The George Mason High School wrestling team may be struggling, but the Seidita-Lailari express is running full steam ahead.
Last week the Mustang wrestlers competed in eight matches during two days of competition, and although they were not able to put together any team victories, at the individual level, they had some impressive accomplishments.
Ze’ev Lailari (160) was a perfect 8 – 0 with five pins and Danny Seidita (120) was 7 – 1, the only blemish being an 8-6 loss on Wednesday to Fluvanna’s Justin Zimmerman, the no. 4 ranked AA wrestler at 120 lbs. Connor Rhodes (195) who continues to come on strong was 6 – 2, and Jake Acosta (285) earned his first varsity win with a first-period pin of his opponent from Tuscarora.
Injuries continue to take their toll, however. Jake Eye missed all eight of the week’s matches and Alborz Alaeddini was unable to participate in Saturday’s five matches due to a shoulder injury suffered Wednesday in a match against Drew Walls of Fluvanna. With Jake King and Keiyon Tyler already on the sidelines, Mason fields a lineup with seven first-year wrestlers.
“We wrestle a tough schedule this year,” said coach Bryan Harris, “constructed for a team with a lot of experience, which is what we thought we would have, but the injury bug has got us bad. Now our first year kids find themselves in situations where they are out of their depth. They have responded admirably, but you can’t hurry experience.”
Harris did make special note of Rhodes, who was a surprising 6-2 last week.
“Connor is making great strides,” Harris said. “His athletic abilities translate well to wrestling and he is gaining confidence with each outing. The mental aspect can sometimes be more important than the technical side.”
With another dual meet on Dec. 21, Harris was hoping to get his veterans back to health and on the mat.
“It looks good for Jake Eye but the other three may be out for a while. We are hoping they can return in time for our first home event, an invitational tournament on Thursday, Dec. 29. In the meantime we will continue to work hard, build on the positives, and not dwell on the negatives.”