb Graber, a redshirt freshman from Uniontown, Ohio is ranked No. 11 in the 141-weight class. Last season, he did not compete for the Vikings.
  • Marcus Robinson, a redshirt sophomore from Arkansas City, Kansas, is ranked third in the 149-pound weight class. Robinson is coming off an NCAA Championship appearance. He earned the No. 30 seed after claiming an automatic qualifier spot as the runner-up at the 2020-2021 MAC Championship, posting an 8-6 record overall. He was named an NWCA Scholar All-American and MAC All-Academic honoree.
  • Daniel Patten, a redshirt freshman from Stow, Ohio, is ranked seventh at the 157-pound weight class. Patten is coming off a 7-7 season with six decisions and one fall. He also went 1-1 in overtime matches.
  • Riley Smucker, a redshirt sophomore from Smithville, Ohio, is ranked second in the 165-pound weight class. Recently, Smucker was named to the MAC Preseason Second Team. He had five decisions and one major decision. 
  • Anthony Rice, a redshirt sophomore from Steubenville, Ohio, is ranked seventh in the 174-pound weight class. Rice went 5-7 last season with all his victories coming by decisions. 
  • DeAndre Nassar, a redshirt sophomore from Bluffton, Ohio, is ranked second and was recognized on the Preseason Second Team. Nassar is coming off an NCAA Championship appearance and was seeded No. 26. He finished the past year with a 9-5 record with all his victories coming by decision. 
  • Ben Smith, a senior from North Canton, Ohio, is the top-ranked wrestler at the 197-pound weight class. Smith was named to the First Team Preseason squad. He entered the championship as the No. 24 seed. On the year, he went 6-6 with four decisions, one major decision, and one fall.
  • John Kelbly, a redshirt junior from Smithville, Ohio, is ranked fourth at the 285-pound weight class. Kelby went 4-5 last season with one major decision and technical fall. He joined Heil, Moosman, Robinson, Smucker, Rice and Nassar on the MAC All-Academic team.

With the 2021-22 season underway, Smucker holds the best overall record at 3-0 with all of his victories coming by way of dual matchups, with two regular decisions and one by majority. Also notable are Robinson (3-1) and Nassar (3-1).

The fastest fall belongs to redshirt freshman Gabe Phillips, who pinned his opponent just 1:34 into his matchup at 174 pounds when the Vikings took on New Jersey City University in Piscataway, Nov. 7. The Vikings defeated NJCU, 45-6, for their best win of the season to date.

The Green and White return to the mat Saturday, Dec. 11 when the Vikings host the CSU Open.