The Maryland State Wrestling Tournament was held on Saturday March 3rd and Monday the 5th at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The normal tournament format had to be modified this year as extremely high winds forced school closures on Friday, which pushed the start of the tournament until Saturday. This meant that all rounds, except for the first through sixth place finals, had to be wrestled on day one. This made for another very long day……which as Whitman wrestling fans we have all become accustomed to. I know that our three State Qualifiers greatly appreciated the support of their teammates who made the effort to come out and cheer them on. Many thanks to James Mackall, Thomas Santora, Sebastian Turkewitz, Matthew Lindstrom, Tom Wilmarth, Steven Canfield and former teammate Andrew Shiman as well as some devoted parents.
The Maryland State Tournament is a double elimination tournament with 16 elite wresters in each 3A/4A weight class. Each of Maryland’s four regions (North, South, East & West) sent their four top Regional Tournament placers to compete in this capstone event.
All three Whitman Qualifiers made our program proud as they wrestled their way through this tournament. Clark and Yussef each had two convincing wins and went 2 and 2 at the tournament. These two wins earned both of them top eight finishes in their respective weight classes.
John Luke won three matches on his way to the finals. His second match was against the number five ranked wrestler in the state from Franklin High School (Elijah Solomon), who he beat 11-5. He then went on to beat the number three ranked wrestler in the state from Stephen Decatur High School (Caleb Bourne) who was 31-0 before losing to John Luke in a 10 to 8 decision. John Luke then faced the number one ranked wrestler in the state from C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Maryland in the finals who was 43-0 (Wyatt Graham). Unfortunately John Luke had injured his knee in the previous match on Saturday and was not 100% going into the finals. John Luke did however manage to tough it out and compete only to come up a bit short. Nonetheless it was a fantastic achievement to make it to the finals and place 2nd, beating two higher ranked opponents along the way.
While the 2017-2018 season is now over for our three State Qualifiers, they each can look back and be proud of the performances they turned in, both for their team and individually.
- Junior Captain Yussef Zaki had 5 wins at the Musselman Duals, placed 1st at the Grapple at the Brook, 2nd at the Patriot Classic, 4th at the Counties, 2nd at Regionals and Top 8 at States
- Senior Captain Clark Boinis had 7 wins at the Musselman Duals, placed 1st at the Grapple, 3rd at the Patriot, 2nd at Counties, 3rd at Regionals and Top 8 at States
- Senior Captain John Luke Iglesias had 5 wins at the Musselman Duals, was 1st at the Grapple, 1st at the Patriot, 1st at Counties, 1st at Regionals, and 2nd at States
These are all truly noteworthy seasons from our team captains. Their accomplishments serve as testimony to how hard work in the offseason can pay off in the regular season. They say in wrestling that you get out what you are willing to put in, and that is certainly the case with these three.
It has been an exciting year for the Whitman Wrestling Program. Aside from the individual accolades the team as a whole has made great strides from where we started at the beginning of the season. Many of our grapplers have made tremendous improvements as the season progessed. This speaks volumes to the commitment of our student athletes and the teaching skills of our three very dedicated coaches!
By George Boinis