Edit: if you would like to see additional photos, please click here.
All right, all alliteration aside, Sunday’s dual between George Mason and University of Maryland was one of the best times I’ve had since I’ve been following the Patriots. Although the final score didn’t go GMU’s way, the matches were exciting, and the day kicked off with Senior Day, saying farewell to their two senior captains. And I got to spend the afternoon with a friend I haven’t seen in a while!
Before the meet, GMU honored their two graduating senior captains, Tejon Anthony and Matt Voss. They were presented framed singlets, and very special framed posters. It was great seeing them surrounded by their families. Congratulations, men, you repped the green and gold well!
Visit from a friend
In addition to all the family that came out, a friend of mine also was in the stands – Gerald Brisco. Mr. Brisco has known both Coach Frank Beasley and Coach Kerry McCoy for a number of years, and he made the trip from Tampa to see these two programs go head to head. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Mr. Brisco, he’s a member of the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame (along with his late brother, Jack), was inducted last year in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame – Florida Chapter as an Outstanding American, and had a very long and decorated career in professional wrestling and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, also with his brother. He also coached high school wrestling in Florida, and even has a tournament at Sickles High School named after him. Oh, and he wrestled collegiately as a Cowboy at Oklahoma State. So he knows his stuff! I wish I spent more time in the stands with him today, he could have really helped further my knowledge of wrestling, but I was busy taking pictures. Still, it was great seeing him again, and let’s get together next time I’m in Florida!
As mentioned above, the Patriots came up short at the end of the day, losing the meet 26-12. However, the final score is not indicative of the effort GMU wrestlers put forth. The Terps took the first four matches by decision, but at 149 pounds, team captain Anthony pushed the match to the limit. After regulation time, the score was tied at 3, and Anthony and Maryland senior Alfred Bannister went into overtime. Bannister scored a takedown in OT to win 5-3, but what a match!
Mason won the next two matches to close the gap to 17-7, but Maryland reeled off 3 straight wins, making the score 23-12 heading into the heavyweight match. This was the marquee match of the afternoon, featuring two top 20 ranked wrestlers. Voss came in ranked 15th by Intermat Wrestling, and Youssif Hemida came in ranked 9th. The match was as great as expected. It was back and forth for the 3 periods, both with multiple shoots but each of them was able to fend the other off. At the end of regulation, the score was 1-1. Hemida was able to get the takedown in OT to win 3-1, but it was a great match!
Mason is having one of its best seasons in a LONG time, and they have been improving with every outing. They have one more dual, against Hofstra, then they host the EWL Championships on March 9th. It’s been great following this team this season, and I’m really looking foward to seeing Mason use their home mat to their advantage next month!