Arts & Entertainment

Mason Enter Districts Upbeat, Wrestlers Win Two at Home

A MASON HIGH WRESTLER (top) locks up with his opponent on Feb. 2. (Photo: News-Press)The George Mason High School wrestling team closed out its regular season Saturday, Feb. 2, hosting a quadrangular meet at the renowned Mason High Gym, famously dubbed “The Pit.”

The Mustangs began the day losing to St Paul’s of Baltimore 42-15 and Region B foe Stonewall Jackson 47-15 but ended up winning their final two matches, defeating Potomac School 27-12 and Freedom High of Woodbridge 36-6. Several Mustangs finished the day with perfect records. David Ray, Steve Parks and Jake Schwind went 4-0. Barratt Kennett won two matches and then sat out the other two after aggravating a shoulder injury during his match with Stonewall’s Aaron Carter. The Mustangs also introduced newcomer Manuel Veiga-Diaz at 215 lbs. and he responded by winning his two matches. Tim Hillegass went 3-1.

The Bull Run District tournament is Saturday, Feb. 16 and the Mustangs are cautiously optimistic about their chances.

“We have a half dozen guys who could do very well at Districts,” said Coach Bryan Harris. “David (Ray) and Barratt (Kennett) are top seeded and definitely the guys to beat. Jake (Schwind) and Steven (Parks) have number two seeds and Tim (Hillegass) is number four. I like Manuel’s chances too. Even though he is a newcomer, he is very agile and great on his feet.”

Several of the Mustangs will be carrying impressive records into the post season. Parks is 36-2, Ray is 34-4, and Kennett is 30-7. One of Parks’ losses came at the hands of his District foe Carlos Ortiz of Strasburg, who is ranked No. 1 in the state at 189 lbs. in the Single A group.

“Steve will have a tough few weeks ahead of him since he will probably be battling Ortiz for the top spot in the District, Region and State,” said Harris. “It is very close between the two of them and it could go either way each time. Ray is on a 20-match win streak and is wrestling as well as I have ever seen him wrestle. Same with Kennett. If Barratt’s shoulder holds up, he could win it all. Schwind and Hillegass have looked great lately too. Right now we have to guard against injuries and take it one match at a time.”

The Bull Run District Tournament will be held at Strasburg High School beginning at  10 a.m.