We have completed a 5 week pre-season training cycle. October 10 is the first day we can hold official team wrestling practice. The freshman have been running and lifting 4 days a week starting at 6am. The upperclassmen have been able to do their strength and conditioning a little later. They don’t start until 630am. We have staggered the 2 groups so the freshmen can get some more individual attention and to make things less congested in the weight room. Along with the strength and conditioning training, the guys have had weekly individual skill instruction and several team meetings. My hope is we have built a strong foundation for them to progress through the season. The guys have also been spending time honing their skills on their own. They have worked on technique, spared and wrestled live for several hours on their own during the preseason. There is nothing easy about this sport. Intense training is required, often on your own.
We have a big roster this year which will hopefully lead to greater competition in the room. Having a larger roster does have some draw backs like less space, more individuals to worry about, and more problems. As my friend Mark Schwab told me years ago, “you have people, you have problems.” Nevertheless, for the most part, it has been good to have the extra bodies. One fear that has manifested itself early on this fall is guys settling to be a back-up or a red-shirt. I want the guys to aspire to be the guy we need to count on to win the big match. Some of the guys are thinking about red-shirting or do not see how they can be the starter. I think this mind set has led a few of them to be complacent. I challenge them to fight complacency. I challenge them to chase their goals with urgency.
The guys will show off the hard work they have put in this fall at a practice we will open to the public on Saturday, October 12 at Noon in the Field House (1501 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030). If you want to attend, the event is free.
Our second annual Paul Maltagliati Golf Tournament was bigger than the first. No doubt, that is a good thing. We will be able to send our guys to important out of season events as a result of the generous people who put on the event and supported the event. The club program Paul started is continuing to grow. I am thankful.
By now, I hope everyone is aware, we are having the NWCA All-Star Classic at the Patriot Center on November 2. This is a big event for our program. My hope is it will have a long term positive impact on George Mason Wrestling. If we do it right, we can grow this program in many ways. We can engage alumni, get the word out to recruits, excite boosters, attract new fans, prove our worth to the athletic department, and show we are a valuable member of George Mason University…
Tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com. There is a discount for groups of 20 or more. Ticket prices vary from $150 (VIP ticket and Social) to $15 per seat.
There are lots of events planned for the weekend. On Friday, November 1 there will be a middle school All-Star Meet featuring kids from around the country at the Field House. On Saturday, November 2 Takedown Radio will broadcast their show from the Field House. There will be an all-day wrestling clinic at the Field House, the pre-match social will feature many celebrity guests, we will have some exhibition matches before the All-Star Classic (including USA v. World in one Freestyle and one Greco-Roman match), and finally the main event. After the All-Star Classic, we are hopeful Alums and George Mason Boosters will gather for a post meet social.
The Mason Inn will serve as the host Hotel. We have also secured group rates at several local hotels.
The Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel
4352 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
$119 per night (includes breakfast)
Book Your Reservation Here:
For other group hotel rates, eateries and sightseeing in Fairfax County go to: http://www.fxva.com/2013nwca-allstarclassic/
The matches have been set and the NWCA gets dibs on announcing them. Thus, keep watching for matches as they are announced. Most of the top ranked guys have chosen to compete in this prestigious event. The Classic has a great tradition and many want to be involved. The top guys who will not be competing will be missed, but it just did not work out for them to attend this year. Some couldn’t due to prior commitments, injuries, and other valid reasons. 7 of the 9 returning NCAA Champions have committed to compete. I applaud them and look forward to watching them compete.
I will leak one thing in this blog. Sahid Kargbo will be wrestling an exhibition match. I am excited to have Sahid represent George Mason University at the Classic.