The Vikings had two contests this week with their home opener against Wootton Patriots on December 13th and an away match against the Northwest Jaguars on December 15th.
The match against the Patriots started off at the lowest weight class of 106 and didn’t go so well at first with the Viking’s five freshman wrestlers all losing in the first 5 matches. It wasn’t until the 138 pound weight class that the Vikings were able to get on the board with Max Gersch scoring a major 12-2 decision. Next up were James Mackall at 145 and Sang Hanna at 152 who both were victorious for the Vikings, with Sang securing his first win as a Varsity wrestler. At this point in the contest Whitman was still trailing 13-28.
Next up was Tobie Payout at 160 who lost in the second period, followed by John Mackall at 170 who pinned his Patriot opponent in the first period for his first varsity win. This left the score at 19-34 with Whitman needing a string of wins to get back into the contest.
Mason Austin-Brantly at 182 answered the call once again with a first period pin. Then at 195, Yussef Zaki and John Luke Iglesias at 220 both followed Mason’s example with first period pins to nudge the Vikings ahead of the Patriots 37-34.
It appeared the outcome of the entire match would come down to the last match and heavyweight wrestler Tom Wilmarth. Tom started the match off very strong against an opponent who appeared to have at least 30 pounds on him. Tom kept up a relentless pace and began to tire his opponent out while building an impressive 7-2 lead. Unfortunately late in the second period Tom got caught in scramble and got pinned. The final outcome of the varsity contest was Whitman 37 and Wootton 40.
The JV matches that followed once again showcased an impressive line-up of young Viking grapplers. Freshman Stephanie Solloso got her first match with brothers Marcos and Anthony eagerly watching her every move. She did not let them down as Stephanie controlled her opponent from the opening whistle and eventually pinned her adversary with 30 seconds left in the second period. Whitman controlled seven of the 10 JV matches and walked away with a 42-18 victory.
The Northwest match which started at 138, would prove to be a difficult one for the Vikings. Whitman dropped the first six matches and was at risk of being shut out until John Luke Iglesias stepped onto the mat. John Luke dominated his opponent and pinned his Jaguar with 14 seconds left in the first period. This unfortunately proved to the only win for the Vikings who were beaten with a final score of 6-67.
The JV wrestlers fared little better during their 16 matches with Whitman winning only four of the contests. However there were bright spots with wins by Thomas Santora, Aiden Carter, Stephanie Solloso and an impressive first high school performance by Christian Beske. Christian showcased his years of mat experience early in the first period with a toe dragging takedown with just the tips of his toes on the mat. He went on to easily control his match with an 8-4 win.
By George Boinis