Arts & Entertainment

GMHS Wrestlers Find Individual Success

It’s no secret that many high schools are having a hard time filling out their wrestling lineups. For whatever reason, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find enough people to fill all 14 weight classes, which span from 103 lbs. to a maximum of 285 lbs. Even the biggest schools can find themselves empty in one or two slots, so it is not too surprising that those with lower enrollments are even more affected. In Virginia, it is most noticeable in those schools in Class A, comprised of schools with enrollments less than 650 students. Even though it is in a population rich area, Falls Church City’s George Mason High is a member of this group. Mason’s District, the Bull Run, is composed of Manassas Park, Strasburg, Madison County, Rappahannock County and Clarke County.

Mason’s closest District opponent is over 30 miles away and the farthest, Madison County, requires a trip of two hours by school bus. Over the course of the past several years, it was not uncommon to spend more time in the bus than on the mat competing, so to address this issue the District decided that this year they would eliminate the familiar Wednesday night District Dual and try a District Dual Saturday. And so it was, that this past Saturday the Mason Mustangs found themselves at Strasburg High where they would wrestle all five District foes during the course of the day. Team-wise they did not fare too well, but for five of the Mustang wrestlers it was a pretty good day. Steve Parks (189 lbs.), Barratt Kennett (171 lbs.) and David Ray (140 lbs.) each went undefeated, which means they will get the top seed  in their weight class at the District tournament. Jake Schwind went 4-1, which will give him second seed at 152 lbs. and Tim Hillegass went 3-2, which will place him in the No. 3 seed at 145 lbs. Those who place in the top four at the District Tournament, which takes place at Strasburg on Saturday, Feb. 16, will advance to the Region B tournament, so claiming a favorable seed can go a long way toward success.

Mason wrestles at home this coming Saturday, Feb. 2 in what is their final regular season competition. Five teams will be participating in a dual meet format. There will be five rounds of matches starting at 10 a.m., with the final round at 4 p.m.