Lehigh

We were all inspired seeing the Lehigh wrestling facility. It one of, if not the best, I have ever seen. College wrestling is alive and well in Bethlehem PA.

I have dreamed of watching a dual in Grace Hall. I can now check it off my bucket list. I am happy 2015 George Mason Wrestling team can now talk about the time they wrestled at The Snake Pit.

To be part of the National Duals is a great honor for George Mason University. We came up short of advancing, but for the most part we gave great effort. I think wrestling can grow by having the National Duals competition.

I was disappointed we lost the first match contested. I believe Blake Roulo allowed negative thoughts to negate his opportunity to win. He was called for stalling due to his poor positioning and posture on the mat. He did not need to back up or show fatigue. He can do so much more than he’s allowing himself to do. Blake has a great understanding of the sport. He will figure things out.

At 157, Greg Flournoy wrestled a good match. He was good in all 4 positions and stayed focused for 7 minutes. He prepared well for his opponent. Greg was ready and believed he could win. Preparation and belief are powerful allies.

Patrick Davis is finally starting to show his ability. He can score points. He can attack both sides of his opponent’s body. My hope is he will continue to improve and wrestle with urgency.

Ryan Forrest lost his bout but has continued to impress me with the progress he has made this season. He is figuring out college wrestling. It is fun to watch his growth.

Ryan Hembury wasn’t ready to compete tonight, so once again Daniel Mika stepped in to fill the 184 weight class. Daniel weighed in at 174. For a true freshman to wrestle up a weight class against a highly ranked opponent is admirable. I appreciate Daniel Mika’s desire to compete and wrestle for his teammates.

Derek Dwyer also moved up a weight class to compete for his team. I enjoy watching Derek compete because his effort and attitude are excellent. He is a great example of why college athletics are a valuable part of the educational process.

Jake Kettler beat an opponent who is ranked ahead of him. Getting signature wins are important for qualifying for the NCAA tournament under our current system. I was pleased he found a way to win. He did the right things in overtime to earn the win.

I was pleased to have Ibrahim Bunduka back in the line-up. He’s a crucial person on this team. IB returned to competition much quicker than his diagnosis. It is a testament to his work ethic.

I was also pleased Robert Dooley made the cut down to certify at 125 today. He sacrificed for his team. Acts like Robert’s are how you build a team.

Vince had a bad match tonight. His initial defense was good, but he did not continue to destroy his opponent’s position. Once you stop your opponents attack you need to keep improving your position. He needed to keep getting his hips down and away and keep his opponents head down and away. He also struggled on bottom.

Sahid was close to upsetting his opponent. He scored the only takedown of the match and was very close to scoring another takedown in overtime. I should have challenged the no takedown calls, but didn’t. I felt Sahid was in a good position to win and didn’t want to give his opponent time to regroup. I am frustrated he lost the overtime bout. I spent the entire bus ride home stewing about it. I guess it kept me busy as we drove through another snow storm.

I am super excited for our last week of the regular season. On Thursday night at 7pm at the RAC we get the opportunity to wrestle Grand Canyon University. We also get the chance to honor our senior class. I hope to send them off with a large contingent of fans cheering for them.

On Saturday morning at 9am we are going to wrestle Northwestern University at Robinson High School. Our dual will take place, as a separate event, before day 2 of the VHSL 5A and 6A State Wrestling Tournament. I believe this is a unique opportunity to promote college wrestling. I am thankful to Robinson High School, the VHSL, the NCAA, Northwestern University, and George Mason University for making this event possible.

We finish our regular season Saturday night at American University at 6pm. As you can see we have an exciting week ahead. We are blessed to have these opportunities. Please join us and support these events.

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