Tough Musselman Duals Raise Bar for Vikings
Despite some strong individual performances and very tough wrestling, the Varsity Vikings encountered teams and wrestlers at the Musselman Duals in Inwood, WV, that set a higher standard to which the team can aspire as it develops through the season. Overall, the team won three of eight duals against teams from West Virginia, Virginia, and western Maryland. This experience should pay dividends in the three dual matches coming up this week.
Twenty teams from the tri-state region wrestled in this year’s Musselman Duals. Each team wrestled four other teams in its bracket plus another randomly-matched team, and then wrestled three additional teams in day two based upon their results. These duals are filled with state-ranked wrestlers and teams that wrestle twelve months out of the year, so the wrestlers’ combination of conditioning, experience, and skill is top-notch. Unlike some tournaments that may allow the Vikings to pad their records against lesser competition early in the year, the Musselman Duals give the Vikings the opportunity to “learn much more by wrestling people from top programs, than by pinning somebody in 30 seconds,“ says Coach Manon.
Excluding forfeits, the Vikings recorded 31 wins against 52 losses. The records on the weekend for each individual wrestler, including forfeits, were as follows:
- Peter Li (106 Fr.)—5-3, with two pins for wins
- Isaac Besrat (113 So.)—2-6
- Joseph Aron (120 Fr.)—3-1
- Caleb Brenner (126 Jr.)—3-5, with a pin for a win
- Sean Mitchell (132 Sr.)—2-5, including an 8-2 decision
- Ryan O’Connor (132)—0-1
- Matthew Lindstrom (138 Sr. Capt.)—4-4, with 3 pins for wins and a major
- Colby Fong (145, Jr.)—1-7, with a pin for a win
- Charlie Imperial (152, So.)—1-7, with a pin for a win
- Max Gersch (160, Sr. Capt.)—3-2, with a pin for a win
- John Mackall (160, Jr.)—1-3, with a pin for a win
- Seb Turkewitz (170, Jr.)—3-3, with two pins for wins
- Thomas Santora (185, Sr.)—6-2, with three pins for wins
- Youssef Zaki (195, Sr. Capt.)—8-0, with six pins for wins
- Tom Wilmarth (Hwt. Sr.)—5-3, with two pins for wins
While every wrestler left nothing on the mat through a grueling two days, three seniors and a freshman stood out. Youssef Zaki dominated his opponents by winning every non-forfeited match by pin, and ending every match the second day in the first period. Max Gersch wrestled two top-ranked wrestlers at 160, losing in overtime vs. Martinsburg, WV, and winning a 1-0 decision against Williamsport, MD. Thomas Santora consistently frustrated his opponents securing five wins on the mat. Joseph Aron, who wrestled only on Friday, showed a rare instinct for a first-year wrestler to exploit mistakes and put people on their backs and scored three pins for wins.
The Musselmans are set up as a team event, and as a team the Vikes went three and five. Here are brief highlights.
- Whitman (33) vs. Martinsburg, WV (42): The opening match was hard-fought with Aron, Lindstrom, Turk, Santora, and Zaki scoring wins on the mat.
- Whitman (48) vs. Berkeley Springs, WV (23): Forfeits made the difference for the Vikings in this team win. Aron, Caleb Brenner, and Colby Fong each won by pin.
- Whitman (12) vs. Williamsport, MD (60): Williamsport is a top program in Maryland. Youssef pinned his opponent, Santora won 8-7, and Gersch scored the only point of his bout to win 1-0.
- Whitman (52) vs. Moorefield, WV (15): The Vikings won five of the nine bouts actually wrestled, with pins by Santora, Zaki, Wilmarth, and Aron, and a major by Lindstrom. Four additional forfeits added to the victory margin.
- Whitman (12) vs. Mountainview (Stafford), VA (61): Mountainview out of Stafford, VA, is another strong program. Zaki won his bout by pin. The most exciting bout was Turk’s hard fought 7-8 loss in which he tied his opponent with a takedown at 1:13 in the third, but fell just short in the final seconds.
- Whitman (57) vs. Hampshire, WV (22): The Vikings had success against Hampshire. They nailed seven pins (Gersch, Imperial, Li, Lindstrom, Santora, Turk, and Youssef), and Sean Mitchell won by an 8-2 decision, showing the aggressiveness he has demonstrated at the JV level.
- Whitman (30) vs. Hedgesville, WV (48): The Vikings forfeited three weight classes against Hedgesville, which made the difference in the score. Zaki, Wilmarth, Li, Lindstrom, and Mackall each pinned their opponents.
- Whitman (30) vs. Buckhannon-Upshur, WV (37): The Vikings had a chance to exit the event with a .500 record, but dropped their final match, which had a closer score because of forfeits. Santora ended the event with an exclamation point, pinning his opponent with a barbed wire move at the 1:12 mark of the first period.
The work this weekendshould put the team in a good position going into this week of bouts before theChristmas break. On Wednesday, the Vikings have a home tri-meet againstEinstein and Watkins Mill. On Friday, they travel to Richard Montgomery. EVENTS ON BOTH DAYS BEGIN AT 4:00 PM. Mark your calendars and come cheer on theVikes.
By Tom Mackall
JV Vikes Grapplers Wrestle well at the Northwest High School JV Dual Meet Tournament
Even though the JV Viking Wrestling Squad was forfeiting two weights and 12 points per match, they managed to go 3-1 on Saturday. They beat Richard Montgomery 48-24, Chantily 37-29 and Blair 52-15 and lost to a combined Wooton/Middleton Squad 36-45. They did not formally place in the tournament due to a preference to advance teams with no missing weights to the championship round but delivered a top 5 performance.
Notable individual performances include the following:
- Will MacDonald 4-0 with four pins including a tough comeback pin against a strong Middleton Wrestler.
- Ryan O’Connor 4-0 with three pins and a Major Decision
- Danylo Hartzler 4-1 with 3 first period wins and an excellent execution of a front headlock to a nearside cradle for back-points.
- Joseph Aron 4-1 with two pins
- Kevin Zarin 4-1 with two pins\
- Arthur Dehareng 3-1 with 2 pins and a beautifully executed switch for a reversal in one of his matches.
- Jimmy Ostler 3-1 with one pin
- Henry Sowells with one pin
- Gage Conrad 3-1 with 2 pins
- Stephanie Sollosso 3-2 with 2 pins
- Jack Morris 1-1 with a badly needed 8-7 win achieved by riding a tough opponent out an entire 3rd period
- Patrick Fletcher 1-1
This was a good test for an up andcoming JV team that knows how to pin and score bonus points needed to win dualmeets where the Vikings are giving up forfeits for missing weights. Note the two meets this week: on Wednesday, the Vikings have a hometri-meet against Einstein and Watkins Mill and on Friday, they travel toRichard Montgomery. EVENTS ON BOTH DAYS BEGIN AT 4:00 PM.
By Chuck Canfield