Despite GMC loss, Comets wrestlers eye postseason success
Matthew Smith | Staff Writer
It’s not what they wanted, but it’s not bothering them.
The Mason Boys Wrestling team has traveled across the nation this year, competing with the best competition in the country. With this year’s major traveling behind them, the team feels they have prepared themselves for a successful finish; but it has not gone exactly as planned. On Saturday, Mason lost their first GMC title in ten years, however the team knows there is still plenty of season left.
Senior wrestler Sam Glassco said that the team knew it would be a difficult meet, but the loss still certainly hurts.
“It was a big battle between us and Fairfield,” Glassco said. “We knew coming in it was going to a tough fight. Unfortunately we did lose, and that definitely hurts our morale.”
The team had previously won nine consecutive GMC titles, which has led to the target on their backs getting larger. Senior Kamal Adewumi said this year, Mason has been “that” team in the GMC everyone wanted to take down.
“We’ve definitely had a target on our back for the last couple years,” Adewumi said. “Coming into the (GMC) tournament, we knew it would be a big challenge with every other school wanting to beat us.”
Now, fresh off of the GMC tournament, the team’s next meet is sectionals. Glassco said that with the regular season over, it is time to turn the focus onto the postseason.
“All of our wrestling this year has been for the postseason,” Glassco said. “We are going to give everything we have and leave it all on the mat. We know we are prepared and ready, there’s no excuse to hold back.”
Just like any other team, leadership can affect a team’s success. Adewumi said that after getting injured, he has become more focused on his leadership to help his team in any way he can.
“Since I went down with my injury, I’ve focused on being more vocal at practices and with my teammates to be the best leader I can be,” Adewumi said. “Being in the room with everyone and helping the younger guys, I feel like that’s been really important for the team.”
The team has had big goals ever since the season started in November. Glassco said that the wrestlers expect to be competing deep into the postseason, and they are eyeing a state tournament run.
“The ultimate goal is state,” Glassco said. That’s our goal as a team, and that’s been my own goal ever since I was a freshman. Now I’m a senior and that hasn’t changed. I want to win, and if not then place as high as possible (at state).
With big expectations and goals, Glassco said that the grueling schedule the team faced this year has prepared them for the postseason.
“Coming into the year I wanted to place try to compete and do really well at our big tournaments, like Dvorak,” said Glassco. “Those tournaments have really prepared me for the end of the season and the tough competition in the postseason.”
Not only has a tough schedule prepared the team, but practices as well. Glassco said that the competition in practice has made each wrestler better.
“Going against my teammates every day has been great,” Glassco said. “It gives me different looks against guys of different heights, weights, and strength. That does nothing but help me and everyone else on the team.”
Looking to next year, the team will be losing a lot of seniors, including last year’s state runner-up Chris Donathan. Despite that, Adewumi feels the team he is leaving behind should have a lot of optimism for next year.
“I think the underclassmen have learned a lot (from the seniors),” Adewumi said. “Helping them with their technique, doing the small things right, and showing them how to work hard will certainly help (the underclassmen) next year.”
Photo by Tanner Person.