On Tuesday January 30th the Whitman Vikings traveled to Sandy Spring, Maryland to face the very talented Sherwood Warriors. The Sherwood team entered this contest ranked 4th in the county, and sporting a team record of 9-2 and with 8 ranked grapplers in their line-up. Whitman, on the other hand was ranked 10th in the county with 4 ranked varsity wrestlers.
This would be another test for the Vikings to gauge just how far their relatively young squad had progressed this season. Could they once again be the giant killer that took down the 6th ranked Poolesville Falcons ten days ago? The excitement was building before the meet as Sherwood honored their five seniors and their coaching staff on Senior Night. Once the honors were concluded it was time to wrestle and see if Whitman could pull off another upset.
The evening started out at the heavier weight classes where at 195 Yussef Zaki took a forfeit. This was followed by some trepidation by the Sherwood coaches who could not decide if they wanted to send out a wrestler at 220. Their hesitation turned out to be well founded as John Luke Iglesias quickly pinned his opponent in the first period. This was followed by Tom Wilmarth who, like Yussef, was forced to take a forfeit.
The score stood at 18-0 as the matches swung back to the lighter weights. Whitman lost at 106 and was forced to forfeit at 113 with Sean Fleming still on the mend. Next up was Peyton Casamento at 120 who was facing a higher ranked opponent that he had lost a close tournament match to earlier this year. Peyton was fired up for his rematch and shut out his opponent in the first period 2-0. As the second period rolled around Peyton continued to attack his foe and defeated him by fall, thus avenging his earlier loss. The Viking then lost to an HM ranked opponent at 126 bringing the score to 24-18. Clark Boinis then ran onto the mat to face the 3rd ranked opponent in his 132 weight class. Clark had beaten Sam Ewing three times previously this year at both the Patriot Classic and at the Grapple at the Brook, but was now facing him on his home turf. Clark skillfully out-wrestled him in the first period and took a 2-0 lead. Clark continued to wrestle well the next two periods, despite a sore knee, and never trailed the entire match winning 4-3 to bring the team score to 27-18.
Colby Fong was up next at 138 and would be facing the number 1 ranked wrestler in the county in his weight class. At one point in the match Colby got his bell rung and was advised by the trainer to stop wrestling, but Colby refused to give up and finished the match. Colby had his hands full but managed to avoid being pinned throughout six grueling minutes. By fighting on Colby preserved a valuable point for his team, a point that would end up making a big difference later. Whitman then lost at 145 to the 4th ranked wrestler at that weight class. Many in attendance felt the fall was called prematurely and was inconsistent with other calls made earlier in other matches. Nonetheless this brought the score to 27-29 with Whitman trailing by 2.
The next match turned out to be pivotal one with Sang Hanna at 152. Although Sang trailed the entire match his confidence and determination were visibly building as his teammates and coaches continued cheering him on. Sang was down 5-7 late in the third period when he managed to score a takedown with virtually no time left on the clock. When overtime began Sang kept up his momentum and scored a decisive takedown winning the match and the valuable 3 team points. As Sang ran off the mat into the arms of his team, Coach Manon’s voice bellowed out to the entire gym “THAT IS HOW WE WRESTLE”.
The momentum had now clearly shifted into the Viking’s favor when John Mackall took to the mat at 160 to face an HM ranked opponent. John and his opponent wrestled to a 0-0 draw in the first period. John then began to pull away leading 5-2 after the second and bested his foe 11-4 at the conclusion of the third. Sebastian Turkawitz was up next at 170 and was now facing the 3rd ranked county wrestler in his weight class. Seb wrestled skillfully throughout the first two periods and went into the third with a 3-0 lead. With 15 seconds left on the clock in the third period the clock was stopped as the grapplers tumbled out of bounds. However, for some unknown reason, the clock was never restarted as the match continued on. This error was finally noticed by Coach Manon who approached the scorer’s table and argued that the match should be over. After a brief consultation with the officials the clock was set to seven seconds. Despite this event Seb hung on to defeat his opponent 3-1. This win pushed the score to 36-29 thus making the outcome of the meet decided, even with the 182 match still yet to come. As it turns out Whitman lost the 182 match to the 5th ranked county wrestler but the final score remained in the Viking’s favor 36 to 35.
This win pushed the Vikes team record to an impressive 8-4 and kept their hopes alive for the Region duals. Another gutsy performance by the Whitman varsity wrestlers…….well done!
After the varsity matches concluded a lengthy JV battle ensued consisting of some 15 contests. Most of the JV marches were close as Sherwood also has a well coached team. The end result was Whitman 33 Sherwood 41. The following JV wrestlers won their matches: Luke Cullinane (by fall), Arthur Dehareng (6-0), Stephanie Solloso (by fall), Logan Glazier (by fall), Bennett Goeke (by fall), Jay Gatten (by fall).
By George Boinis