The Maryland State 4A/3A West Regional Tournament was held on Friday February 23rd and Saturday the 24th at Clarksburg High School. The tournament format was changed this year as the 25 teams from Montgomery County were split into the 4A/3A West, 4A/3A North and 2A/1A West Regions . The 4A/3A West Region got the lion’s share of the teams with 17, including Whitman, while the 4A/3A North took 5 and the 2A/1A took 3. In addition to the Montgomery County Teams the West Region was home to eight teams from Frederick, Carroll and Washington Counties for a total of 26 teams.
Whitman was well represented at the West Regionals with eight grapplers qualifying on points or County Tournament placements. Those who qualified from Whitman were Peyton Casamento at 120, Clark Boinis at 132, Max Gersch at 145, John Mackall at 160, Sebastian Trukewitz at 170, Yussef Zaki at 195, John Luke Iglesias at 220, and Tom Wilmarth at heavyweight.
Only two schools sent more wrestlers than the Vikings with Churchill and Manchester Valley (Carroll County) both sending 10 while South Hagerstown (Washington County) also sent eight. Four schools failed to quality any wrestlers and were thus not represented at all. The rules for advancement from the Regional Tournament were simple, the top four finishers advance to the State Tournament, with the fifth finishers in each weight class being designated as alternates.
Clarksburg High School provided a great venue for Regionals as they are centrally located for all the participating schools and their facilities are spacious and new. The only downside was having to listen to their raspy voiced announcer for two days who sounded like she needed a box of throat lozenges (or maybe she has an alternate career awaiting her as a public service announcer for smoking cessation).
After two days of tough wrestling three of Whitman’s team captains were able to qualify to advance to the Maryland State Tournament in at the Show Place Area in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Those moving on to wrestle next week are:
- Senior Captain Clark Boinis at 132. Clark went 3-1 at Regionals. After a tough loss in the semi finals Clark was able to refocus and wrestle his way back to a third place finish with two convincing wins. Great work Clark!
- Junior Captain Yussef Zaki at 185. Yussef went 2-1 at the tournament, recording a fall in each of his first two matches. Although Yussef lost in the finals (to the reigning Montgomery County Champion), he has positioned himself well for a run at States. Well done Yussef!
- Senior Captain John Luke Iglesias at 220. John Luke remained undefeated for the entire season showing once again why he is the defending Regional Champion by winning his second consecutive Regional Title. John Luke recorded falls in his first two matches before facing Shawn King-Pombo from South Hagerstown in the finals. This was a much anticipated match as Shawn was ranked just ahead of John Luke all season long in the Maryland State Rankings. These ranking proved to be in error as John Luke easily handled his opponent and won a Major over him by a score of 13-4. Next up for John Luke is the state title…..you can do it John Luke!
In addition to those advancing to States we had two other wrestlers who placed in the West Regionals. Both John Mackall (160) and Sebastian Trukewitz (170) were able to capture 6th place finishes. These two sophomores will almost certainly be back at Regionals next year along with Peyton Casamento, Max Gersch, and Tom Wilmarth. All of these battle veterans will be back on the mat next year for the Vikings. Congratulations to all five of you for having great seasons and for your many contributions to the team this year.
Best of luck to Clark, Yussef and John Luke in the State Tournament…..let’s bring home some more podium finishes. Go Vikes!
By George Boinis