Despite a dual meet record of 3-25, George Mason High wrestling coach Bryan Harris is not willing to call it a lost season.
“Far from it,” said Harris when asked about his team’s performance this year. “In the first place, we gave maximum effort every match. I can’t ask for more than that. Second, we have a very young team. At the beginning of this season we expected to be a veteran team but due to injury and team members leaving the school district we ended up starting six and sometimes seven kids who are first year. Considering that I am extremely pleased with the results. We wrestle an extremely tough schedule and even with an experienced team we would have been seriously challenged to rack up the wins.”
Harris also cited the great success of two of his seniors, who have quietly put together seasons that have been nothing short of stellar. Danny Seidita (120 pounds) and Zeev Lailari (160 pounds) each have season records of 33-6 and Seidita, reigning Bull Run District and Region B champion, surpassed the career 100 victory mark at the Cavalier Duals held at Spalding High School on Jan. 14.
Seidita, who finished in sixth place at the state tournament last year, is once again favored to win the District and Region crowns. He is currently ranked fourth in the state. Lailari, a state qualifier last year, is also ranked fourth in the state.
“We also have several guys who are below the radar and could be big surprises,” added Harris. “Jake King has returned from early season injuries and has looked very good lately and Max Aifer and Grant Hagler are putting on late season surges. I have confidence they will do very well at our district tournament this weekend.”
Harris also expressed optimism when asked about Alborz Alaeddini (145 pounds) who placed sixth last year in the state tournament.
“Alborz has had a rough season so far,” Harris noted. “First he was sidelined with a shoulder injury, and then just as he was returning to form, he suffered a concussion. He has just been cleared for action and is eager to go,” he added. “Alborz is a little rusty but he has a great chance to advance to the Region B tournament. With a little good luck he could be right back at Salem and in the thick of the fight for another all state finish.”
Harris was quick to point out that beyond these six it would take some good fortune for the rest of his charges to advance far into the postseason.
“It’s hard to get out of our district and region,” said Harris. “They are the toughest in Single A state. Every one of our kids has a chance but each will have to wrestle their best. Anything can happen though. Don’t count anyone out and don’t take anyone lightly. “
The Bull Run District tournament starts at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Strasburg High.