Story first appeared in the Edinboro University Spectator’s Feb. 5, 2015 issue.
Coming off a fifth place team finish at nationals last season, returning three All-Americans, and logging seven different wrestlers in the national rankings has head coach Tim Flynn and company completely focused on the end of the season, specifically the Division II National Championships in late March.
So you’ll have to forgive him for not putting a lot of thought into the EWL regular season title.
#15 Edinboro garnered at least a share of that crown after defeating George Mason, 31-14, Saturday night in Fairfax, Va., to improve to 12-4 overall and 5-0 in the EWL.
“We are trying to build to the end of the year,” Flynn said in a phone interview late Saturday night. “We are focusing individually on competing at our best level, so we weren’t really thinking about a EWL dual-meet title.”
The Scots, at worst, will share the championship with Rider, who is 3-1. Boro has one more EWL match remaining, against Lock Haven, on Friday. Rider has two more league duals remaining, against Cleveland State and Lock Haven, on Saturday and Feb. 13, respectively. Edinboro can win the championship outright with a victory against the Bald Eagles on Friday night.
The Fighting Scots had an easy start to the match, the first EWL one ever against the Patriots, who just entered the league one year ago.
#17 Kory Mines reaped the benefits of the easy start, winning by forfeit at 125, improving to 26-6 on the season.
George Mason earned its only lead of the dual after Vince Rodriguez won by a 9-0 major decision over redshirt-freshman Anthony Rivera, who is filling in for the injured A.J. Schopp.
“He has been doing a great job,” Flynn said of Rivera, who is 3-12 this season. “He is young and has been asked to step in and not only step in, but move up a weight. I think he is doing a great job and getting a lot of valuable experience.”
Flynn also mentioned that it will continue to be Rivera at 133 for the “next few weeks,” signifying that Schopp is still not healthy enough to return.
Second-ranked Mitchell Port put the Scots back in the lead 12-4, recording his 11th fall of the season and third in his last four matches, before redshirt-senior Dave Habat won by a 9-0 major decision at 149, notching his 125th career victory.
The Parma, Oh., native moved up to the top seed at 149 lbs. in the nation and his coach always knew he had the talent to be the best in the country.
“I’ve always known that he has the talent, but now he is mature. He now shows what he is capable of. He has put the work in. It has been satisfying to watch him grow,” he said.
The Patriots hung in the dual before Patrick Jennings and #13 Vic Avery both won by fall at 174 and 184, respectively, sealing the victory for the Scots.
With just a few dual-meets remaining before the postseason, Flynn is happy with how his team is wrestling right now, especially on Saturday.
“I think the guys scored a lot of bonus points, which was good,” he said. “I thought the normal guys did good and I think Vic Avery and Pat Jennings really went after it and scored huge bonus points for us as well. They are wrestling well.”
Edinboro hosts Lock Haven Friday night at 7 p.m. in the Scots’ EWL finale and host the Edinboro Open on Saturday in the Mike S. Zafirovski Sports & Recreation Dome.
#15 EDINBORO 31, GEORGE MASON 14
125 lbs. – #17 Kory Mines (EU) won by forfeit
133 lbs. – Vince Rodriguez (GMU) maj. dec. Anthony Rivera (EU) 9-0
141 lbs. — #2 Mitchell Port (EU) fall over Sahid Kargbo (GMU) 4:54
149 lbs. — #1 Dave Habat (EU) maj. dec. Blake Roulo (GMU) 9-0
157 lbs. – Greg Flournoy (GMU) maj. dec. Chase Delande (EU) 9-1
165 lbs. – Patrick Davis (GMU) dec. Casey Fuller (EU) 7-6
174 lbs. – Patrick Jennings (EU) fall over Daniel Mika (GMU) 6:30
184 lbs. – #13 Vic Avery (EU) fall over Derek Dwyer (GMU) 6:26
197 lbs. – Vince Pickett (EU) dec. Matt Meadows (GMU) 6-3
Hwt. – Jacob Kettler (GMU) dec. Warren Bosch (EU) 5-1
RECORDS: Edinboro 12-4, 5-0 EWL
George Mason 7-9, 2-3 EWL