Lock Haven, Rider and UNC

We had three duals this past weekend. On Friday night we wrestled at Lock Haven University and then on Sunday we were at home against Rider University and the University of North Carolina. We lost all three of the duals. It was a tough weekend.

On Friday night, Ibrahim Bunduka (IB) was wrestling well, but was injured during his match. It looked bad and I was fearful it would be a season ending injury. After an exam from our Athletic Trainer and two doctors, we are hopeful IB will be back before the end of the year. He is an important part of our team. I like having IB lead off our team.

At this point, we do not have anyone to replace IB, so we had to forfeit the weight class on Sunday. I hate forfeiting. I do not think it looks good for our program or for wrestling. I agree with premise of Wade Schalles’ recent writing about forfeits on his website http://www.wadeschalles.com. My hope is IB will be back soon, so we don’t have to forfeit the weight class for too many more duals.

Some highlights from the weekend were individual wins by Jake Kettler, Ryan Hembury, Ryan Forrest and Greg Flournoy. Jake Kettler finished the weekend 3-0. Jake is currently ranked #25 in the coaches’poll. Greg Flournoy also went 3-0. One of his wins was against the #14 ranked wrestler in the coaches’ poll this weekend. Greg has now beaten 3 wrestlers ranked in the coaches’ poll. We also had one of our redshirt wrestlers win an Open tournament on Saturday as Cameron O’Connor won his bracket at the Ferrum College Open.

We have several guys who are competing well with ranked wrestlers. My hope is they will find a way to break thru and defeat a ranked wrestler. I believe, once they find a way to win, it will open up the flood gates. I know they can do it. My belief has not wavered. I have been perplexed it has yet to happen for some of them. I know the other coaches believe they can win, because we see them working to become better competitors. I know our competition knows they can win, because they have told me so and I also see their apprehension during the competition. I know my 4 year old son believes they can win because he pretends to be some of my wrestlers when he plays wrestling at home. They always win.

Some of the wrestlers will have another opportunity to show off the hard work they have been putting in on Saturday night at 7pm at the RAC as we host Edinboro University. I am excited for fans to watch us compete against Edinboro. Last season Edinboro finished 5th at the NCAA tournament. They return all of their key point getters from the 2014 NCAA Tournament. We will certainly be tested and fans will have the opportunity to watch some of the best college wrestlers in the country compete in our home gym.

Before our dual meet, the Patriot Club is hosting a reception. If you are interested in attending the free reception please RSVP to LeeAnn Bushar at 703-993-4147 or lbushar@gmu.edu by Wednesday, January 28. We plan on honoring alumni at the reception. I am hopeful some of the guys from the 1995 undefeated CAA Championship team can make it so we can honor them on the 20 year anniversary of their accomplishment. It has also been 20 years since Matt Finacchio became Mason’s last All-American. My hope, and I am sure Matt’s hope, is that we can add new names to the list of All-Americans from George Mason University this March.

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