News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

Akron Children's Hospital

Akron General


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Sports


Kent State reverses long-suffering fortunes
Football follows on baseball's stellar season with its a championship game and a promise of a bowl to follow
by WKSU's GRANT ENGLE

Reporter
Grant Engle
 
Kids from the Child Development Center cheer on the Kent State football team before they left for Detroit on Thursday morning
Courtesy of Robert Sustersic
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Kent State football team is in Detroit tomorrow night, playing in its first ever Mid-American Conference Championship game, and will then be invited to its first bowl game in 40 years. WKSU's Grant Engle has more on the quick turn-around in the team’s long-suffering fortunes.

ENGLE: Kent's different season

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (2:12)


Long-time fans and alumni have been waiting four decades for this moment. For senior kicker Freddy Cortez, it’s only been four years. Still, he says that seems like a long-time coming. 

A place kicker, Cortez came to Kent State in 2009 from Fort Meade, Florida, a high school team that was used to playing in big games.

But the Golden Flashes went 5-7 in each of Cortez’s first three seasons.

Still there was something different about that last 5-7; the team ended the 2011 season winning four of its last five games. And  Cortez says he could tell the culture of the team was changing during summer practices before this season.

 “Those first three years were just a big down year, but seeing how we worked out and how everybody was so committed and so dedicated over the summer, I knew something special was coming around. I didn’t know it was going to be this special.”

“This special” includes Kent State’s first win over a nationally ranked opponent, its first undefeated season in conference play and the first time the team has recorded 11 wins in a year.

Cortez and the Golden Flashes will be taking on the Northern Illinois Huskies in the MAC Championship game. The Huskies are also 11-1, and boast the MAC Player of the Year – quarterback Jordan Lynch.

 Kent State head coach, and MAC Coach of the Year, Darrell Hazell said he expects a tough game from Northern Illinois. He spent the week stressing attention to detail to his team.

  “This week’s whole theme is when two good teams play success is measured in inches. It’s going to be that type of game – where every inch matters.”

While kicker Cortez describes the team’s success as a dream season, he says it would be a bit hollow if Kent goes this far and does not end up with the MAC Championship.

 “It’s just something I know I can look back on and tell myself ‘I was there. We did this.’ And if we win it I can be able to say – for the first time – be able to call myself a champion.”

Kent State is playing Northern Illinois at Ford Field in Detroit at 7. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Which bowl game the 17th-ranked team plays in will depend other teams playing this weekend, as much as Kent. 

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Ohio becomes first in the nation to dump PARCC testing
Best test to use for elementary schools is the old pre common core Iowa test of basic skills. This test measures apples to apples and tests the skills appropri...

Ohio is moving forward with new standardized tests
Mr Chow, Nice piece on testing. Should not Ohio go to an open bid process for the new assessment contract? Ohio has stayed with a "connected" DC non-profit fo...

The Surpreme Court gay-marriage decision plays out in Ohio Amish country
Keep in mind that the majority of the people residing in Holmes County are Amish, a church people who do not vote because they do not believe in governmental ru...

Akron council committee recommends Forney for its opening
Which committee member voted for Wilhite?

Nearly a dozen Cuyahoga gay couples get licenses to marry after the Supreme Court ruling
Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo a graduate of Chanel High School and supposed member of St. Francis Parish in Gates Mills has just excommunicated himself. As ...

Canton Youth Symphony is named orchestra of the year
This is what makes CSO the hippest small town orchestra in America!

What can be expected if Ohio's tobacco taxes increase?
let's face it! The increase has little to do with smoking cessation

Rare Cleveland Indians photo from 1911 hits the auction block
Paddy Livingston, who cut his teeth on a Louisville Slugger in Kent, Ohio was one of the immortals that played in that game. He was the catcher. Ty Cobb actuall...

Nexus denies Green's request to relocate its planned gas pipeline
These people have so much power. Too much. They could care less about the people they leave when it is done. Spectra does not, and admits, they do not do the...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University