We had 13 guys compete at the Lock Haven Classic. I had hoped a few more would compete but for various reasons, all were not available. I was disheartened when we returned from break and some guys were unable to compete. I guess that is how things go when you are dealing with a team. Some of the issues were out of our control, others were not.
I did down play making weight and put most of the responsibility on the athletes. I was pleased to see the 13 who competed handled the responsibility with no complaining. To me it appeared they handled the situation well. It is often difficult making weight right after Christmas break. I am glad the guys took ownership, handled their business, and did so like strong men.
I also was pleased with the effort the team performed on the mat. These guys work hard and I was proud they were able to display the work they have put in since the end of last season. For the most part, conditioning is something they can physically control. The team also seemed better in the mental part of the conditioning game during a bout.
We had 7 guys go 0-2 at the Lock Haven Classic. We need to have more production from them.They need to take advantage of the opportunity when it presents itself. I am hopeful they learned and can better find ways to win the next time they compete. I was hopeful they would get more matches, but sadly they did not get the opportunity.
The 6 guys who won matches finished with an overall 19-10 record.
Ibrahim Bunduka finished with a 2-2 record on the day. I was pleased with his effort level. His biggest area of struggle was on bottom. I am confident he will continue to work on improving this position.
Vince Rodriguez had a good day. He was 4-1, scoring bonus points in all 4 of his wins. His lone loss was in the semi-final where he let his opponent dictate the positions in the match too much. Vince can do a better job of forcing positions that better suit his abilities.
Tejon Anthony finished 2-2 on the day. He lost a close decision in the semi-finals and suffered an injury. He definitely slowed down as a result, but showed good resolve in finishing the day with one more win and a close loss in the third place bout.
Konbeh Koroma finished 2-2 as well. Both his losses were a result of struggling underneath. I hope Konbeh finds a trick or two to help him win the mat wrestling position. He will certainly put in the work, which is the key element.
Patrick Davis finished 5-1 on the day. He avenged his only loss by defeating the same wrestler in the consolation finals. He is wrestling much better in competition as of late. His riding was noticeably better and helped him secure wins. I was pleased to see what he has been working on in practice manifest itself in competition.
Matt Voss finished 4-2 on the day. He had several matches that required great effort. He works hard in practice and was able to perform well as a result. A few of the mat officials commented on how he is a fun heavyweight to officiate, because he gets after guys. Win or lose, he will wrestle a high pace and take risks.
While the majority of the team competed at Lock Haven, we had two wrestlers compete at the 53rd Ken Kraft Midland’s Championships. Bill Prochniewski went 0-2 but did get a chance to compete much closer to his home and spend a little more time with family. Greg Flournoy finished in 5th place. He had a 7-2 record over the course of the two day tournament. He lost both matches to the same guy who beat him in the EWL finals last March. Overall, Greg had some good results. More importantly, he left the tournament with greater knowledge and he is now better prepared for the NCAA tournament. I also enjoyed seeing him on the Big Ten Network wearing his Mason Green and Gold warm-ups on the awards stand.
On Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 2pm we will compete at home against Virginia Tech. This will be the highest ranked team we will have competed against since I became head coach. Virginia Tech is currently ranked #5 in the NWCA Coaches poll. Please come out and support these two Virgina College programs.