Michigan State will kick off their season Thursday in a meet against the Eastern Michigan University Eagles.
The Spartans will begin their first home dual with a 3-1 record after last weekend’s EMU Duals in Ypsilanti. Though MSU lost to Oregon State during the duals, they ended up bouncing back and winning three in a row with victories over Gardner-Webb, Drexel and Utah Valley.
Eastern Michigan, meanwhile, went 4-0 at the tournament, defeating Tiffin, Drexel, Clarion and Gardner-Webb.
The Spartans hold a series advantage over the Eagles of 15-2, and they have won the last five out of six years. It will be interesting to see if the Spartans can maintain their dominance over Eastern Michigan.
Last year, the Spartans came away with the victory over the Eagles in a 25-11 win.
According to the MSU Spartans’ website, the plan is to start two, redshirt freshmen – 125-pound, California native, Hermilo Esquivel, and Garth Yenter, who went went 4-0 at the EMU Duals. This will be Yenter’s first career start.
Other planned starts for MSU include junior John Rizquillah, who also went 4-0 at the EMU Duals, and heavyweight senior Michael McClure who, in his junior year, led the team with 34 victories.
While the Spartans have history stacked in their favor and a handful of wrestlers who are coming off personal shutouts at the EMU Duals, the Eagles 4-0 shutout in Ypsilanti last weekend could spell trouble for the Spartans.
The dual will begin Thursday night at 8 p.m. at Jenison Field House. If you can’t make it over to the field house, the game will be streamed live for purchase on the Big Ten Digital Network.
Nathaniel Gaynor is a multimedia journalist for MSU Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State Wrestling