CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland State University head wrestling coach Josh Moore announced Wednesday that three of the program's returning starters from the 2017-18 season will redshirt during the 2018-19 season.
Senior Evan Cheek, the reigning Eastern Wrestling League champion at 141 pounds, and sophomores John Kelbly and Georgio Poullas, returning starters at 197 pounds and 165 pounds, respectively, will all redshirt this season.
Cheek not only won an EWL title last year but was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the EWL Championships, becoming just the third Viking ever to win that honor. He pinned two opponents during his EWL Tournament run that went on to earn automatic NCAA qualification, including stunning a top-five, undefeated opponent in the championship bout. Cheek won 24 matches overall last season while qualifying for the NCAA Championships for the first time.
Poullas showed promise as a true freshman, placing at the EWL Championships last season. He moved up from 157 pounds to 165 pounds during the season and won 16 matches combining his attached and unattached performances. He won a trio of EWL dual matches during the regular season and won two more in the tournament. His two losses in the EWL tournament, including one to the top seed, came by a combined six points.
"As a staff we want to put Evan and Georgio in the best position to become All-Americans next season," Moore said. "We believe that a redshirt year will give them both time to develop and come back ready to compete at a higher level for the 2019-2020 season."
Kelbly started every dual for the Vikings last season and competed in the EWL Tournament at 197 pounds. He won 10 matches on the season and claimed the EMU Open title (Freshman/Sophomore Division) by beating an opponent from Michigan by major decision in the championship bout.
Kelbly is involved in the ROTC program at Cleveland State and will be attending basic training at the end of the calendar year.
"We support John's willingness to serve and his desire to put others before himself," Moore said. "We look forward to seeing him back on the mat next season."
Cleveland State will continue action this Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Navy Classic.