​Wrestling starts off season Sunday

Virginia travels to Clarion Open to face first competition

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The Clarion Open will be a good test for the Cavaliers since they will be exposed to a variety of teams from around the country.

Lauren Hornsby | Cavalier Daily

The Virginia wrestling team is set to kick off its season at the Clarion Open Sunday in Clarion, Penn.

Virginia had a lackluster regular ACC run last season with only one conference win. However, Virginia coach Steve Garland is excited to kick off the season, and feels that this team is rife with potential.

“We are really excited to start the season because everyone is undefeated right now,” Garland said. “Everybody is in a great mood. For us, we feel like it’s been one of the best training cycles we’ve ever had, and of course you want to see the fruit of that labor on the weekend.”

With a notoriously hard training regimen, wrestlers spend the offseason cutting weight and refining their technique, and seeing the hard work pay off during the season provides motivation for each wrestler.

The Clarion Open will be a good test for the Cavaliers since they will be exposed to a variety of teams from around the country.

Senior George DiCamillo is excited to get the season kicked off and improve upon last season.

“It’s been a long preseason of preparation, it’s been a long summer of preparation,” DiCamillo said. “And to finally see the culmination of all this hard work in the preseason, and now the beginning of the season come to fruition ... it was a long summer thinking of last year and how it ended … it’s been fuel to the fire and we’ve been training hard.”

DiCamillo, who made it to the Round of 12 in last year’s NCAA tournament, is a senior who is likely to be the heart and soul of the Cavaliers’ team. In fact, DiCamillo will be hitting the mats early at the prestigious NCWA All-Star Classic Saturday.

Coach Garland knows his team is ready to hit the mats. After all the hard work they put in during the offseason, the desire for competition will motivate his team immensely going forward.

“For me, what I can say is this, for myself and my staff, I think I feel this on my team too … everybody wants to get on the bus and lock into competition,” Garland said. “Put away the school, put away the National Letter of Intent, put away all the stress of travel and just be a family and go compete together, which is the reward for everything we’ve been doing the past six months.”

With a new team, it’s always fascinating to see the wrestlers grow. There are a lot of young guys on the team ready to get on the mat, and there are many older wrestlers who are ready to capitalize on an expanded role with the team.

“We are excited to compete and I’m excited to see some of the other guys compete,” DiCamillo said. “He young guys and older guys … in one word, we’re excited.”

A major theme for the team’s mindset is this excitement DiCamillo mentioned. After all the work the team has put in, hitting the mats is going to be the ultimate release. The team is ready to show what it can do, and the Clarion Open will be its first test.

“We just want to go wrestle,” Garland said.

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