"It's extremely mentally tough," he said. "I've discovered when I go conservative, wrestling not to lose instead of to win, I make mistakes. I'm not wrestling like that anymore. I'm going all out. It's working. Every takedown won't be perfect, but it doesn't have to be perfect.

"When I meet him this time, I can set the pace. I've done the work. I know I am not going to get tired and, when we get to the third period, I know I want it more. Oh, he may beat me, but he'll be tired if he does, and I'll be pretty upset. But you've just got to keep trying. So many people have given up on a dream when they've been that close [Weber holds his thumb and index finger barely apart]. You've got to keep working."

If Weber does win the match, Archbishop Spalding coach Mike Laidley, who is taking the No. 4 Cavaliers to the Mount Mat Madness tournament this weekend so his wrestlers won't have to see the same teams they always see during the season, said it would only be a mild upset.

"Weber is a really solid kid," Laidley said. "I'm sure he's closed the gap."


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Welch seemed to agree with that sentiment, providing a cautious message for his wrestler.

"It's hard to beat a good guy a bunch of times," Welch said. "Jack knows George is a tough wrestler, and that he'll have to raise his game if he wants to win."

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

McDonogh Holiday Duals

When: Friday and Saturday

Time: 2 to 9 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday

Where: Rollins-Luetkemeyer Athletic Center at McDonogh

Cost: Adults — $15 (2-day pass) or $10 (1-day); Students and kids — Free

Format: 10-team round-robin dual meets

Teams: No. 1 McDonogh, No. 2 Winters Mill, No. 3 River Hill, No. 5 John Carroll, No. 13 Wilde Lake, Gilman, Old Mill, Chantilly (Va.), Langley (Va.), Washington (W.Va.)

More information: McDonoghWrestling.com

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