Author Archives: jcasamento

Vikings @ Churchill and Wheaton Tri-Meet

Split Outcome in Tri-Meet with Wheaton and Churchill

            Having dominated Wheaton in the first match of the day, the Vikes fell just short of a sweep with an exciting conclusion to their match against tri-meet-host Churchill.

With Sr. Captain Yussef Zaki back in the lineup and some of the nagging injuries and illnesses healing, the 8-3 Vikings are stepping up for the home stretch of the season. Please come out this Tuesday, January 29, for Senior Night when the Vikes host Wootton. The 12 seniors will be recognized starting at 5:45, and the match will begin at 6:15.

Vikings over Wheaton Knights 64-12

The Vikings controlled their match against Wheaton from start to finish.

Peyton Casamento (120), still battling the remnants of illness and several days of missed practice, had good medicine with a quick pin to start the match. After a quick duck-under for a takedown, Peyton used an armbar to secure a quick pin. Caleb Brenner (126), also back from illness after missing the Springbrook Grapple, was then caught by his county-ranked opponent at the 1:12 mark for a pin. Matthew Lindstrom (132) fought through a tie-up for a takedown at 1:42, then used an armbar to put his opponent on his back and adjusted then to a half to land the pin at 0:53. Three bouts, three pins, Vikings up 12-6.

Colby Fong (138) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a single leg takedown. Starting down in the second, Colby took a 4-0 lead with a reversal, then gave up an escape to lead 4-1 at the end of the period after fighting off an aggressive shot at the buzzer. Colby rode out the third for the decision and a 15-6 Viking lead.

Arthur Dehareng (145) followed suit with a first-period pin. After a double-leg takedown in the first ten seconds, Arthur used a barbed-wire to flip and pin his man at the 0:56 mark.

Charlie Imperial then scored a major to take the Vikes up 25-6. Charlie beat an opening shot to land the takedown, then used a slide-by to score another take down and had a 6-2 lead with a third takedown before using an armbar for a 3-point near fall and 9-2 lead at the end of the first. A reversal and another armbar for a near fall had Charlie up 13-2 after two. A quick escape to start the third, then a takedown with five seconds remaining, resulted in a 15-3 major.

John Mackall (160) rebounded from the injury that knocked him out of the Grapple. John went up 2-0 in the first with a single-leg, then escaped quickly to start the second before taking his opponent down and using a headlock for a pin at the 1:20 mark.

Seb Turkewitz (170) made even shorter work. Within 30 seconds he took down and pinned his opponent to give the Vikes a 37-6 lead.

Thomas Santora (182), who missed the Grapple because of injury, then delivered a 12-7 decision. After being taken down, Thomas escaped and scored a takedown just before the buzzer for a 3-2 lead. Down to start the second, Thomas escaped, scored a point on a stall call, gave up a takedown, escaped, and then won a tie up battle to land a takedown at 0:15 for an 8-4 lead. Neutral to start the third, Thomas scored a takedown and used an armbar for a near fall, before giving up a reversal and being assessed a point for stalling. 40-6 Vikes.

Danylo Hartzler (195), who also missed the Grapple because of illness, took a 6-2 lead after one with three takedowns. In the second, he scored a quick escape and, after a double-leg takedown, wired his man for a pin at the 0:54 mark.

After forfeits to Yussef Zaki (220) and Tom Wilmarth (285), Peter Li (106) surrendering a pin, and a forfeit to Isaac Besrat (113), the final score was 64-12.

Vikings Drop Thriller to Churchill Bulldogs 28-31

Next up was the highly anticipated match with Churchill, which did not disappoint for excitement as the outcome was not determined until the final bout.

Caleb Brenner’s (126) opening bout foreshadowed the remainder of the match. Facing his second county-ranked opponent of the day, Caleb was down 2-4 after one, fighting through a near fall at 1:10 then reversing his opponent at 0:50. Starting neutral in the second, Caleb scored a takedown to tie the score at 4-4. Down to start the third, Caleb went up 6-4 with a nice reversal at 1:42, but then gave up a bout-tying reversal, before getting caught in a headlock for a near fall and a 6-9 decision.

Matthew Lindstrom (132) then faced off against another county-ranked opponent. After a quick shot failed, Matthew tied up with his man, who got under his arms for a takedown and a pin. Colby Fong battled through tie-ups three different times, just missing take down moves of his own and then getting caught for takedowns, to drop a very close 4-8 decision. Arthur Dehareng, faced another county-ranked wrestler, and was down 0-9 before giving up a pin at 0:29. At this point, the Vikes had lost four matches and were down 0-18.

The Vikes then went on a run of their own.

Charlie Imperial (152), cheered on by his father who is a teacher at Churchill (and the rest of the crowd of course), won a 9-6 decision. After giving up a takedown, Charlie escaped then took his man down, before an escape tied the bout at 3-3 after one. A reversal at 0:57 of the second put Charlie up 5-3, and the period ended 5-4 after an escape. Charlie started up in the third and gave up an escape. Another takedown, escape, and takedown in the last 45 seconds secured the win and put the Vikes on the board 3-18.

John Mackall (160) took on a tall county-ranked opponent next. Ties, hand fights, and shots were to no avail in the first, which ended 0-0. John rode his opponent the full second period, just missing several attempts to flip his man to his back, and the match was still tied 0-0. In the third, John started down, scored a reversal in the first ten seconds, then rode out the rest of the period, again just missing on attempts for back points, but securing the 2-0 win. 6-18 Vikings.

Seb Turkewitz kept the streak going. At 0:55 in the first, Seb scored a takedown, then ceded an escape, then scored a single-leg before ceding another escape to lead 4-2 after one. A reversal and three-point near fall put Seb up 9-2 before he gave up a rare reversal then escaped to lead 10-4. Up to start the third, Seb gave up an escape then scored a takedown at 1:40. Seb then locked his opponent in a cradle and appeared to some in the crowd to have the pin at two different points. The referee did not see it that way, however, and awarded Seb three back points when his man finally wriggled out of the grip. A final escape resulted in a 15-6 major for Seb and a 10-18 team score.

Danylo Hartzler next wrestled at 182. Although he could not get ahead of the bout against his county-ranked opponent, Danylo was down 0-10 after a takedown in the third, then escaped to cut the lead to 1-10 and, in the last minute, scored a takedown to drop the margin to 3-10 and avoid the major decision in a match where every team point counted. Vikes down 10-21.

Thomas Santora wrestled up to 195. Taken down with a headlock that became an illegal hold once Thomas was down, he tied the score with an escape at 0:50, then went ahead 4-2 with a takedown at the buzzer. In the second, Thomas ceded an escape but maintained a 4-3 lead. Down in the third, Thomas could not score further points but secured the decision at 4-3, taking the team score to 13-21.

Yussef Zaki (220) then came onto the mat for his first active bout since going down early in the season. Facing a county-ranked opponent, Yussef made short work. A takedown at 1:20 and then a pin at 1:01 put the Vikes within striking distance at 19-21. Welcome back Yussef!

Tom Wilmarth (285) then put the Vikes on top. After several snaps, Tom slid by for a takedown and a 2-0 lead in the first. Tom rode top the entire second period, and chose top again to start the third. Tom had seen something during the second period, as he quickly broke down his man, put him in a wire, and pinned him at 1:45. The Whitman crowd erupted as the Vikes went up 25-21.

Peter Li (106) then battled gamely. Just missing several attempts to defeat shots with whizzers and takedowns of his own, Peter gave up a 4-16 major. At this point, the score was tied 25-25 with two matches to go, and both crowds were loud.

Isaac Besrat (113) faced another county-ranked foe. He fought off an armbar pin attempt for 28 seconds to end the first. Starting the second in the neutral position and down 0-5, Isaac gave up a takedown, then was caught in a half and pinned.

Peyton Casamento (120) then took the mat against a county-ranked opponent knowing that he had to secure a pin to tie the match. Peyton took the match to his opponent. Up 2-0 after a takedown in the first, Peyton fought a shot in the second to land another takedown and go up 4-0. Peyton worked furiously to flip his man to his back, but the Bulldog curled up tightly and at one point was called for stalling, clearly working to avoid a pin. Peyton, exhausted after a week of illness and a furious effort in the second, went up 6-0 with a reversal to start the second, but could not maintain the top. After a reversal and near fall, Peyton came away with an impressive win, a 6-5 decision. Final score, 28-31.

Come out Tuesday night for Senior Night against Wootton, which will be followed by the Battle-of-Bethesda, a tri-meet with B-CC and WJ hosted this year at B-CC, on Saturday February 2. Go Vikes!

By: Tom Mackall

Grapple at the Brook – Varsity Tournament

Difficult Grapple for Depleted Vikings

The Vikings entered the “Grapple at the Brook” rowing against the current, with three weight classes unmanned and missing five varsity wrestlers from the standard dual-meet lineup, and encountered rougher waters through two days of wrestling. They departed the tourney with a combined record of 12-22, having as many wrestlers exit with injuries as those who placed and finishing in the bottom third of the 15 participating teams.

The Springbrook-hosted Grapple is known as a tough tournament, drawing teams from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Howard and PG counties in addition to Montgomery County. The Vikings entered with a reconfigured lineup to accommodate injuries, illness, and other factors. The 11 wrestling Vikes were Peter Li (Fr. 106), Isaac Besrat (So. 113), Peyton Casamento (Jr. 120), Matthew Lindstrom (Sr. 132), Ryan O’Connor (So. 138), Arthur Dehareng (So. 145), Will Macdonald (So. 152), John Mackall (Jr. 160), Sang Bobbitt Hanna (Sr. 170), Seb Turkewitz (Jr. 182), and Tom Wilmarth (Sr. 285). No Vikes wrestled at 126, 195, or 220.

Matthew Lindstrom, seeded fourth with a bye in the first round, was the Vikings’ brightest spot. Matthew led 2-0 after a takedown in the first period of his first bout, then built a 6-2 lead through the second period with takedowns and cuts. In the third, starting from neutral, he scored two more takedowns to finish with a 10-4 victory. After losing by technical fall in the championship semis to the eventual tourney champion, Matthew earned his own technical fall in the consolation semis, with three takedowns, three near falls, an escape and a penalty point for a 15-0 victory. He lost a close match, 6-7, to a Springbrook opponent in the placement round, surrendering a go-ahead takedown with thirty seconds remaining. Overall, Matthew finished 2-2 and earned a fourth-place medal.

Peyton Casamento also shined for the Vikes. Peyton opened strongly by taking a 13-1 lead over his TC Williams opponent before landing the pin at 0:26 in the second. In the championship quarterfinals, he dominated his Sherwood opponent, going up 5-0 after one, using a wire move for a 3-point near fall at the buzzer in the second, then using a half for another near fall in the third and giving up only a last-minute escape for an 11-1 major. In the championship semis, Peyton gave up a takedown in the second to go down 2-1, and started the third in the down position. His Clarksburg opponent, who finished second for the tourney, remarkably rode top for two minutes without any stall warning or points to secure the win. In the consolation semis, Peyton was leading his Cape Henlopen opponent and third-place finisher 2-0 and started the second in the down position, but got caught in a roll for a pin at the 1:00 mark. Peyton won a rematch with Holda from Sherwood in the placement round, but this time with a much closer score of 2-1, the winning points coming from whizzer and cross-face for a takedown in the second. Peyton finished in fifth place with a 3-2 record.

Four Vikes won early-round matches. After going down 0-2 to start his bout, Isaac Besrat (1-2) tied it up with a reversal and then in the second reversed and pinned his opponent at 1:36. Isaac then lost matches to the first-place and third-place winners.

Will Macdonald (2-2) started with a double-leg takedown against his opening opponent from Gaithersburg and never looked back, scoring a 15-4 win. After losing a second-period pin to the tourney’s second-place finisher from Long Reach, Will won the next round by forfeit, before losing 2-13 to the fifth-place finisher in the next consolation round.

Seb Turkewitz (1-2), back in the line-up after only a day of practice since returning from injury, built a 5-1 lead over his opening opponent before using a headlock for a takedown to pin with :06 remaining in the first. Seb then lost a close 0-3 decision to finalist and High-Five teammate Pfeiffer from Sherwood, and a close 2-3 decision in the second consolation round.

Tom Wilmarth (1-2) scored a takedown with a snap in the first period and an escape in the second, for a 3-0 win to open the tourney, before losing his next two bouts.

            Arthur Dehareng (1-2) lost his opening round match, but came back with a pin at 1:07 in the second in the opening consolation round. Sang Bobbitt Hanna (officially 1-2) won his opener by forfeit, before losing to a tourney finalist from Atholton and then forfeiting his next match due to injury. John Mackall (officially 0-2) lost a close match in the opener to third-place finisher, Ramm from Clarksburg, when he surrendered a last-minute takedown breaking a 1-1 tie. John then forfeited his next bout due to injury. Peter Li, in his first Grapple, and Ryan O’Connor, wrestling up a weight class (or even two) in his first grapple, could not get into the win column.

The Vikings get a week of much needed rest, with no action until a tri-meet next Saturday, January 26, against Wheaton and Churchill. The action begins at Churchill at 1:00 pm. On Tuesday, January 29, the Vikings return home against Wootton. The Tuesday match is Senior Night, so please make a special effort to come to the match to honor the 12 Senior Viking Wrestlers. Go Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Viking @ Magruder

Vikings Pull Away From Magruder

            In a match marked with several forfeits and some close bouts, the Vikings handled a talented Magruder team, pulling away through the middle weights for a 47-20 victory.  Next up is the Grapple at the Brook on Friday and Saturday.

            The first bout of the night was at heavyweight, with Tom Wilmarth taking on Caleb Taylor, who was a Maplewood football teammate of several boys at Whitman. This match started with the Vikings up 12-6 after Magruder forfeits at 182 (Thomas Santora) and 195 (Yussef Zaki), and a Vikings forfeit at 220. The first period was full of snaps, but no points. Wilmarth rode Taylor the entire second period and scored a quick escape in the third. That point was the margin of victory, 1-0, and put the Vikings up 15-6.

Magruder then won three in a row. Peter Li lost by technical fall, 0-15. Isaac Besrat shot, was tied up in a whizzer, then rolled for a takedown as the boys hit the mat for a 2-0 lead at the end of the second, but surrendered a last-minute near fall to lose 2-3. Joseph Aron (120) was pinned by Iqbal, ranked second in the county. At this point, the Vikes trailed 15-20.

Peyton Casamento wrestled up at 126 and stemmed the tide. He battled through whizzers against his takedown shots in the first and second to go up 4-0 after two, then did a sit-turn for a reversal in the third to win 6-0. After a forfeit at 132 (Sean Mitchel), the Vikings were back on top 24-20.

Matthew Lindstrom (138) then won a major decision. Matthew scored a single leg takedown in the first minute, cut his opponent, then scored another takedown with an ankle sweep and flipped his opponent to his back for a two-point near fall and a 6-1 lead. An illegal hold put him up 7-1 in the second. Starting the third down, he switched quickly for a reversal and finally rolled for a near fall with thirty seconds remaining and an 11-1 victory. Vikings up 28-20.

Colby Fong continued his streak of strong wrestling. Colby went up 2-0 with the first takedown, then scored a near fall, but gave up a reversal just before the buzzer for a 4-2 lead. After being reversed, Colby’s opponent tried to defeat his escape attempt by lifting and throwing him to the mat, but Colby turned into him and took him to the mat for a reversal and a two-point near fall. A late stall call put the score at 8-5. Colby’s opponent ceded neutral to start the third, Colby then defeated a shot and won the take down, before scoring a two-point near fall for a 13-5 lead. The major was not to be, however, as his opponent scored a reversal and near fall at the end of the period, bringing the final to 13-10. After a forfeit at 152 (Charlie Imperial), the Vikes led 37-20.

John Mackall then won a major decision. Up 4-1 at the end of the first with two takedowns, John rode his opponent the entire second period and scored a near-fall at the buzzer for a 6-1 lead. Starting down in the third, John was ceded an escape, then scored another takedown for a 9-1 lead and the major decision. Seng Bobbitt Hanna won by forfeit at 170, making the final score 47-20.

Six JV Vikes got on the mat next. Ryan Darby (106) used a half to flip his opponent to his back for a first-minute pin. Kevin Zarin was up 4-1 at the end of the first, then used a cradle for a near fall and a 6-1 lead before using a half to pin his opponent at the 0:55 mark in the second. Sam Mindell turned into his opponent for a reversal to narrow the gap to 2-4, but gave up a reversal to lose a 2-6 decision. Will Macdonald led 5-0 after one with a double-leg takedown and a near fall when he could not secure the pin before the buzzer. In the second, he scored a quick escape, then turned a fine sprawl and cross-face into a takedown, and secured a pin at the 0:53 mark. Danylo Hartzler wrestled at larger opponent at 220, gave up a second period pin. Ben Mickum then served up a low-scoring overtime win to end the evening. After a scoreless first, Ben gave up an escape and was down 1-0 after the second. Ben evened the match with his own escape in the third. Three overtime periods passed with no scoring, but in the fourth overtime Ben’s work to escape forced an illegal hold, which he overcame with an escape in any event, and a final score of 2-1.

The Grapple at the Brook is another classic double-elimination tournament and will feature teams from within and outside the region. Qualifying rounds begin at 4:00 pm on Friday at Springbrook High School. Quarterfinals are scheduled to start at 6:00 and first round consolations at 8:00 pm. On Saturday, championship semis start at 9:30 am, followed by five consolation rounds before the championship round scheduled for 3:30 pm. Go Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Viking vs. Paint Branch

Vikings Edge Paint Branch

            Sparked by three pins and a timely victory by Thomas Santora wrestling up at 220, the Vikings held off a good Paint Branch team and prevailed 36-33.

            After a Paint Branch pin of Peter Li at 106, Isaac Besrat battled up from a 1-9 deficit in the third to avoid the major, but the Vikes were down 0-9.

            Peyton Casamento (120) came out very strong, taking his opponent down with a double leg and putting him right onto his back and into a pin at 1:35 to put the Vikes on the board at 6-9.

            Caleb Brenner (126) fell just short of turning several shots into takedowns and was decisioned 5-12 before Matthew Lindstrom was awarded a forfeit at 132, to tie the score at 12-12.

            Colby Fong (138) wasted little time taking down his opponent and using a cradle for near fall and 5-0 lead, then using a half for a pin at 1:00. Vikings up 18-12.

            At 145, Arthur Dehareng made the best of his varsity debut. Twice in the first period he shot a single leg then grabbed the second leg for takedowns. He defeated a switch attempt after the second takedown to hold a 4-1 lead at the end of the first. He cut his opponent free after starting up in the second, then after a single-leg shot stepped back for another takedown and a 6-2 lead. His opponent fought back to 6-5 with an escape and take down before Arthur reversed with five seconds remaining for an 8-5 lead. Starting down in the third, Arthur fought off several attempts to flip him with a half, and scored an escape at 1:33 for a 9-5 lead that Arthur maintained to the end. Vikings up 21-12.

            Charlie Imperial (152) dropped a 3-10 decision, before Will Macdonald took the mat at 160. After surrendering the first take down, Will tied it up with a reversal in the first. After another reversal to start the second, Will used a power half for a pin at 1:27. Vikes up 27-15.

            Paint Branch surprisingly did not put a wrestler on the mat at 170 against John Mackall. After that forfeit, the crowd was pleased to see Sang Bobbitt Hanna on the mat for his first bout of the season after a knee injury, but Sang succumbed to a pin from his county-ranked opponent at 0:42 in the first. When Danylo Hartzler was also pinned in the first period, the score stood at 33-27 with two bouts remaining.

Thomas Santora delivered in the clutch. Thomas got behind his opponent, lifted and took him to the mat then surrendered a quick escape at the end of the first for a 2-1 lead. Starting up in the second, he gave up an escape, but then slid behind his opponent for another takedown at 0:50 and rode top to the buzzer for a 4-2 lead. Another similar takedown in the third gave Thomas a 6-2 lead and a cushion that a final-second reversal could not overcome. With the 6-4 victory, the Vikes were up 36-27 and clinched the win.  The final score was 36-33 after Tom Wilmarth was pinned by Paint Branch’s third county-ranked wrestler.

The JV Vikes wrestled simultaneously, so their performances weren’t covered, but the respective weight distributions of the teams apparently resulted in a number of intra-squad matches.

Next up, the Vikings travel Wednesday to Magruder for a 6:15 dual, followed by the Grapple at the Brook tourney at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring on Friday and Saturday. Go Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Viking @ Kennedy

Vikings Prevail In Forfeit-Filled Kennedy Match

            Against a Kennedy team that put only four wrestlers on the mat, the Whitman Vikings won big, 66-13. The wrestlers that took the mat for Kennedy, however, gave the Vikes a handful.

            Ten Vikings won by forfeit: Isaac Besrat (113), Peyton Casamento (120), Caleb Brenner (126), Matthew Lindstrom (132), Colby Fong (145), Seng Bobbitt Hanna (170), Thomas Santora (182), Danylo Hartzler (195), Yussef Zaki (220), and Tom Wilmarth (Hwt).

            Charlie Imperial (152) dominated his opponent and won by pin. After a quick double-leg takedown, Charlie held a cradle for nearly 30 seconds, but could not secure the pin. He broke the hold for three points, then claimed another near fall at the end of the period. In the second period he used a single leg and high crotch for a takedown and 10-0 lead, before using a half for the pin at the 1:20 mark.

Stephanie Solosso made her varsity debut at 132. Down 0-7 after a snap take down in the second, Stephanie reversed and nearly pinned her opponent, before being reversed for a 5-9 deficit. Starting up in the third, Stephanie claimed another near fall to narrow the gap to 8-9, but was reversed as she attempted to roll out. Two more near falls led to an 8-16 final.

John Mackall (160) was tied 7-7 late in the third, but his opponent won the last-ditch takedown struggle for a 7-9 decision. 

Peter Li could not escape his opponent’s double-armbar move, and was pinned at 1:30 in the second.

On Saturday, the Vikes host a perennially strong Paint Branch team, which has three county-ranked wrestlers at the upper weights. The match starts at 1:00 pm in the Whitman gym. Come out and support the Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Varsity Patriot Classic Tournament

Vikes Place Sixth at Patriot Classic

            Led by Tom Wilmarth’s third-place finish, six other placers, and at least one victory by every Whitman wrestler, the Vikings placed sixth among 22 teams competing in the 26th annual Patriot Classic at Northern High School (which is in southern Maryland). The Vikes have four days’ rest before their dual meet on Thursday, January 10, at 6:15 at Kennedy.

            Whitman has participated in the Patriot Classic in Owings, MD, in Calvert County for several years. It draws teams primarily from PG County and southern Maryland and serves amazing crab soup at the concession, the best bargain of the season. This year, the tourney drew 22 teams and 18 Maryland-state-ranked wrestlers.

Wrestlers who lose before the championship semi-finals must win 2 or 3 consolation rounds to advance to the consolation semi-finals, from which winners will vie in the consolation finals for place 3-4 and losers for 5-6. Wrestlers who lost in the championship semi-finals have consolation byes until the semi-final round. This format assures every wrestler at least two bouts, and some may wrestle as many as six matches over the two days. Individual wrestlers receive medals for places one through four in each weight class, and teams earn points based upon wins, types of wins, and advancement.

            As a team, the Vikings compiled a 33-24 overall record, secured one third-place, three fourth-place, two fifth-place, and one sixth-place finishes, and had every wrestler win at least one bout. This showing earned the Vikings 123.5 team points, placing it behind only St. Mary’s Ryken, Sherwood, Broadneck, Northern, and Lackey.

            Tom Wilmarth (HWT) was 4-1, and placed third, with his only loss to tourney champion Christian Bryant from Eleanor Roosevelt in PG County. Tom led the entire way in his first bout, winning 5-2 against an opponent from Lackey. Tom sprawled and spun for a takedown, then ran a half to a pin in 38 seconds to down his quarterfinal opponent (Oxon Hill). Tom just missed a fireman’s carry move in the semis, which his opponent turned into a takedown and a wire move to a pin. In a rematch against his first opponent in the consolation semis, Tom again dominated start to finish for a 5-1 decision, nearly pinning his opponent with a cradle in the second. In the consolation finals, Tom was down 0-2 going into the third, but landed a takedown then nailed a pin in the second against his Surrattsville opponent.

            Peyton Casamento (120) also wrestled into the championship semifinals where he lost to the tourney champion, Evan Eldridge of St. Mary’s Ryken, and ended with a 4th-place finish and a 3-2 record. In the opening round, Peyton took a headlock to a pin in 27 seconds. In the quarters, he made a quick takedown then caught his opponent in the middle of an attempted sit turn for a fall with :09 remaining in the first. After losing by fall, Peyton went to a 10-0 lead on a near fall at the end of the second period and won a 12-5 major decision against a Broadneck opponent in the consolation semifinals. In the consolation finals, Peyton faced a Lackey wrestler, who may be the tallest 120-pounder out there, and was caught with a takedown and pin in the waning seconds of the second period.

Colby Fong (138) had a strong tourney, placing fourth by winning four and losing two, his first to a state-ranked Broadneck wrestler who placed second in the tourney and his last to state-ranked Sam Ewing of Sherwood. Colby was tied 5-5 going into the third period of his opening match, and very nearly escaped from the down position, but was rolled into a 3-point near fall to lose 5-8. In his second match against an opponent from Northern, Colby came out aggressively, scored a first-period takedown, then used a high half for a pin in the second. Next, Colby dominated a Chopticon opponent, allowing only an escape and winning a major 9-1. Colby followed that with a technical fall over a McDonough opponent, going up 6-0 after the first. With a 14-0 lead after a near fall, Colby cut his opponent then scored a quick takedown to go up 16-1 for the tech fall. Facing a state-ranked Bowie wrestler in the finals, Colby went down 1-2, but then turned the match around for a 6-3 lead before taking a half to a pin with 1:02 remaining.

Thomas Santora (182) also had a 4-2 record and a fourth-place finish. Thomas won his opening match (St. Mary’s Ryken), going up 6-2 at the end of the first, 8-3 after the second, and reversing his opponent in the third for a 10-3 decision. Thomas was up 2-1 in the third period of his next match after reversing his C.H.Flowers opponent, but gave up a late reversal to lose 2-3.  Undeterred, Thomas shutout his next opponent (Wise HS) 5-0 with two takedowns and an escape, dominated his Lackey opponent for a 7-3 win, then pinned his Broadneck opponent in the second period of the consolation semifinals. He could not get untracked against his Bowie opponent in the finals, however, and lost 3-8.

Second-year wrestler Charlie Imperial (152) showed his high ceiling, going 4-2 with a fifth-place finish. Charlie’s first and last bouts were against Marc Kemgang from Sherwood, and he won both decisively. In the first bout, he survived a near fall in the second period when he missed a switch attempt, but then scored a reversal and a two-point near fall at the end of the period, then pulled away in the third for an 11-4 decision. Charlie’s second bout was a high scoring rumpus that could have gone either way. Down 8-12 to start the third period with gauze wrapped around his face to stem a nosebleed, Charlie took advantage of superior conditioning to reverse his Frederick Douglass opponent and then cut and took him down in succession to tie at 14 then go down 14-15, with some confusion as to whether he should have been awarded additional points. When his opponent was called for a second stall with 15 seconds left, the match tied 15-15 and went to overtime. In overtime, Charlie’s opponent surprised with a burst for a double-leg take down and near fall, for a 15-19 final. Charlie followed this pin in the second period using a power half against his opponent from Patuxent, and another second-period pin against an opponent from Wise. Charlie then went up 4-1 but lost by fall late in the second period against Northern in the consolation semi-finals.

John Mackall (160) battled through a tough seeding draw for a 4-2 record and a fifth-place finish. John lost his first match by fall in the third to a state-ranked St. Mary’s Ryken wrestler, who lost in the championship finals to another state-ranked wrestler. Against his next opponent, John led 5-1 after the second with a reversal, takedown and point for illegal hold. His opponent escaped to start the third but John snapped and circled for a takedown and a 7-2 final score. John then wrestled the top-seeded wrestler in the bracket, went up 2-0 from an illegal hold and an escape in the second, and then rode top the entire third for the win. John pinned his next opponent (Duval) in the second period by getting under a takedown attempt, putting him on his back, and using his legs to secure the pin.  John was up 4-0 after a reversal to start the second period of this next match (Northern), but got caught in a cradle for a fall. John won his final match against Frederick Douglass in another low scoring affair, where he went up 4-2 with a reversal in the third, then allowed an escape at the buzzer to win 4-3.

Will Macdonald (170) posted a 3-3 record and placed sixth. Will opened quickly, scoring a single leg and put his Oxon Hill opponent on his back for a pin in 35 seconds. He lost his next (Northern) by fall in the third. He bounced back with a pin early in the second against McDonough. Next, leading 9-3 in the third, he pinned his Great Mills opponent with 0:34 remaining. Will was then pinned by state ranked Higazi of Sherwood in the consolation semi-finals. He battled strong against his Duval opponent in the finals, going up 3-2 in the second, and then down 3-5 in the third after cutting his opponent, but surrendered a takedown for the 3-7 final.

Every wrestler won at least one match. 

Peter Li (1-2, 106) won his opening bout against Calvert. Down 0-2 after an initial takedown, Peter proceeded to score a reversal, two takedowns, and an escape to win 9-3. 

Isaac Besrat (1-2, 113) won his second match 7-3 after leading wire-to-wire over Broadneck.

Caleb Brenner (2-2, 126) opened scoring in his first match with a double leg takedown at the 0:32 mark, then cradled his Lackey opponent for a pin at the end of the first period. That earned him the right to wrestle top-seeded highly ranked Blake Jury of St. Mary’s Ryken, who pinned Caleb in the second period. Caleb came back with a strong performance, leading 11-5 in the third then taking a half to a pin his opponent (Wise) at 1:17.

Matthew Lindstrom (2-2, 132) started the tourney by sweeping the ankle of his opponent (Eleanor Roosevelt) and taking him to a cradle for a pin in 32 seconds. As with Caleb, Matthews opening win pitted him then against a highly ranked and the top seeded wrestler, who won 3-14. Matthew returned to form next match, leading 7-1 after three takedowns, and then using an armbar to a near fall for a 10-1 lead then pinning his opponent (Frederick Douglass) at 0:11 in the second. After a second-period takedown against his next opponent (Wise), Matthew was up 4-1, but was reversed and got caught for a fall.

Danylo Hartzler (195, 1-2) won his second match by pin. He began second period in the down position, then switched, caught his opponent (Calvert), and put him right to his back for the pin at :09.

The Vikings’ competitiveness and sportsmanship was on display throughout the well-run tournament. In several brackets, the Vikes encountered wrestlers that showed a standard to which they need to develop if they want to progress to the state tournament at the end of the year.  The more time the team gets against great competition, the bigger the dividends at the end of the year.

Keep coming out to support the Vikes and watch this team develop.

Vikings Lose to Talented Springbrook Team

            Fresh off winter break, missing several wrestlers, including Captains Max Gersch and Yousef Zaki to injury, and facing a seasoned Springbrook team with 11 county-ranked wrestlers, a young Whitman lineup went down 12-64 on Wednesday night.

            Several bouts looked as though they could go either way, but Danylo Hartzler, a first-year varsity wrestler, delivered the brightest performance of the evening. Danylo missed a shot in the first round, which the Springbrook wrestler turned into a takedown and an 0-2 lead at the end of the period. Danylo took the down position to start the second, and at 1:25 reversed his opponent and took him right into a near fall. After some micro-adjustments, he secured the pin at 0:42.

            Colby Fong lost an exciting bout in overtime. Tied 0-0 after the first, Colby took a 3-0 lead after the second with an escape and single-leg takedown. Colby was reversed and taken to a near fall to go down 3-4, but quickly reversed for a 5-4 lead, only to be reversed again to go down 5-6. Springbrook was called a second time for stalling at 0:10, which tied the bout. In overtime, Colby took the initiative and appeared to land a double leg takedown, but was flipped by his opponent, who was awarded the takedown and a sudden death victory.

            The JV team wrestled on a second mat at the same time as varsity, so I could not follow those bouts. What was most impressive, however, was the size the respective JV squads, which provided bouts for many wrestlers and bodes a bright future for both programs.

By Tom Mackall

Vikings @ Richard Montgomery

Vikings Pull Away for Convincing Win over Richard Montgomery

            After spotting the Richard Montgomery Rockets to a 12-point lead through the lower weights, the Vikings turned the tables and dominated the upper weights to register a 54-21 victory. With a grueling weekend at the Musselman Duals and three victories in three days this week, the Vikes will get some much needed rest over the holiday break before getting back on the mat to practice for their home match against a strong Springbrook team on Wednesday, January 2.

            Peter Li led off the match facing Montgomery County’s fourth-ranked 106-pound wrestler. After a close first period ended with Peter down 0-2, RM scored a quick reversal in the second and finished with a pin. Vikings down 0-6.

            Isaac Besrat (113) took a tough opponent the distance.  Down 1-4 after the first period, he rode top the entire second period and had the bout within reach at 2-4 when he scored an escape at 1:48 in the third. After being taken down and escaping with 30 seconds remaining, Isaac was unable to close the gap and lost 3-6.  Vikings down 0-9.

 Peyton Casamento (120) continued his strong return to the mat, scoring a single-leg takedown in the first five seconds, then using a barb wire move to pin his opponent at 0:49.  Gap closed to 6-9.

Caleb Brenner (126), back from injury, went up 4-1 after two periods, very nearly pinning his opponent with a roll at 1:40 in the second.  He got caught with a move in the third period, however, and gave up a pin.  Vikings down 6-15.

Sean Mitchell (132) fell short after an exciting third period.  Down 2-4, Sean reversed to tie at 1:54.  After a reversal, a 2-point near fall, and another reversal, Sean was on top but down two points with 38 seconds remaining.  He nearly missed several attempts at back points, however, and fell short 6-8.  Vikings down 6-18.

Next to wrestle was Colby Fong (145) following a forfeit to Matthew Lindstrom at 138. Colby wrestled aggressively, taking his opponent down in 15 seconds then using a half to a pin at 1:06. With Colby’s pin, the Vikes tied the match 18-18.

Charlie Imperial (152) then gave the Vikes the lead, which they would hold the rest of the match. Charlie was up 7-1 at the end of the first period, just missing a pin at the buzzer. He rode from the up position in the second period, and scored a pin at 0:36.  Vikes up 24-18.

RM moved their 152-lb. county-ranked wrestler up to wrestle Max Gersch at 160. Max was caught with a bear hug take down and near fall at about 0:35 in the first and was down 1-4 after an escape near the end of the period. With a reversal at 1:34, Max was down 3-4, but could not quite secure back points on several tilt attempts before RM escaped at 0:58. Wrestling up in the third, Max again fell short on tilts. A reversal, escape, and take down in the last 25 seconds resulted in a 4-9 loss.  Vikes up 24-21.

John Mackall (170) ended the first period up 2-0 and escaped from down at 1:48 in the second for a 3-0 lead. A successful chin and wing took his opponent down and nailed a pin at 1:10.  30-21 Vikes.

Will Macdonald (182) followed suit.  With a 2-0 lead going into the second, he started up, scored a near fall at 1:22, and then secured the pin.  Vikings 36-21.

Danylo Hartzler turned in the most exciting bout of the afternoon.  Down quickly 0-5 from a headlock takedown and near fall, Danylo wriggled off his back and scored a reversal and a barbed wire for a near fall.  All this happened in the first minute of the bout.  Nearly reversed again, Danylo defeated a switch attempt, then secured his opponent’s head and arm and laid the pin with 48 seconds remaining in the first. 

Thomas Santora then continued the team streak of the day and his personal streak at 220. Up 5-0 at the end of the first after using a reverse half for a near fall, Thomas used a bear hug for a takedown at 1:37 of the second. An arm bar then rolled his opponent over, resulting in a pin about 25 seconds later. Tom Wilmarth then won by forfeit.  Vikings win 54-21.

Once again, the JV Vikings followed up the varsity Vikings with a strong outing of their own, winning 30-11. After Rian O’Connor lost his opening bout 2-10, Jack Morris used a headlock for a takedown in the first five seconds, then never relinquished his hold and scored the pin at 1:19. Anh Le then won a decision 8-6, ceding an escape and going down one to start the third, but then landing two takedowns for the win. Kevin Zarin just missed a first-period pin, and ceded an escape to start the third and go down 2-3. From there, he took his opponent down and used a half to a pin at 0:14. Joseph Aron nearly escaped a pin in the first period, and fought his way back steadily from a 2-6 deficit and ran a half to a three-point near fall in the third to win 7-6. Sam Mindell took his opponent the distance again, but lost a decision. Stephanie Solloso continued her strong year, taking down her opponent and then cradling for a pin at 1:10 in the first. Jimmy Ostler fell just short, losing a 4-7 decision. Henry Sowells ended the evening using a half to pin his opponent midway through the second in a match where both wrestlers’ head gear popped off at the same time at one point. Two Vikings, Mohamed Diallo and Logan Eure, wrestled an exhibition against each other, with Logan pinning Mohamed with one second left in the second.

Wishing everyone a very relaxing, joyful, and safe holiday break.  Be ready to come out and support the team AT HOME against Springbrook on January 2 at 6:15 pm.

By Tom Mackall