End of January

End of January has been busy. We were hit with a historic snow storm in Northern Virginia. As a result we had to postpone our home dual meet with Lock Haven University. We will make up the dual on February 18, 2016 at 530pm. We will wrestle our dual against VMI 10 minutes after our dual against Lock Haven ends. It should be a good challenge for the team.

Sahid Kargbo was able to compete at the Dave Schultz Memorial Tournament on Thursday, January 28. He finished 2-2 on the day. Although he was disappointed in his results, he represented himself and the program well. In one of his bouts he wrestled a fellow GMU Alum – Jake Bohn. Sahid will have one more opportunity to qualify for the final Olympic Trials. He will compete in the last chance qualifier on April 1 in Cedar Falls, IA. I have no doubt Sahid can compete with anyone in the country. He will continue to prepare for the next challenge.

On Friday evening the team traveled to Connecticut for a dual against Sacred Heart University. For a bunch of guys cutting weight, they did a good job of entertaining each other on the bus. It was fun listening to the banter. I only hope the bus driver did not get a headache. We arrived at our hotel well after midnight.

We wrestled Sacred Heart University on Saturday night. We won 6 matches to 4. I was pleased to see Blake Roulo and Patrick Davis get pins. It was a good spark for our team and great for our Mason Pinner’s Club. I also enjoyed watching Vince Rodriguez work hard to get a technical fall. After the dual, we drove to New Jersey. It was another late night.

We were able to weigh in early in the day on Sunday, because Rider University had a noon dual at the University of Pennsylvania. Luckily, we found a good Sunday Brunch for the guys to bulk up after making weight. The waiter laughed at the lack of conversation going on at the tables. He said all he could hear was the clanking of silver ware on the plates. He was also amazed at the amount of times he had to refill emptied glasses of water. I believe the meal was well received by the team.

We lost to Rider University 9 matches to 1. They have a good team with several talented individuals. We had opportunities to win more matches but fell short. The dual meet started at 157. Due to NCAA date limits, Greg Flournoy did not compete. Since Greg went to Midlands, which is a 2 day tournament, I had to hold him out of one date. We chose the Rider dual, because he has already wrestled the Rider starter twice and the match would not have much bearing on conference seeding. Konbeh Koroma wrestled up a weight class to fill in for Greg. 7 of the 9 losses were by decision; 2 were overtime losses (Ryan Forrest and Matt Voss); Blake Roulo lost 4-3 to a returning All-American and Vince Rodriguez scored the winning takedown in his bout only to have the referee change his mind after a 1 count near fall call as well. He decided to waive off the takedown. I asked for a video review and was confident Vince would get the 2 points back on the board. He did not.

Ibrahim Bunduka was able to find a way to win. He wrestled a great pace and stayed in good position. Late in the 3rd period he was able to score a takedown to seal the win. IB was a great example for his teammates on how to stay focused and relentless during a 7 minute match.

Despite the lopsided loss, I was pleased with the effort of our team. The guys pushed the pace in their bouts. It was a pleasure to watch the team compete with greater tenacity. In regard to effort, it was one of our best performances of the season. We can certainly build on the performance. If the guys continue to raise their effort level and find ways to win the tough situations, we will be able to finish the season well.

On the way home, some guys played the Mafia game while others watched an episode of Band of Brothers on DVD. My guess is I was about the only one watching the Band of Brothers episode as it repeated itself three times before I asked the bus driver to turn it off. I believe the bus driver was ready for it to end as well as he could not see but could hear the episode. He said “it sure seemed like they were having trouble taking Carentan.” Maybe the guys not playing the game were sleeping?

We have a busy week ahead. On Wednesday night we will wrestle at the United States Naval Academy. It should be a fun atmosphere.Then on Saturday, we host Bloomsburg in a EWL conference dual. We hope to have lots of fans in the stands. Prior to the Dual, the Patriot Club is hosting a social at 1PM in the RAC. If you are interested in coming please RSVP to LeeAnn Bushar. She may be reached on the telephone at 703.993.4147 or via email at lbushar@gmu.edu. She needs a head count of those planning to attend by Wednesday.The dual meet is scheduled to begin at 2pm on Saturday.Seems to me, it would be a good dual meet to attend.You will get free food, drink and conversation before the dual, followed by a free opportunity to watch Division 1 wrestling. Pretty hard to beat the price. Details below:

Join the Patriot Club at the RAC for a
pre-match reception and afternoon of wrestling!

Saturday, February 6, 2016
Recreation & Athletic Complex (RAC)
George Mason University, Fairfax Campus

1:00 p.m.—Patriot Club Pre-Match Reception
Multi-purpose room, located on the second level of the RAC

2:00 p.m. — Mason vs. Bloomsburg

Join the Patriot Club for food and refreshments
before the match. Head Coach Joe Russell will
preview the match and discuss the season.

RSVP to LeeAnn Bushar at 703-993-4147 or lbushar@gmu.edu
by Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

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