Patriots Host Maryland and North Dakota State Friday
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Patriots Host Maryland and North Dakota State Friday

WRESTLING vs. North Dakota State and Maryland

WHEN:  Friday, Dec. 9                                        
WHERE:  Recreation and Athletic Complex | Fairfax, Va.
North Dakota State vs. Maryland 4 p.m
North Dakota State vs. Mason 5:30 p.m
Maryland vs. Mason 7 p.m.

LIVE RESULTS and on Twitter @GMUWrestling | LIVE VIDEO

FAIRFAX, Va. – The George Mason wrestling team is back at home for a pair of duals on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Recreation and Athletic Complex.  Mason will face North Dakota State at 5:30 p.m. and Maryland at 7 p.m.

Mason (1-4, 1-1 EWL) split a pair of duals last weekend.  The Patriots defeated Bloomsburg on Saturday and then fell to Lock Haven on Sunday.  With the win at Bloomsburg, Mason has equaled its road win total from last season, when the Patriots finished 1-5 away from home.

"Our preparation as a team last week was some of the best that we have had," Mason head coach Joe Russell said.  "The attitude and effort was fantastic.  I was very pleased with the effort on the mat last week and you can't ask for much more as a coach."

Senior Sahid Kargbo (9-0) recorded his third major decision of the season in his win at Lock Haven.  He has won all five of his matches at 149 pounds in duals this season.  Kargbo also won four matches to claim the individual championship at the Navy Classic, with two major decisions and a technical fall on the way to the title.  

"Competing in front of the home crowd is always big," Kargbo said.  "North Dakota State is the highest team that we've competed against, so it will be a challenge to line up against them.  We've put together a good week of practice and have been listening to what the coaches are saying and we are ready to compete."

Kargbo is 9-0 this season and will face opponents at 149-pounds this weekend that both have undefeated records.  He has faced Maryland sophomore Alfred Bannister in the past, when both were in high school, but those bouts were always in the offseason.

"I had no idea that I'd be facing undefeated opponents until coach Russell told me," said Kargbo.  "It's not every day that something like that happens.  It's a big weekend and I'm excited.  I'm probably not going to watch too much while the teams are wrestling before our matches.  It's more about thinking about what I'm doing than worrying about what they are going to do."

Kargbo won his only home bout of the season, recording a 10-3 decision in his match against Indiana on Nov. 17.

"It's a little crazy that all of the 149-pounders are undefeated this late in the season," Russell said of the opponents that Kargbo will face on Friday.  "Sahid does a great job preparing for competitions and always gives his best effort.  When you have a guy doing that, at the end of the day he's going to have his hand raised a lot and even if he doesn't, he can hold his head high."

Freshman Matthew Raines (5-7) at 157-pounds and senior Patrick Davis (6-6) at 174-pounds also earned decisions against Lock Haven.  Sophomore Tejon Anthony (7-4) at 141-pounds, freshman Garrett Tingen (1-4) at 165-pounds, along with seniors Matt Meadows (1-2) at 194-pounds and Matthew Voss (2-5) at 285-pounds won their bouts against Bloomsburg last weekend.

Russell has special ties to North Dakota State head coach Roger Kish and Bison's assistant coach Matt Nagel.  When he was an assistant at the University of Minnesota, Russell coached both Kish and Nagel. 

"I'll be yelling at those guys during the match," Russell said.  "To have them succeed lets me know as a coach that I was doing the right things while they were in college.  It'll be fun to catch up with them and reminisce about old times, but when we are competing against them, we better beat them."

Kish won a Big Ten title, was a three-time All-American, NCAA runner-up and finished his collegiate career with a 117-27 record with the Gophers.  He also captured both Freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at the Junior Pan American Championships in Venezuela with Russell as his coach. 

"I've had the opportunity to get to know Joe through my time in Minnesota," Kish said by phone.  "He was part of my recruiting process and when I got there, a mentor and friend.  "He's a guy I still look up to now as a colleague and professional.  On a personal level, he's a good friend to me and my family."

Nagel, who was the first five-time State Champion in Minnesota history, won 100 matches for the Gophers and was a three-time NCAA Division I qualifier. 

He also earned All-America honors in 2005, with Russell in his corner.

"One of my cherished memories as a college coach is when Matt became an All-American," Russell said.  "I don't know if he meant to do it or if I just got in his way as I was going to congratulate him, but he leaped in my arms and let me carry him off the competition circle.  It's a special memory for me and also something that still gives me motivation as a coach."

Mason Probable Starters:

125: R-Fr. Quinton Tucker (Hampton, Va./Kecoughton) 2-6
-or- Fr. Trevor Mello (Gainsville, Va./Battlefield) 2-6
133: Fr. Lio Quezada (Winchester, Va./John Handley) 7-8
-or- R-Fr. Logan Harvich (Chesapeake, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate) 3-3
141: R-So. Tejon Anthony (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) 7-4
149: R-Sr. Sahid Kargbo (Alexandria, Va./Hayfield) 9-0
157: R-Fr. Matthew Raines (Warrenton, Va./Fauquier) 5-7
-or- So. Mike Sicola (Lebanon, N.J./North Hunterdon) 0-0
165: Fr. Garrett Tingen (Mineral, Va./Fauquier) 1-4
174: R-Sr. Patrick Davis (Bridgeville, Del./N.C. State) 6-6
184: R-So. Austin Harrison (Baltimore, Md./Western Tech) 0-4
-or- Jr. Daniel Mika (Fairfax, Va./Robinson) 3-4
197: R-Sr. Matt Meadows (Medina, Ohio/Cuyohoga Valley Christian Academy) 1-2
HWT: R-So. Matthew Voss (Edgewood, WA/Puyallup) 2-5
-or- R-Fr. Justin Hite (Wytheville, Va./George Wythe) 0-4

Scouting North Dakota State:

North Dakota State (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) has won two of its last three duals.  The Bison defeated Northwestern 24-12 on Dec. 2 and split a pair of duals on Dec. 4, falling 18-17 to Indiana and defeating SIU Edwardsville 25-13.

North Dakota State was originally credited with an 18-17 win over the Hoosiers before the result was changed on tiebreaker criteria 3 to give Indiana the win.

The Bison have three wrestlers ranked in the top-20.  Senior Josh Rodriguez, a two- time NCAA qualifier, is 9-0 and ranked #5 at 125 pounds.  Junior Clay Ream is ranked #9, while classmate Andrew Fogarty is ranked #19 in the nation.

"To have a BIG TEN conference team and Big 12 conference team here is great for the program," Russell said.  "We are excited to continue our rivalry with Maryland and glad that North Dakota State has traveled so far to compete."

North Dakota State Probable Starters:

125: R-Sr. #5 Josh Rodriguez (Guadalupe, Calif./Righetti HS) 8-0
133: Jr. Albert Landeros (Tracy, Calif/Sacramento CC) 2-7
141: Fr. Taylor Nein (Bismarck, N.D./Bismarck HS) 4-3
149: R-Jr. Mitch Friedman (Oconto Falls, Wis./Oconto Falls HS) 4-2
-or- R-Jr. Kyle Gliva (Inver Grove heights, Minn./Simley HS) 9-0
157: R-Jr. #9 Clay Ream (Wentzville, Mo./Holt HS) 8-0
165: R-Jr. #19 Andrew Fogarty (Jordan, Minn./Scott West HS) 7-1
174: R-Fr. Carter Nielsen (Foley, Minn./Foley HS) 1-4
184: R-So. Tyler McNutt (Saint Joseph, Mo./Benton HS) 5-3
197: R-Fr. Cordell Eaton (Long Grove, Iowa/North Scott HS) 4-4
285: Sr. Ben Tynan (Kennewick, Wash./Highline College) 7-1

Scouting Maryland:

Maryland (1-3, 0-0 BIG TEN) won its first dual of the season on Nov. 27 in the Grapple at the Garden, defeating Columbia 30-9 on Nov. 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y.

The Terrapins had dropped their first three duals of the season, including a 25-9 loss to Princeton in its first dual at Grapple at the Garden.  Maryland also suffered a 20-18 setback to Lock Haven and lost 22-13 to Virginia on Nov. 20 in Charlottesville, Va. 

Maryland has won nine of the last 10 meetings against Mason, including a 31-9 victory over the Patriots at the XFINITY Center in College Park, Md. last season.

"Maryland has been very supportive of our program and has helped us grow," Russell said.  "It's always an honor to compete against them and I know they'll give their best effort, so we better be ready."

Sophomore Alfred Bannister is #7 in the 149-pound class in the latest Track Wrestling and TheOpenMat.com rankings.   He is also individually ranked #12 in the nation by InterMat Wrestling and #13 by Amateur Wrestling.

Seven different Maryland wrestlers have earned their first career dual victories this season. Freshmen Danny Boychuck (157) and David-Brian Whisler (197), along with sophomore Patrick Gerish each picked up a win at the Cavalier Duals.

Freshman Alex Vargas (125) won in the Grapple at the Garden and freshmen Josh Ugalde (165), Sam Rowell (174) and Idris White (184) each won their bouts against Columbia.

Maryland Probable Starters:

125: Jr. Michael Beck (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill HS) 2-3
-or-  Fr. Alex Vargas (Syosset, N.Y./Syosset) 7-6
133: R-Jr. Jhared Simmons (Montgomery Village, Md./Good Counsel HS) 2-4
141: R-Sr. Billy Rappo (Holland, Pa./Council Rock South HS) 2-5
149: R-So. #12 Alfred Bannister (La Plata, Md./Bishop McNamara HS) 9-0
-or-   R-So. Adam Whitesell (Silver Spring, Md./Good Counsel HS) 4-5
157: R-Fr. Danny Boychuck (Haddonfield, N.J./Wyoming Seminary) 11-4
-or-  R-Jr. Justin Alexander (Pittsburgh, Pa./Pittsburgh Central Catholic HS) 1-0
165: R-Fr. Josh Ugalde (Bound Brook, N.J./Bound Brook HS) 1-1
-or-  R-So Patrick Gerish (Fairfield, N.J./Newark Academy) 5-5
174: R-Fr. Sam Rowell (Laurel, Md./Mount Saint Joseph HS) 9-8
184: R-Fr. Idris White (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge HS) 3-5
197: R-Fr. David-Brian Whisler (Warren, Ohio/Howland HS) 5-4
-or-  R-So. Garrett Wesneski (Canton, Pa./Canton HS) 5-4
285: So. Youssif Hemida (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck HS) 4-4

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