April 6, 2011

Ten Questions With Kyle Dake

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For this edition of 10 Questions, Katie Schubauer sits down with sophomore wrestler Kyle Dake. The “townie” discusses his wrestling history, youthfulness and Xbox passion.

1. You are a sophomore on the Cornell wrestling team. What has wrestling meant to you over the course of your college career?It’s basically been my entire life. All my friends are Cornell wrestlers. It’s one of the main reasons I came here and it’s been a great experience so far. Have you always wrestled? How did you get into it?My dad wrestled when he was a kid and he wrestled in college. He was All-American at Kent State. My grandpa started my high school program and then my dad took over. So it’s been a long line of wrestling in my family — a family tradition. Who is your favorite teammate?Oh my God, that is a horrible question. That is not fair. Outside the room, I’ll go with [freshman teammate] Jesse Shanaman. He’s my Call of Duty buddy when we play Xbox. In the room, I can’t pick anyone. I’ll just have to go with outside the room. Do you live with all wrestlers?Yeah, I live with four other wrestlers in my room and we’re all in this complex down at Valentine. Each section has three rooms and everyone stays there which is pretty cool.

2. You’re from Ithaca, right? Yes. Do you get called a townie a lot?[Laughing] Yeah, I get that a lot. Do you go home often?Yeah, pretty much every weekend. I make my mom do my laundry, I eat some dinner. And I get to see my brother and my sister. Is your brother a wrestler, as well?Yep. He’s a junior and he’s getting recruited by Coach Koll right now, so he might be on our team in a few years. It’d be cool.

3. This is your second NCAA title, which is extremely impressive. What was going through your head during that match?I don’t know. Just “do what you know how to do,” I guess. I couldn’t learn much that last day of the tournament so I just did what I knew how to do, which is just go out and wrestle. Well it worked.[Smiling] Yeah, it did. Were you nervous?Not really. I was excited to get out there and wrestle. It was a lot different from last year. Last year I got really nervous and I was warming up for way too long and I was really tired when I got out there. This year I just relaxed and it was a lot easier.

4. Who would win in a match between assistant coach Damion Hahn and head coach Rob Koll?Hmm. Damion’s a big guy and … I don’t know. Coach Koll in his prime would be tough to beat. But Damion is just really good — I’m going to have to go with Damion.

5. I hear you have a lot of superstitions. What are some of them?I won’t warm up until our 125-pounder goes out to warm up, so if he’s lagging behind, usually I get pretty upset with him. I wear the same outfit every time (it’s kind of gross). I always get a chest slap from [assistant coach] Jeremy Spates before I go out. Two minutes before my match he always comes back and slaps me in the chest. I do this little jump-slap thing before I go out. People that have seen it know what it is. It’s like a little squat, slap, arm flare thingy. It’s pretty insane. Do you think that helps your performance? I don’t know. It’s just about getting ready. Some people get ready by listening to music. I jump around and do the same things.

6. Your teammates want to know what the deal is with you always trying to set them up with your girlfriend’s sister/ friends.[Laughing] That’s harsh. Well my girlfriend has a twin and she goes to Ithaca College. I’m not really trying to set it up. They just come around a lot. They do their own setting up. Are they identical?They are. Have you ever gotten them mixed up?No, thank goodness. That would be bad. I’ve known them since I was really little though so I can tell them apart.

7. Your nickname on the team is “The Kid” and your teammates say you don’t even own a razor. How do you accept this nickname and still manage to dominate your opponents?[Laughing] I don’t know. I don’t really care. I just think it’s funny. It’s a pretty known fact that I can’t grow facial hair. I’ve accepted it. People say your physique and masculinity is ranked fourth on the team behind Cory Manson’s, Cam Simaz’s and Patrick Sullivan’s. How do you accept this and not hold an underlying grudge? [Laughing] Wow. Yeah, those are some pretty manly people right there. They are very masculine. They can grow mean beards. I can’t. I don’t know — I just accept my place in the world of Cornell wrestling.

8. I hear you spend most of your time playing video games on your away trips, specifically Fruit Ninja. Is that true?Yeah. Very true. How does that affect your performance?I get really good finger coordination from fruit ninja. That helps a lot when I wrestle. It keeps me focused not on the match, just mainly on the scores. Those are the most important. What’s your high score?956. I’m good.

9. How do you feel about revealing pictures of you in your singlet being publicly displayed in the Sun?[Laughing] That was pretty embarrassing, actually. I couldn’t believe they didn’t fade that out. It was right after I won — that Monday. It was a full flash. I’m sorry about that. [Laughing] You need to talk to your editor.

10. Which other Cornell team do you like to hang out with the most?I mean, I don’t hang out with anyone else other than wrestlers. But I’d say probably the track team. [Senior teammate] Mack Lewnes’ girlfriend is on the track team and [senior teammate Justin] Kerber always gets all the ladies. And then I’m just there.  Nice. Anything else you want to get out there?Add me as a friend on Xbox. My gamer tag is SwivellingPlum0. That’s it.

Original Author: Katie Schubauer