Ohio State (2-6; 1-2 Big Ten) vs. No. 13 Michigan (7-2; 2-0 Big Ten)
7 p.m. Jan. 28
St. John Arena
TV Coverage: Big Ten Network (Live)
Live Stats: NWCA Stat Tracker
Probable Starters: Click HERE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a Big Ten Conference matchup, the Ohio State wrestling team will host 13th-ranked Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday in the Buckeyes’ return to St. John Arena.
Always one of the most anticipated matches of the season, the contest will serve as the 80th edition of the Buckeyes vs. Wolverines.
Home Sweet Home
Ohio State returns to its home venue of St. John Arena for the first time since Nov. 21 when it hosted the Buckeye Duals. The Scarlet and Gray’s match vs. Michigan State, a 19-16 victory, Jan. 16 technically was a home event, but was contested at West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio.
Ohio State enters the match with a 2-6 overall record and 1-2 ledger in the Big Ten Conference. So far, the Buckeyes have wins over Edinboro (31-14) and Michigan State (19-16).
A trio of Buckeyes is in the team lead in wins with 15 each. Sophomore Ian Paddock owns a 15-5 record, while redshirt-freshmen Nick Heflin and Peter Capone have 15-4 and 15-11 ledgers, respectively. Senior Colt Sponseller is not far behind with 14 victories compared to three losses on the season.
Buckeyes in the Rankings
Three Buckeyes in Ian Paddock (133), Colt Sponseller (165) and Nick Heflin (174) are ranked in the Top 20 in the Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News polls. Paddock is 17th and 19th, respectively, while Sponseller holds down the Nos. 7 and 9 spots. Heflin is ranked No. 14 in each poll.
There will be a special recognition at intermission as past Buckeye letterwinners will be acknowledged. Ohio State boasts some outstanding alumni, including eight who have been inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame and 11 national champions.
Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees
Wrestler Letterwinner Year Induction Year Harry Steele1923-24 1980 George Bollas 1945-46 1997 Dave Reinbolt 1966-67 1998Jim Humphrey 1971-72 1997 Jude Skove 1982-86 2001 Kevin Randleman1991-93 2004 Adam DiSabato 1989-91, 93 2006 David Camaione 1958-602010
Ohio State All-Time National Champions
Wrestler Years Champ. Season (s) George Downes 1938-401940 George Bollas 1945-46 1946 Dave Reinbolt 1966-67 1966 JudeSkove 1982-86 1986 Mark Coleman 1988 1988 Kevin Randleman 1991-931992, 1993 Rex Holman 1992-93 1993 Mitch Clark 1994-98 1998 TommyRowlands 2001-04 2002, 2004 J Jaggers 2006-09 2008, 2009 MikePucillo 2007-10 2008
Student Appreciation Night
The match vs. the Wolverines also is Student Appreciation Night. All Ohio State students will receive a free scarlet wrestling t-shirt and pizza while supplies last.
Year-long promotions include a chance to register to win a gift card from the Official Team Shop. Two names will be drawn at every home match. Additionally, fans can register to win a scarlet singlet autographed by the 2010-11 team. The winning fan’s name will be drawn at the Northwestern match Feb. 19. (Winner must be present).
Ohio State Athlete of the Week
Senior Colt Sponseller has been honored with Ohio State Athlete of the Week accolades two times so far this season. A native of Glenmont, Ohio, Sponseller’s first recognition was Dec. 14 following the Buckeyes’ 31-14 win at Edinboro Dec. 12. Wrestling at 157 pounds, Sponseller gave the Scarlet and Gray a little breathing room midway through the match. With Ohio State owning a four-point lead after the completion of four bouts, Sponseller posted a 9-0 major decision against Johnny Greisheimer to extend the Buckeye advantage to 16-8.
Sponseller earned his second honor Jan. 18. After moving up a weight class to 165 pounds, Sponseller’s 12-2 major decision over Ben Boudro of Michigan State lifted the Buckeyes to a 13-10 lead after trailing the Spartans, 10-9. From that point, Ohio State never relinquished the lead in the 19-16 win Jan. 16.
Big Ten Athlete of the Week
Sophomore Ian Paddock was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week the conference announced Nov. 9. It is the first conference weekly laurel for the native of Warsaw, N.Y.
Paddock won the 133-pound division at the UB Open in Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 7. He went 4-0 at the tournament, outscoring his opponents by a 35-6 margin en route to the title. Paddock defeated Bloomsburg’s Jeremiah Biddle by a 17-2 technical fall in the opening round, followed by a 2-0 overtime decision over Edinboro’s Matthew Hasbrouck. He then took a 10-4 decision against Edinboro’s Mitchell Port to advance to the finals, where he defeated 14th-ranked Kevin Smith of Buffalo, 6-0, to earn the title.
Weighing in with Zach Stolarsky
Redshirt-junior Zach Stolarsky has returned to providing the inside scoop about Ohio State wrestling this season with his blog, “Weighing In with Zach Stolarsky.” The heavyweight from Solon, Ohio, entered the starting lineup at Penn State Dec. 19 and his blog can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
Sophomore Dalton Britt has rejoined the wrestling team after spending a season with the football program. A defensive lineman from Bellville, Ohio, Britt was a member of the scout team and was awarded with Scout Team Workhorse honors for his preparation for the Penn State game in 2009.
At Clear Fork High School, Britt was a two-time Ohio High School State tournament qualifier. He finished seventh in 2008 after becoming the sectional and district champion.
A health sciences major, Britt plans on attending nursing school at Ohio State following his undergraduate studies.
A Look at Michigan
Michigan is 7-2 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten matches. As of Jan. 25, the Wolverines were the 13th-ranked team in the nation. Five of Michigan’s wins have come against ranked opponents, including a 21-18 victory against No. 9 Lehigh Jan. 8 at the Virginia Duals. The Wolverines’ two league wins were vs. Purdue (28-13) and Northwestern (22-12).
As of the Jan. 25 Intermat Wrestle polls, Michigan had five wrestlers ranked in the Top 20. Kellen Russell sits a top of the 141 pound standings. Brandon Zeerip and Dan Yates are No. 19 at 157 and 165 pounds, respectively. Anthony Biondo is 11th at 197 pounds, while Ben Apland is eighth in the heavyweight division.
Buckeyes vs. Wolverines
Ohio State trails Michigan, 16-61-3, in the all-time series. However, the Buckeyes have won the last three meetings, including a 29-9 victory last season in Columbus.
Last Five Meetings
2-5-2010: W, 29-9
2-13-2009: W, 26-17
2-10-2008: W, 16-15
2-11-2007: L, 15-21
2-12-2006: L, 6-27
Big Ten Championships
Northwestern will host the 2011 Big Ten Championships in Evanston, Ill., March 5-6 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Northwestern ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE.
For a Good Cause
The Buckeyes’ match vs. the Spartans Jan. 16 was Military Appreciation Day. During the afternoon, Ohio State wore camouflage singlets and during intermission one framed singlet signed by the entire 2010-11 team was raffled off to a lucky fan. In all, the raffle raised $1,850 for the Ray Mendoza Leadership Fund, which is a scholarship through The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The fund serves as a base for the proposed Major Ray Mendoza Leadership Institute at the Glenn School.
Major Mendoza was a Buckeye wrestling letterwinner in 1992 and 1993. After being promoted to the rank of Major Oct. 1, 2005, Major Mendoza died of wounds sustained during Operation Steel Curtain Nov. 14, 2005 in New Ubaydi, Iraq.
Buckeyes in Action
In addition to Ohio State’s match vs. Michigan State Jan. 16, six Buckeyes were in action at the Purple Raider Open in Alliance, Ohio. At 133 pounds, Drew Stone finished third, while Jacob Vaughan was a sixth-place finisher.
Josh Demas wrestled in the 157-pound bracket and was the runner-up, losing to Michigan’s Jake Salazar, 3-2, in the championship bout. Also wrestling at 157 pounds was Jared Kusar, who placed fourth.
Ray Gordon notched a sixth-place finish at 197 pounds. Joe Bruewer competed in the 149-pound bracket, but did not place.
Sophomore Ian Paddock and redshirt-freshman Peter Capone each recorded a 2-0 mark at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Wrestling Duals Jan. 8 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Paddock opened the day with a 9-7 decision over Joseph Stanzione of Cornell, before downing Northern Iowa’s Ryan Jaunch, 8-5.
Capone began the national duals shutting out the Big Red’s Maciej Jochym, 7-0, and concluded the afternoon with a 2:57 pin over Joe Johnson of UNI.
Getting it Done
Freshman Randy Languis was placed in the Buckeye starting lineup at 141 pounds beginning with the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Invitational in December. In all, Languis, a Dublin, Ohio, native has a 10-10 record and three major decisions. He earned his first collegiate dual win Jan. 8 at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa, when he posted a 12-0 major decision over Alec Hoffman of Northern Iowa.
Ohio State will wrestle back-to-back days next week when it first travels to Champaign, Ill., to face No. 14 Illinois at 8 p.m. ET Feb. 4. The following day, the Buckeyes will return to St. John Arena where they will host No. 4 Minnesota at 7 p.m.