Author Archives: Nina Fenton

State Tournament: Fenton Injured, He and Bamberger Medal


Four Walt Whitman High School senior wrestlers competed in the 2016 3A/4A Maryland State Wrestling Tournament at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro on March 4 and 5: James Bamberger at 132 pounds, Mitch Fenton at 152 pounds, Marcos Solloso at 170 pounds and Ezra Alexander at 182 pounds. They all had earned the right to compete by finishing in the top four of their weight classes at the 3A/4A West Region Tournament a week earlier. While experiencing some of the team’s toughest competition of the season, they were supported by a vocal contingent of present and former Whitman wrestlers and their families.

The State Tournament is a double elimination event in which only those wrestlers who stay undefeated can remain in the championship bracket and contend for first or second place, while wrestlers experiencing a loss go into a “consolation” bracket and contend for places three through six. There is a sixteen wrestler championship bracket for each of the fourteen weight classes, comprised of the four top finishers in each of the four Maryland regional tournaments, and organized so that each of four groupings within the sixteen person bracket consists of a first, a second, a third and a fourth place finisher from the four different regions, with firsts initially pitted against fourths and seconds initially pitted against thirds.

Theretofore undefeated Mitch Fenton, the top seed from the West Region, pinned his first opponent in the second period. He had a tight second bout with the ultimate third place finisher in his weight class, Huntingtown’s Gino Sita, but prevailed 4-3. Then came a match with the undefeated Robert Doetsch of Dundalk (32-0), first seed from the North Region, in which Mitch went down with an injury to his side. After an injury delay, he persevered but came up short by a score of 6-5, for his first loss of the season. Mitch tried to go forward in the consolation bracket against Damascus’ Brendon Parent, versus whom he had a 2-0 record this season, but was in too much pain to do so, and the match was stopped before the first period was over. Even after forfeiting, Mitch was entitled to sixth place.

James Bamberger won his first match against the second seed from the East Region but then lost a bout with Stephen Decatur’s Andy McKahan, the first seed from the South Region, who ultimately finished second in the 132 pound weight class. In the consolation bracket, James decisioned B-CC’s Seamus Selmi; benefited from a forfeit by the injured Kyle McDonald of Oakdale; lost to Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence, the West Region’s top seed; and then went into the match to decide the fifth and sixth places, decisively beating Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Ricky Bryant (second seed from the South Region) by 9-4 to capture the fifth place medal.

Marcos Solloso opened with a 7-2 win over Wyatt Thompson of Broadneck , but then lost 5-3 to the first seed from the North Region, Oakdale’s Ryan Shubert. In the consolation bracket Marcos lost another close match, 6-5, to Blake Evans of North Point High School, eliminating him from competition.

Ezra Alexander lost his first match to the North Region’s second seed, Urbana’s Kevin Makosy, and went into the consolation bracket, where he won his first match over Northwest High School’s Ike Ogwegbu. But then Ezra lost to the East Region second seed, Tom Gomez of Bel Air (40-4), and he too was eliminated from competition.

To celebrate the end of a successful wrestling season, the Whitman Wrestling Team, coaches and families will gather at the River Falls Clubhouse at 5 p.m. next Sunday, March 13, for the Team’s annual banquet.

By Craig Bamberger

Fenton Wins Fourth Regional Championship; Whitman Sends Four Wrestlers to State Tournament


Four senior Whitman wrestlers placed in the top three of their respective weight classes at the Regional Tournament held at Sherwood High School February 26-27:  Mitch Fenton took first place in the 152 pound class, his FOURTH Regional championship;  Marcos Solloso finished second at 170 pounds; and 132 pound James Bamberger and 182 pound Ezra Alexander each captured third place.

Mitch Fenton won first place by decking all of his three opponents in a combined total of about seven minutes.  In the championship match he pinned the number two seed, Damascus’ Brendan Parent, in just over one minute, extending his undefeated season record to 38-0.  Mitch is the first wrestler in the long history of the Whitman wrestling program to earn four regional championships!

In total, nine Whitman wrestlers competed in the Regional Tournament; 145 pound senior wrestler Hamoon Shokoohinia qualified to participate but was unable to do so because of injury. In the overall team scoring, Whitman came in fourth among the twenty-five schools competing. In addition to the aforementioned region place winners and state qualifiers, Whitman also had four additional wrestlers who qualified for the region tournament by earning a top 8 amount of points within our 25 team region. They include sophomore Clark Boinis (113 lbs), Senior Braedan McKee(160 lbs), Sophomore John Luke Iglesias (195 pounds), and Senior Jacob Winch (220 lbs).  Senior Chris Habibian (106 lbs) had also been named as an alternate.

Marcos Solloso had a scrambling, back and forth championship bout with Poolesville’s Justin Budd, whom Marcos had pinned at the very end of an equally fierce match during Whitman’s dual with Poolesville earlier in the season.  Tron Carter, who does the Montgomery County blog for the Maryland State Wrestling Association, wrote that this “might have been the match of the tourney.”  But this time it was Budd who came out on top, with a close 9-7 decision.

James Bamberger had dropped a match to Damascus’ Ryan Lawrence, the ultimate 132 pound champion, but James fought his way back through the consolation brackets to a third place finish, pinning, in fifty seconds, B-CC’s Seamus Selmi, who already had upset the number two seed in this tournament and the number one seed in the Montgomery County Tournament a week earlier

In like manner, Ezra Alexander had lost a decision early on to Paint Branch’s Austin Smith, but he successfully wrestled back, pinning Damascus’ Elijah Baisden in the first period of their match and then avenging his earlier loss to Smith by decisioning him 5-2 in the consolation final, to capture third place in the tournament.

All four wrestlers thereby qualified to compete in the State of Maryland 3A/4A public school tournament to be held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro on March 4 and 5.  The brackets for the State Tournament have been seeded and can be accessed via the article, “State Wrestling Tournament Seeded and Ready to Roll on Friday and Saturday!!”, at

By Derek Manon


Fenton is County Champion, Three Other Whitman Wrestlers Medal at County Tournament


Four Whitman senior wrestlers placed at the 2016 Montgomery County Tournament held at Gaithersburg High School on February 20. Mitch Fenton took first place in the 152 pound class, defeating Damascus’ Brendon Parent 8-1 in the championship match, and in the process extending his unbeaten season record to 34-0. Marcos Solloso at 170 pounds captured a medal for second place, losing in the final round to Damascus’ Ben Lokos. Whitman’s other medalists were 132 pound James Bamberger and 182 pound Ezra Alexander, both of whom took fourth place in their weight classes. In the overall team scores for the tournament Whitman, which entered only nine wrestlers in the competition, came sixth among the twenty-five competing high schools.

Eight Whitman wrestlers have qualified to participate in the 3A/4A Regional Tournament to be held at Sherwood High School February 26-27. The top four finishers in that tournament for each weight class will go forward to compete in the Maryland State Tournament March 4-5.

At the County JV Tournament on February 13, two Whitman wrestlers medaled. Sophomore James Mackall, wrestling at 126 pounds, won second place, and senior Tony Rangel placed third at 220 pounds.

The Whitman varsity squad finished the regular season with a record of 11-2. Their match with Clarksburg, rescheduled for February 12 after snow conditions had compelled postponement from the original date, ultimately had to be cancelled when weather conditions forced the closure of Montgomery County Schools on that day. In the most recent (February 19) rankings by the Maryland State Wrestling Association, Walt Whitman is ranked as the 12th best public or private high school wrestling team in the State of Maryland (in a tie with Glenelg).

By Craig Bamberger