GMU Wrestling Battles Clarion

Guess who’s back, back again.
Shady’s back. Tell a friend
” – Eminem

It’s been a long two years since my last post. Boy, has a lot changed! For those who are new to my little blog, I started back in 2015, going to primarily minor league stadiums all over the east coast. A few years ago, a friend told me I should start following George Mason University wrestling. They had just signed a new head coach, Frank Beasley, who was previously at NC State. So during the off season, I started attending matches, having no clue what I was watching. But I was hooked! I have traveled to see the team at home, in Pennsylvania, and even took a day trip to see them compete in the opening round of the MAC tournament in Illinois in 2020. With COVID, I didn’t see any baseball later that season, and the 20-21 wrestling schedule was closed to spectators. But now I am back with some pictures from their recent match against Clarion on Feb 5, and in a later post, I’ll post some photos from their match against Edinboro on Jan 30.

Off to a great start

The match against Clarion kicked off at 157 with freshman Avery Bassett. Bassett jumped out to an early lead, gave up some points, but then scored late points in the third period to secure the win, 15-11!

Bassett getting the back points!

Unfortunately, Mason’s next two grapplers, Tyler Kocak and Logan Messer, suffered losses, but were battling all the way until the final whistle.

Back to a tie!

Next up, at 184, was Kyle Davis. Davis scored a 5-3 decision to even the score at 6-6 for the Patriots.

Tough string of losses

Clarion took the next three matches at 197, 285, and 125. I feel bad, I didn’t get any photos of Jonathon List at 197 (next time for sure!!) but here are some of Sam Stith at 285 and Ben Monn at 125.

Mason takes two of the last three

Freshman Michael Rapuano picked up the win at 133

Rapuano goes for the single leg….
…. then gets the two!

Freshman Kaden Cassidy was up at 141, and while the match was close, he took the 8-4 loss.

In the final match, reshhirt sophomore Shawn Nonaka recorded his first pin as a Patriot, getting the first period fall to close out the dual!

Wrap up

Even though GMU came out with a 22-15 loss, all of the guys were pressing the action the whole time. And later in the evening, they scored a win over SEIU 30-7, winning the first five matches to start the dual!

Still have a lot to learn about this sport. Most folks have probably forgotten way more than I know, but it’s always exciting heading over to the RAC to see the team that lives up to their motto: #BeUncommon!

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