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.

Meaden & Moore

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

Will Ohio's marijuana initiative follow casinos' lead?
We just ask to have marijuana legalized and here comes some nimrod trying to rob us of our rights and make us buy it from some legalized new type DRUG DEALER th...

Fancy dinners from humble beginnings at The Blue Door
Grandma of Chris Miller moved to Florida in a retirement community but I sure miss the Falls and the Blue Door, and the fine service and the true friendship of ...

The Black Keys guitar tech's moment in the spotlight
Nice job, Vivian. It's always nice to hear about the unsung heroes getting their due! Thank you, Chuck Johnston (Full disclosure - I'm a friend of the Carney fa...

A guide for gift-shopping for older Ohians
I'll never be to old for peanut brittle.

Akron's Tuba Christmas: A resounding blast of holiday spirit
Nice piece, Vivian! Looking forward to hearing you move from flute to tuba on Saturday. Love hearing your interviews and this seemed extra special since I kno...

Cleveland Hugo Boss workers are fighting for their jobs again
Bro. Ginard; I support your effert to keep your jobs, I understand all about concesions, I was a Union offical from 1965 until 1991 and the company th...

Asian Carp control could benefit from bill passed by House, heading to the Senate
help me fight the battle against invasive carp by method of harvest

Ohio's Portman supports lifting limits on party political money
If Portman was legitimately concerned about outside groups influence on elections he would have supported the DISCLOSE act. Instead he helped block it being bro...

Study shows trade with China has cost more than 3 million U.S. jobs
I disagree with James Dorn! If we don't change the playing field and make it a fair competition the whole US industry will be weaker and weaker. Eventually all ...

Copyright © 2014 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