Sports

Mason Wrestlers Take on 2 Tourneys Over Holiday

Scheduling is one of those chores which every coach approaches with some trepidation. Frequently done months or even years in advance, a competition is often set up with the hope that when said competition rolls around the team will be in a position to rise to the challenge. It is especially tricky if the date is during winter break when many team members may be missing due to travel with their families.

Scheduling is one of those chores which every coach approaches with some trepidation. Frequently done months or even years in advance, a competition is often set up with the hope that when said competition rolls around the team will be in a position to rise to the challenge. It is especially tricky if the date is during winter break when many team members may be missing due to travel with their families.

George Mason High School wrestling coach Bryan Harris had one of those “oh, what have I done?” moments on Dec. 22 when he and his squad headed out to Skyline High School in Front Royal for a 16 team dual tournament featuring a group of top level opponents from Georgia, Maryland and Virginia. Without five of their starters, the Mustangs would start at a severe disadvantage against opponents who would be tough even if there was a full Mason lineup. He came away more than satisfied however as those who were there stepped up and battled from start to finish. While not quite enough to win any dual meets, the wrestlers impressed with their intensity and determination.

“We came within a bout or two of winning four of our six duals,” said Harris. “We knew coming in we would be wrestling teams with very strong lineups and we knew we were inexperienced at many weights so I am pleased that we did as well as we did.”

Junior Alborz Alaeddini (135 lbs.) led the Mustangs with a 5-1 record in the two-day event. Teammates Danny Seidita (119), Ben Tourkin (125), Ze’ev Lailari (140), and Mike Larcamp (HWT) each finished at 4-2, and Jackson Thomas (130) came out even at 3-3.

“Honestly, we are not a very experienced team and it showed in some of our bouts, but for the most part our guys won the matches they should have won and even pulled off a few upsets. We scheduled this tough event so we could get the experience we need against superior opponents. It will pay off in the post season I am certain.” said Harris.

He also had some good words about a trio of freshmen members of the squad.

“We started three freshmen in this tournament and they did a good job throughout,” he added, referring to newcomers Sahakait Benyasut at 145, Grant Hagler at 152, and Jake Eye at 160. “particularly Hagler who ended up at 3-3. It is exciting to see these guys step up to fill the voids left by graduation last year. This is a rebuilding year given that 4 state qualifiers have graduated but we are definitely on the right track.

On Dec.29-30, the Mustangs were on the road again to another winter break tournament at Woodbridge High School. This time it was an individual — not a team– affair so having only six wrestlers was not a critical disadvantage. Mike Larcamp’s fifth place finish at heavyweight led the Mustangs. Danny Seidita came in eight at 119 lbs. Alborz Alaeddini and Ben Tourkin finished one match away from placing with 2-2 records each.

“There were 24 guys in each bracket so Mike and Danny did well to finish as high they did” said Harris. “The competition was very good and that’s the way to get better. We will be starting our district schedule soon and everyone wants to be at their best for that.”

The Mustangs will have the season’s first home meet this Saturday, Jan. 8 as they host four other teams in a round robin dual meet event. The first round starts at 10 a.m.