It was a rough start to the season for the George Mason Wrestlers as they lost their opening match of the year by a score of 45-33 to the Potomac School of McLean. Things weren’t any better Saturday either as they dropped a 48-27 decision to Sidwell Friends.
Despite the rough start however, Coach Bryan Harris isn’t ready to do anything drastic yet. He is not even too worried about the uncharacteristically slow starts of Mason stalwarts Danny Seidita and Alborz Allaedini, both of whom are 0-2, which is something Harris would never have predicted.
“I am a little taken aback that both are winless but the fact is that sometimes it takes a few matches for a guy to get up to speed. I don’t have any worries about either as the season progresses. As for our team as a whole I expect us to be a very good dual team eventually. We are just experiencing some growing pains.”
Those “pains” Harris is referring to are that Mason is currently forfeiting three weight classes and has rookies in five others.
“We always have rookies starting for us at this time of year” said Harris, “but it’s the holes in the lineup that are hard to overcome.”
In spite of intense recruiting efforts by the coaching staff and team members, the Mustangs are lacking wrestlers at 106, 138, and 225.
Not everyone is experiencing the early season blues of Seidita and Allaedini, however. Ze’ev Lailari (160), Grant Hagler (152), Jake Eye (182), Connor Rhodes (195), and Jack Striker (132) are showing why Harris is optimistic about his prognosis for the season. Lailari has 2 falls to his credit, as does Eye. Haggler bounced back from a defeat at Potomac to pin his Sidwell opponent in under 2 minutes and Striker is 1-1 as is rookie Rhodes (195). So Harris is optimistic that when Seidita and Allaedini return to form things will be much better.
The newcomers Harris is excited about are Sarah Gompper (113), Henderson Beam (126), Kevin Schmidt (170), and Jake Acosta (285).
“When these other four get a little experience I expect them to perform very well” said Harris. “Connor already pulled out a dramatic come-from-behind victory at Sidwell and Sarah made a strong showing also, losing only 4-3. Henderson, Kevin and Jake are looking good considering their experience levels. It’s just a matter of time.”
The Mustangs will be tested this coming weekend as they are entered in the NOVA Classic, a 32 team two-day tournament hosted by Fairfax High School.
“The Classic is widely regarded as one of the area’s toughest tournaments, so everyone needs to be ready to compete at as high a level as possible.” said Harris.
“We can’t let a couple of bad matches faze us. We will build on last weekend, not dwell on it”
Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.