This year’s banquet was held at the Carderock Swim and Tennis Club. We had a great turnout and the event was truly a memorable one. A big shout out to Shannon Lindstrom is in order for organizing all the moving parts behind this event and ordering the delicious barbeque. You have set the bar very high and I know we all appreciated it!
During the banquet the coaches talked about the spirit of this team and how they really came together and improved throughout the year. They also spent time speaking about each individual wrestler and how each one evolved and grew throughout the year. While every story was unique, the themes were similar; each and every wrestler worked hard and made marked improvements this season. Each wrestler also helped to make this team better and all were part of the great turnaround to 10 and 4 that was achieved this year.
To make this year’s banquet even more memorable we were fortunate enough to be treated to two videos. The first video was created by Shannon Turkewitz who put together an exciting montage of photos highlighting each wrestler on the mat this year. Shannon, along with Chuck Canfield, were our two team photographers this season and supplied all of the action shots for this video. Thank you Shannon and Chuck for a job well done! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1wSl_EJl1A&feature=youtu.be
The second video was created by a group of upperclassman who showcased some of the more memorable events that occurred this season. I know that all of their coaches, teammates and parents enjoyed this first ever parody of their coaches and other whacky events that transpired this year. This video was created by Seniors Clark Boinis, John Luke Iglesias and John Mackall as well as Juniors Max Gersch, Mathew Lindstrom, Thomas Santora, Tom Wilmarth and Yussef Zaki with cameo appearances by Colby Fong and Sean Mitchell. Great job guys! Your impressions of the coaches and other wrestling stories were spot on and this video will be enjoyed for years to come! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLpRmv_76Y0&feature=youtu.be
As in past years Coach Manon took time at the end of the evening to recognize several grapplers with individual awards. Coach Manon mentioned that some of these awardees were particularly difficult to select this year as we had so many deserving wrestlers. Having said that, listed below are the eight individual awards that were presented at the 2017-2018 Awards Banquet.
- Most Varsity Wins – This award goes to Clark Boinis who had 34 wins this season and sustained only one loss during regular season (non-tournament) competition throughout the entire year. Clark was also only one of four grapplers this year who wrestled in every dual meet and every tournament, this is despite having his knee pop out a half dozen or so times throughout the year. Great season Clark!
- Most Varsity Pins – This goes to John Luke Iglesias who had 19 pins this season. His total would have likely been higher if he was not forced to take a number of forfeits throughout the season as many opposing coaches did not want any of their wrestlers to face John Luke. Well done John Luke!
- Most Improved Varsity – This honor goes to Sebastian Turkewitz this season. Seb went 21 and 10 this season in the varsity line up. This was a tremendous improvement from only one varsity win last season and 5 and 5 at the JV level. Seb was also able to qualify for Regions this year. We are all excited to see what the next two years hold in store for you. Great progress Seb!
- Varsity Coaches Award – Sang Hanna received the Coaches Award this year. Sang went 17 and 18 this year on the Varsity squad. Sang also earned his second consecutive first place finish at the JV Viking Quest Tournament. This was a huge step forward from his 2 and 7 Varsity record and his 14 and 3 JV record last season. Sang also won some very close Varsity matches this year that helped his team achieve victory in several key duals. Great season Sang!
- Varsity Mental Toughness Award – As most of you know Max Gersch sustained a serious elbow injury in his first match of the year. Through Max’s hard work and positive attitude he was able to come back ahead of schedule and wrestle the last few duals of the season. Max was even able to wrestle his way into the Regions. Great comeback Max!
- Viking Sportsmanship Award – This is the only award that is actually voted on by all members of the Whitman Wrestling Team. Formerly known as the Chichester Award, this accolade is given to the Senior wrestler who exemplifies “Dedication, Perseverance, Spirit, Kindness, and Leadership on and off the field”. This year the team voted Clark Boinis as the recipient of the 2017-2018 Sportsmanship Award. Clark was a four year varsity wrestler and befriended and mentored many of his younger teammates. His presence on and off the mat will be missed next year. Great career Clark!
- Junior Varsity Coaches Award – Luke Cullinane was the recipient of this year’s JV Coaches Award. Luke wrestled both JV and Varsity this season and amassed a varsity record of 9 and 11 while going 12 and 3 at the JV level. This is huge step forward from last year when Luke’s record was 5 and 10 at the Varsity level and 7 and 4 at the JV level. Luke’s progression as a grappler was tremendous this season and we are looking forward to his continued growth and following in his three older brother’s wrestling footsteps. Great progress Luke!
- Junior Varsity Most Wins – Stephanie Solloso had 15 JV wins this season, up from 5 victories last year. Stephanie also placed second at the first annual Maryland State High School Girls Tournament. We are all very proud of our only female wrestler on the team and the accomplishments she was able to achieve this year. Great season Stephanie and kudos to you for carrying on the Solloso family wrestling tradition!
Closing Thoughts: It has been a pleasure being associated with this program over the years. Cindy and I are very grateful for the discipline, maturity and values wrestling has instilled in our two sons, Christopher and Clark. We have also been lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and get know such wonderful wrestling families and watch as their children have grown into fine young men and women. Although next year will be the first in seven seasons that a Boinis will not be on the mat, we are sure the team will continue to thrive and succeed. Walt Whitman Wrestling is a top notch program and one we have been proud to be a part of. Go Vikes!
By George Boinis