The regular season has come to an end. Now it is time for the fun to begin. I want to make sure the guys are prepared for the conference tournament. I want them excited to compete.
We finished off the regular season with 2 duals this week We hosted Maryland on Thursday. We lost the dual, but felt good about the effort. Vince Rodriguez beat a hirer ranked opponent. Denny Herndon and Bagana Tovuujav both won their matches in their final home competitions.
We were also able to honor 5 seniors at the dual. All of them are on pace to graduate – Brian Benton (Art and Visual Technology); Denny Herndon (Finance and Management); Frankie McLaughlin (Finance with a minor in Economics); Hunter Manspile (Education) and Bagana Tovuujav (Business and Global Affairs). There is nothing easy about college wrestling. To be a division 1 college wrestler for 4-5 years is impressive. These guys have also done well in the classroom and will leave George Mason with their degrees. I have tons of respect for a guy who competes hard in the wrestling room and in the classroom.
While I was watching the Virginia AAA State Wrestling Tournament, it was determined we would leave a night early for our dual against the University of Virginia. There was a winter storm warning, so to be prudent, we decided to depart Saturday night. The snow didn’t start to fall until it was time for our dual to start on Sunday afternoon. Oh well, at least we were prepared.
We lost to UVA, 29-7. Again, I did feel the guys were wrestling better. There is no doubt they have improved this season. We lost a few close matches to ranked opponents. We also had 2 guys win individually. Bagana Tovuujav continues to impress. Shohei Takagi stepped up in weight class and won his bout at 157.
The CAA championships will be on March 3rd at Binghamton University. The next two weeks we will focus on getting ready for that tournament. This time of year, you hope to get guys as healthy as possible, excited about competing, rested, and firing on all cylinders. I love this time of the season.