Arts & Entertainment

As Region B Wrestlers Dominate, Mason Foursome Named All-State

 3 Mustangs Place in Top 4, Finish 10th in Team Competition

The book closed on the 2007-2008 wrestling season last Saturday at the Single A state wrestling tournament in Salem, Va., and when the final entries had been written, all four of the George Mason wrestlers participating had earned all-state status.

David Ray (140 lbs.) and Barratt Kennett (171 lbs.) finished in third place in their respective weight classes, while Steven Parks (189 lbs.) finished fourth and Jake Schwind (152 lbs.) placed eighth. On the strength of the points generated by those four wrestlers, Mason tied for 10th in the team standings. Mason’s Region B, and the Bull Run District in particular, dominated the state tournament, as they have for much of the past decade. Four of the top 10 teams in the state hail from the Bull Run District, including state champion Manassas Park, third-place finisher Strasburg, seventh place Madison County, and George Mason.

Throughout the course of the season Parks, Kennett and Ray, one of Mason’s most successful trios, have been in pursuit of several Mason wrestling records, most notably those of season pins and season wins. Kennett was the first to break the season pin record of 20 set by Mac Cohe in 2004, which he did in January at the Oakton tournament, but as the season progressed Parks was able to overtake Kennett and establish a new record of 27. Ray also surpassed the old mark, and he and Kennett finished with 23 falls apiece.

The three standouts also established new season win marks in the process. Both Parks and Ray finished the year at 44-5 and Kennett at 40-8, eclipsing the old record of 36 held jointly by Dominic Clark and brothers Joey and Mac Cohe.

In the final analysis, it was a very successful season for the three Mason standouts as each either won or finished near the top of every tournament they entered. Parks closes his career as the winner of the prestigious 2007 NOVA Classic, the Region B champion, and fourth in the state. Kennett wraps his career up as Bull Run District champion, Region B champion, and third in the state. Ray, who will return next year, finishes as Bull Run District champion, Region B champion and third in the state.

Despite the loss of two highly successful wrestlers, coach Bryan Harris was very optimistic about the future for Mason’s wrestling program.

“We could be even better next year,” said Harris. “Not only will we have David and Jake to lead us but we will have Tim [Hillegass, who was an alternate to the state tournament] and a lot of young guys who should be able to build on their experiences.

“I was particularly pleased with the progress of Jack Thomas, Drew Dixon, Brian Costelloe, Manuel Veiga-Diaz and David Kutchma. All of these young men were new to wrestling this year and now that they have a season’s experience I expect next year they will really step up. Also, if eighth graders Alborz Allaedini, Jake King and Danny Nash can blend in as varsity members to supplement our veterans we could be a force to be reckoned with.”