We ended our summer Regional Training Center practices this week. This year we had better participation and saw growth as a result. Since we start school in a few weeks, we felt it would be a good idea to give some of the guys a physical break and all of us a mental break.
We start classes on August 25. I am excited about the coming school year and season. We have several key returners and some great new additions. If we stay on track, we should be able to put our best line-up on the mat since I arrived at George Mason University. This group of guys can do great things. We will hold our first team meeting on August 26. We will start our fall strength and conditioning program on September 1.
Putting together the schedule has proved difficult for me. Nevertheless, some of the hold-up should prove to be worth the wait. Our schedule will be tough. Some of the competitions are mandated, but some are up to our discretion. I think we have a schedule that will prepare the guys for the EWL and NCAA tournament in March. Although the schedule is still tentative and some changes may need to be made, our tentative plan is as follows:
November 2 @ Cavalier Duals 10am v. VMI, 12pm v. Anderson, 2pm v. UVA.
Nov 8 Navy 1pm
November 9 @ Maryland 2pm
November 22 @ Navy Classic 10am
December 6 @Franklin &Marshall 7pm
December 21 @ Grapple at the Garden, New York, NY TBD
January 1-2 @ Southern Scuffle, Chattanooga, TN (All Day)
January 10 Cleveland State 1pm
January 17 @ Bucknell 11am, v. Sacred Heart at 1pm.
January 18 @ Clarion 2pm
January 23 @ Lock Haven 7pm
January 25 Rider and NC 1pm, 245pm, 430pm
January 31 Edinboro 7pm
February 6 Binghamton 7pm
February 8 @ Bloomsburg 2pm
February 15 National Duals – First Round at Lehigh – TBD
Feb 19 Grand Canyon University 7pm
February 21 Northwestern 9am
February 21 @ American 630pm
February 22 National Dual Finals @Iowa (if win Regional Round)
March 7 EWL Championships @ Rider
March 19-21 NCAA Championships @ St. Louis, MO
We will wrestle all of the teams in the EWL – 3 at home (Edinboro, Cleveland State and Rider) and 3 on the road (Bloomsburg, Clarion, Lock Haven). We will wrestle all of the local D1 schools (American, Maryland, Navy, Virginia, and VMI). We will host 8 schools on 7 different dates for home duals (starting with Navy and ending with Northwestern). The Navy Classic will be our early year team tournament. We will also wrestle in the two day Southern Scuffle tournament. For the third year in a row, we will compete at the Grapple at the Garden. Our potential opponents are yet to be finalized. We will also compete in the National Duals competition. Our first round opponent will be Lehigh. I guess you can see why I am excited.
We will host the 3rd annual Paul Maltagliati Memorial Golf Tournament on Monday, September 8 at Bull Run Golf Club. It will be a 4 person scramble event with a shotgun start at Noon. Thanks in part to Paul’s vision starting the Patriot Elite Wrestling Club; we have been able to grow wrestling in Northern Virginia and at George Mason University. The golf tournament is our biggest club fundraising event of the year. If you are interested in golfing, being a sponsor, joining us for dinner or want to assist the club, please feel free to contact Coach Tommy Owen at email@example.com or 703 483 5030 or tournament director Tyler Corey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703 424 5536. Come meet our new Athletic Director Brad Edwards. He is planning on attending the event.
There are lots of changes occurring on the college athletics landscape. The NCAA has changed its structure. Settlements and rulings from court cases are causing shock waves. There is added uncertainty. One thing is for sure, we need to be proactive as a program in positioning ourselves and adapting to the coming changes. Let’s continue to make George Mason Wrestling an integral part of the University community. Let’s make ourselves indispensable.
Our new athletic director, Brad Edwards, has only been on the job for one month but he is already having an impact. Our senior administration have spent numerous hours coming up with a strategic plan for the department. I am excited for the future of George Mason athletics.