The Walt Whitman High School wrestling team, one of only two unbeaten public school teams in Montgomery County (the other being Damascus), successfully preserved its undefeated status on December 22 by beating a persistently aggressive and very quick Quince Orchard team (4-1 before today) , 42-31, in front of a large cheering crowd that included former Whitman wrestlers and their parents.
Weight levels at which several of the Whitman wrestlers competed were back to normal from the elevated levels at which coach Manon had placed them in previous meets. A couple of other strategy decisions by the coaches for both teams featured in the outcome of the dual.
The meet started at the 170 pound level, where senior Marcos Solloso achieved a hard-fought 6-4 victory. Senior Ezra Alexander, wrestling next at 182, pinned his opponent in the second period. Sophomore John-Luke Iglesias was pitted against Quince Orchard senior Eisley Kim, ranked number 9 in the State of Maryland . John-Luke competed valiantly but succumbed to a pin in the second period. Whitman led 9-6.
Coach Manon elected to forfeit at the 220 pound level, costing the team 6 points, and instead sent senior Jacob Winch into the 285 pound bracket against a wrestler much heavier than himself. Jacob did not disappoint, pinning his opponent in the second round. Whitman led 15-12.
The meet now reverted to the top of the weight order, and at 106 pounds, senior Chris Habibian lost in a close 6-5 match. Sophomore Clark Boinis then pinned his Quince Orchard senior adversary in the first round of their 113 pound match, extending his unbeaten streak this season to 15 wins. Whitman’s two starting freshmen, Colby Fong and Max Gersch, came next at 120 and 126 pounds respectively, giving it all they had but getting pinned by Quince Orchard’s upper classmen. After that, sophomore James Mackall at 132 pounds held on to avoid a pin but lost 10-2. The score had become 31-21 in Quince Orchard’s favor.
Here the Quince Orchard coach chose to bump up from 132 to face senior James Bamberger at the 138 pound level, Alejandro Lopez, first place winner at the Mad Mats Tournament, but James pinned him in the first period, narrowing their lead to 31-27. There followed a 10-2 major decision by Whitman senior Hamoon Shokoohinia at 145 pounds (dropping down from 152), a pin by Mitch Fenton in the second round of his match at 152 pounds, and at 160 pounds a 16-0 technical fall at the hands of Braedan McKee, making the final score Whitman 42, Quince Orchard 31.
A write-up of the match in The Sentinel Newspaper can be found at:
After the holiday break the Whitman varsity, with a record of 5-0, will have a home match against Montgomery Blair high school on January 6, and then head off for the Patriot Classic wrestling tournament at Northern High School in Owings, Maryland, over the weekend.
By Craig Bamberger