MAC Names Wrestler of the Week

Updated 1/25/2012
For Immediate Release—Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012

MAC Wrestler of the Week 
Kevin Smith, Buffalo—Senior, Mexico, N.Y. (Mexico High School)

Buffalo senior Kevin Smith was named the New York State Collegiate Tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler on Sunday after winning all four of his matches en route to the 141-pound title. Wrestling as the top seed in his bracket, Smith got a pin in his opening round and then followed with a 7-4 win over eighth seed Ryan Guynup of Jamestown CC to end the first day of wrestling. On Sunday morning, he edged out Army's Casey Smith 1-0 before earning the title in an emphatic way with a pin 5:45 into the bout with second-seeded Brian Bistis of SUNY Cortland. With the trio of titles, Smith becomes just the second Buffalo wrestler to ever pull off the feat, joining Ray Pfeiffer's three titles in 1975-1977. Only 19 other wrestlers in the tournament's history have won three. 

Additional Nominees:
Joe Roth, Central Michigan—Sophomore, Dixon, Ill. (Dixon High School)

Central Michigan sophomore Joe Roth, ranked 16th nationally at 125 pounds, scored 16 takedowns while allowing zero in a pair of major decision victories over the weekend. He scored eight takedowns in a 17-8 victory over Northern Illinois' Nick Smith on Friday, then added another eight in a 17-6 major over Michigan's Grant Pizzo on Sunday. Roth's victories gave Central Michigan early 4-0 leads in both duals; the Chippewas went on to beat Northern Illinois, 24-9, but fell to No. 10 Michigan, 23-14. At 27-6 overall, Roth leads the Chippewas in victories.

Khodor Hoballah, Eastern Michigan—Sophomore, Dearborn, Mich. (Dearborn High School)

Eastern Michigan sophomore Khodor Hoballah made the most of his first MAC appearance this season, defeating Northern Illinois Shane Rosenberry by major decision, 8-0, Sunday. Eastern Michigan won the dual 22-9, with Hoballah recording the only non-decision of the afternoon. His efforts helped the Eagles (11-4; 2-1 MAC) past the Huskies for the first time since 2009 as Eastern Michigan won a second MAC match for the first time since the 2007-08 season. 

Ian Miller, Kent State—Freshman, Graytown, Ohio (Oak Harbor High School)

Kent State freshman Ian Miller helped the Golden Flashes to a 23-9 dual victory over Ohio last Friday.  Of the 10 matches, Miller was the only wrestler to earn team bonus points with a 21-5 technical fall over Andrew Romanchik, who was 12-8 on the year.  Miller totaled eight takedowns and put Romanchik on his back late in the match for near fall points.  Miller is ranked No. 4 by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine.  He is 23-3 on the year with 10 pins, seven major decisions and one tech fall.

Nick Smith, Northern Illinois—Sophomore, Ida, Mich. (Ida High School)

Northern Illinois sophomore Nick Smith returned to the winning side last weekend with a win over No. 17 Jared Germaine of Eastern Michigan on Sunday. After dropping a tough decision against Central Michigan’s Joe Roth Friday, Smith rebounded with an emphatic 13-6 decision against Germaine to give the Huskies an early 3-0 lead against the Eagles. The win boosted Smith's record to 11-3 on the season (all three losses have come against Top 20 opponents) and first since missing three meets with an injury. 

Jeremy Johnson, Ohio—Sophomore, Broadview Heights, Ohio (Brecksville High School)

Ohio sophomore Jeremy Johnson was a perfect 2-0 this past week for the Bobcats. Johnson opened the week with a 2-0 victory over nationally-ranked Brendan Barlow from Kent State on Friday. He then picked up a 13-7 triumph against Bloomsburg’s Zac Walsh on Sunday to run his 2011-12 mark to 24-5 overall and 7-0 in duel competition.