We have finished our spring training cycle. I was pleased to see the guys put in the work. Overall, I think guys made progress. For the next two weeks we will have no structured training as the guys complete their course work for the semester. I want them to finish well in the class room. We need to have a good semester as a team.
Two of our wrestlers will compete this weekend at the UWW Junior Freestyle Nationals in Las Vegas – Tejon Anthony and Cameron Houston. I wish we had more guys competing at the event, but the timing is not ideal given their school schedules. Israel Silva will coach Tejon and Cameron this weekend.
Once guys finish final exams, most of them will stick around to compete for our club team. We are going to host the University National Duals at George Mason University on May 21-22. This is a first time event that is being led by the Wrestlers in Business Network. As you know, this group is doing great things for wrestling. They are doing the extra things to make the tournament a one of a kind. They are hosting a career day, social, training session, and other special events as part of the duals. To learn more about it go to http://www.wibnevents.org. We are capping the field at 24 teams. I believe it will be a great weekend for those that attend and should help wrestling grow.
We recently held our end of the year banquet. I was pleased with the event. It continues to grow. Tom Carr ran the event for us and did a great job. We had 4 wrestlers win awards. Cameron Houston won the Freshman Academic Award. He is diligent in life and it is and will pay dividends. Tejon Anthony won the Most Improved Wrestler Award. Tejon used his redshirt year to get better. It showed in a 20 win season as a redshirt freshman. Ryan Renkey won the Upperclassmen Academic Award and the Paul Maltagliati Most Dedicated Wrestler Award. Ryan has shined in the classroom by getting a perfect 4.0gpa and he has also raised the level of our room. He is a hard worker who will do great things. Greg Flournoy won the Most Valuable Wrestler Award. He is on the Mason top ten career win list and finished his career as a two-time NCAA qualifier.
Six seniors gave speeches. I especially enjoyed listening to them talk about their time at Mason. These six guys will be missed. Greg Flournoy will graduate this spring with a degree in Economics. He was a four year starter who won 2 matches at the NCAA tournament during his career. Ryan Forrest plans to graduate in the fall with a degree in Finance. He was a three year starter who finished 3rd in the EWL tournament this year. Konbeh Koroma will graduate in a few weeks with a degree in Criminology. He started many duals for Mason during his time in the program. Luke Ludke will receive a degree with Konbeh in Criminology. Luke represented GMU at the EWL championships this past March. Vince Rodriguez will graduate in May with a History degree. Vince was a four year starter, three time conference placer and NCAA qualifier for Mason. Blake Roulo will get his degree in Integrative Studies. After transferring from Buffalo, Blake placed both times he competed for Mason at the EWL tournament.
Tom Carr has accepted the head wrestling coach position at Central Christian College. He has spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Mason and has left a positive mark on the program. We wish him well and will be cheering for his success as he leads his own program.