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Vikings Get Past a Tough Wheaton Squad 53 – 25

Fresh off a victory over Blake and one day of rest, the Vikings faced a tough but shorthanded Wheaton squad winning again to improve their record to 9 – 3. This was the last home meet for the Vikings and as tradition dictates, it was senior appreciation night. Recognized for their achievements and dedication were seniors Conner Barrett, Grant Beske, Jonah Brain, Chris Boinis, Kevin Cullinane, Captain Matthew McClanahan, Nick Panlibuton, Shabnam Parsa, Cyrus Sobhani and Captain Evan Smith. We wish them good luck and good health as they enter the next phase of their young lives.

The matches started at 113 with Chris Habibian losing 10 – 6 after and an exhausting back and forth match. Chris scored a reversal at the end of the match but was unable to turn his opponent. At 120, James Mackall fought off two pinning attempts but eventually lost 14 – 0. Andrew Shiman was out of the lineup due to illness so in his place was Shabnam Parsa wrestling her first varsity match. Shabnam was pinned in the first period. James Bamberger once again had to face a very tough wrestler in second ranked Xavier Howard. James was pinned in the second period. The Vikings were now down 0 – 19 going into the 138 weight class. Cyrus Sobhani wrestled well taking a 20 – 5 tech fall decision but appeared exhausted after the match and excused himself due to illness. Way to hang in there Cyrus! We needed that win. Hamoon Shokoohinia made quick work of his opponent pinning him in just 23 seconds. The momentum was beginning to turn until Kevin Cullinane suffered a surprising pin in the second period wrestling at 152. At 160, Marcos Solloso got things back on track with a pin of his own in less than one minute. The Vikings were now trailing by a score of 17 – 25 but received four consecutive forfeits from Wheaton. Comfortably ahead now 41 – 25, Jacob Winch took the mat in the heavyweight division and handily pinned his opponent in the first period. The final match of the day pitted Freshman Clark Boinis against another young Wheaton wrestler. Clark won by pin ending the scoring at 53 – 25. It bears noting that even without the forfeits, the Vikings would have won the dual. This is important considering how many starters were absent from the typical lineup due to sickness or injury.

Vikings Bounce Back with Win Against Blake

After suffering back to back losses against Damascus and Northwest at this past weekend’s Tri-Meet, the Vikings bounced back with a nice win over Blake 64 – 15 on Monday. Once again, the Vikings wrestled on just one days rest due to an oddly, some would say, unfairly “back loaded” schedule. The Vikings ranks are being quickly depleted due to injury and illness but they stood strong and took down the Tigers showing great resiliency.

The matches opened up at 145 pitting two county ranked wrestlers against one another. Hamoon Shokoohinia lost a close decision to Tyler Nine 7–5. After the close decision, the Vikings went on a rampage and recorded 9 straight wins. At 152, Kevin Cullinane recorded a decisive 9–1 major decision. Then, Marcos Solloso, Ezra Alexander and Captain Matthew McClanahan each recoded wins by pin. Making his varsity debut at 195, freshman John Luc Iglesias wrestling for Zach Salem Mackall who suffered a chest injury against Damascus won his first match by forfeit. Jonah Brain back from his injury also won by forfeit. Jacob Winch, wrestling at heavyweight in place of John Vipulis who suffered a season ending knee injury against Damascus, won by pin in the third period. Nice job Jacob! At 106 and 113, Chris Habibian and Clark Boinis both won by pin. James Mackall continued improving but lost by pin in the 3rd period after putting up a fierce battle. Freshman Andrew Shiman bounced back from a disappointing showing at the Tri-Meet with a nice pin in the second period. At 132, James Bamberger took a win by forfeit. Rounding out the afternoon was Cyrus Sobhani who lost by pin in the second period.

Unfortunately injuries and illnesses are mounting for the Vikings and going into the latter part of their season, they are missing a significant number of starters from their lineup. Let’s hope for speedy recoveries in time for counties and regional competitions.

Exhausted Vikings Succumb to Northwest and Damascus in Tri-Meet

The schedule and injury/illness certainly has done no favors for the Viking wrestling team as they enter the back end of their heretofore successful season. The Vikings weren’t able to wrestle at the level they needed to against an excellent Northwest team and lost 47–19. Try as they might, there just didn’t seem to be enough fuel in the tank to win the close matches that were necessary to win as a team. The matches started at 182 where Captain Matthew McClanahan won a major decision 12–4, highlighted by a textbook switch in the second period. Up next was Zach Salem Mackall facing a wrestler that he beat at the Grapple. The match was tied 1–1 until the final seconds of the third period when Zach was taken down for two points the other way. Weighing a solid 180 but wrestling at 225, Jonah Brain was just giving up too much weight to the number one ranked 225 in the county and got pinned in the first period. At heavyweight, John Vipulis lost another close match 1–0 after not being able to escape from the bottom position in third period. With the exception of their 225 powerhouse, it is the lighter weights where Northwest really shines and they showed that against the Vikings. Northwest recorded five out of six wins, 3 by pin and 1 by major decision. The exception to the run was James Bamberger at 132 who shocked his opponent with a first period pin. A matchup on note was Freshman Andrew Shiman against Senior Dell Ngonga which Dell who won 4–0. Even though he wrestled up in weight, Dell’s experience against our talented young freshman was the difference in the match.   At 145, Hamoon Shokoohinia wrestled well performing a nice tilt at the end of the first period against his opponent and then pinning him in the third. At 152, Kevin Cullinane wrestled in place of Captain Mitch Fenton out due to illness and put up a heck of a fight against his opponent but lost by major decision 10–2. Marcos Solloso faced the same Northwest wrestler that he “majored” at the Grapple but rode a little too high after a take down and was caught with a head dump and ultimately pinned early in his match. Rounding out the competition against Northwest was Ezra Alexander at 170 who manhandled his opponent for a 4–0 win. The Vikings had their chances but injury, illness and lack of rest seemed to have caught up with them against Northwest resulting in a disappointing loss.

After losing to Northwest, the Vikings had the unenviable task of facing possibly the most talented team from top to bottom in the state – the Hornets of Damascus. The Hornets boast top county contenders at 12 of the 14 weight classes. The Hornets did not disappoint their home crowd winning every single match against the Vikings finishing the day was a score of 68–0. This was the first time in recent memory that the Vikings failed to score a single point in a dual or Tri-Meet competition. The matches started at 195 and as expected, the Vikings (Zach Salem Mackall, Jonah Brain and John Vipulus) wrestled tough but lost on points for the first three matched.   When the light weight classes took the mat, the crowd was witness to an impressively strong lineup of county, regional and state champions and placers. At 106, Freshman Clark Boinis was pinned in the first period by the #2 106 in the county – Macklin. At 113, Chris Habibian was pinned in the first period by stamp champion Macklin (older brother). At 120, Freshman James Mackall was pinned in the first period by defending County Champion Scott Obendorfer.   At 126, Freshman Andrew Shiman lost by major decision to the third place finisher at counties. At 132, James Bamberger lost by pin to the #4 wrestler at States last year, Wilkerson. At 138, Cyrus Sobhani lost by pin in the second period to Brendan Parent, #5 in the state last year. At 145, Hamoon Shokoohinia was tech falled by Cory Obendorfer winner of over 135 matches in his career and a multi-state placer. At 152, Kevin Cullinane was pinned in the second period by McLaughlin, #5 in the states last year. At 160, Marcos Solloso lost 14–0 to Fischer who was #6 at states last year. At 170, Ezra Alexander was pinned in under a minute by Owen Brooks, multi-state placer. And finally at 182, Captain Matthew McClanahan lost a decision 4–0 to defending County Champion Ari Cacapardo

Vikings Suffer First Team Loss of Season Against North Hagerstown But Beat Digital Harbor Decisively

To help prepare for their matches, Coach Manon chose to scout the competition during the first round of the Tri-Meet between Whitman, North Hagerstown and Digital Harbor.   What he saw between North Hagerstown and Digital Harbor was two deep and talented teams, particularly in the light and middle weight classes. Although Digital Harbor wrestled tough, they were no match for one of the best teams in the state, North Hagerstown, losing by a wide margin.

Up next was the match between the Vikings and Digital Harbor. The action started at the 170 pound weight class with Ezra Alexander getting the ball rolling winning his match in the first period by pin. Then in quick succession, Captain Matthew McClanahan, Zach Salem Mackall and John Vipulus each pinned their opponents for a quick 24 – 0 lead. Welcome back Matt! The Vikings forfeited the heavyweight slot and now it was the Viking light weight wrestlers turn to show what they could do. At 106, Freshman Clark Boinis won by pin in an exciting back and forth match. Then at 113, Chris Habibian held on for a close 6 – 4 win. Wrestling at 120, Freshman James Mackall had one of his best matches to date against a tough opponent but eventually lost on points. In one of the two “highlight” matchups, Freshman Andrew Shiman lost 5 – 7 to one of Digital Harbor’s best wrestlers. Down 5 – 7 entering the third period, Andrew, a cradle expert, chose bottom and was unable to escape. In the other highlight matchup, James Bamberger lost by pin late in the third period against another excellent Digital Harbor wrestler. At 138, Cyrus Sobhani scored the fastest pin of the night with a 15 second pin over his opponent. Out due to illness, Captain Mitch Fenton was ably replaced in the lineup by Kevin Cullinane who took a major decision over his opponent to seal the team victory taking the score to 43 – 18. At 152, Hamoon Shokoohinia registered a quick pin too with a one minute win. Rounding out the competition against Digital Harbor was Marcos Solloso at 160 who took a forfeit. The final score was 55 – 18.

The main event of the evening was Whitman against North Hagerstown. The Hubs have talented, tough wrestlers in every single weight class so this was a big test for the young (the Vikings only had two seniors that dressed for the match) Viking team. In front of a crowded gym with a number of other team scouts in attendance, the Vikings put up a good fight but were on the wrong side of a 52 – 15 final score. Uncharacteristically, the Vikings gave up five pins and two forfeits, otherwise the score would have been closer. The matches began at the 182 weight class. Captain Matthew McClanahan won a 7 – 5 decision followed by Zach Salem Mackall who also won a close decision, 9 – 5. Both Matt and Zach were undefeated for the evening. John Vipulus wrestled at 225 and gave it everything he had but lost 3 -2. The Vikings minimal lead of 6 – 3 quickly disappeared and they trailed the rest of the match after forfeiting the heavyweight slot. At 106, Clark Boinis wrestled well but lost 8 – 5. At 113, Chris Habibian was pinned and the Vikings forfeited at 120. The Vikings trailed 24 – 6 with Andrew Shiman taking the mat. Andrew showed a great deal of poise and character for a young wrestler bouncing back from his earlier defeat to beat his North Hagerstown opponent by pin with, you guessed it, another cradle. The Brooks brothers and Hunter Faith of the Hubs were as advertised (phenomenal wrestlers) – each recording pins against James Bamberger, Cyrus Sobhani and Kevin Cullinane. Hamoon Shokoohinia recorded the Vikings final win of the night with a 4 – 3 decision. Hamoon, too, was undefeated for the evening.   Rounding out the competition was Marcos Solloso at 160 and Ezra Alexander at 170. Marcos wrestled hard but was unable to taken down his opponent and lost 13 – 5. Ezra was pinned.

Up next for the Vikings after just one day off is another Tri-Meet against Montgomery County powerhouses Damascus and Northwest. Good luck Vikings!

Team Finishes in Fourth Place at Grapple at the Brook

Team Finishes in Fourth Place at Grapple at the Brook

The Grapple at the Brook took place last weekend and once again the Whitman Vikings participated and posted a strong showing, finishing fourth overall. The competition was extremely tough with some of the better schools from Maryland and one school from Delaware participating. Top team honors went to Northwest. Only Captain Mitch Fenton and Freshman Andrew Shiman made it all the way to the finals for the Vikings. Mitch pinned his opponent for a very satisfying, redemptive win. The week prior, Mitch was upset in the finals at the Patriot Classic in a 3 – 2 decision. Andrew faced one of the Kilcarr brothers from Reservoir and was outpointed 9 – 0 for the first loss of his outstanding season.   Whitman also had two wrestlers in the third and fourth place round. Taking fourth, Hamoon Shokoohinia lost to Beteta from Northwest 8 – 0 and in a surprise possibly to many, but not me, Ezra Alexander finished in third after soundly defeating his opponent 17 – 5. Ezra left no doubt that he has the potential to be a top wrestler for the Vikings. Rounding out the “placed” finishers was Marcos Solloso, Conner Barrett, Zach Salem Mackall and John Vipulis. In a stacked field, Marcos took fifth at 160 soundly defeating his opponent from Northwest. Conner, wrestling in his first ever varsity tournament and wrestling at 182, edged his opponent 3 – 2 to also take fifth place. Zach left no doubt about the outcome from his match pinning his opponent for a victory and another fifth place finish. Finally, John took sixth after losing a close bout 3 – 0.

Vikings Finish a Respectable Third at Patriot Classic

The Whitman Vikings participated in the highly touted Patriot Classic Wrestling Tournament this past weekend and performed well as a team, finishing a strong third overall.  The Vikings didn’t send a 220 pound wrestler but had someone in all other divisions.  At 106, 113 and 120, Chris Habibian, Clark Boinis and James Mackall respectively all wrestled well facing a full slate of opponents but did not place.  At 126, Freshman standout Andrew Shiman pinned all of his opponents on the way to the finals and finished with tournament in first place with a decision over his opponent.  At 132, James Bamberger wrestled what appeared to be his two best matches of his career in the semi-final and final rounds and took home a well-deserved first place finish, too.  Wrestling at 138 after missing a couple of duals, Cyrus Sobhani fought his way into the tournament winning his “pig-tail” match but did not place.  Captain Mitch Fenton wrestled at 145 and faced a very tall, defensively oriented opponent in the finals and came up on the wrong side of a 3 – 2 decision taking home the second place medal.  Hamoon Shokoohinia wrestled at 152 and finished with a very respectable 5th place.  Braeden McKee wrestled well at 160 in place of injured Captain Evan Smith but did not place.  At 170, Marcos Solloso continued to shine.  In the match of the tournament and comeback of the tournament, in the third / fourth place match, Marcos was down 6 – 1 late in the third period when his opponent was hit with a 1 point stalling call.  Still down by a significant margin, Marcos needed a “five point” move to take the lead and he accomplished just that with guile and determination taking his opponent to mat and scoring back points in the process and taking a 7 – 6 lead as time expired.  It was undoubtedly the biggest win of his career.  At 182, Ezra Alexander wrestled in place of injured Captain Matthew McClanahan with excellent results finishing a strong 6th.  Rounding out the competition for the Vikings was Zach Salem-Mackall who placed 6th at 195 and John Vipulis who wrestled in the heavyweight division.  Both young Vikings wrestled well recording a couple of wins but did not place in the tournament.

Next up on the schedule is Grapple at the Brook where the Vikings will likely face a number wrestlers from “in region” teams.  Also expected in attendance will be teams from Howard County and Virginia.  There will be a number of very interesting match ups for the Vikings at every weight class but particularly at the 126, 132, 145, 152, 170, 195 and at the heavyweight levels.  Good luck!

Undefeated Whitman Vikings Beat Rockville Rams 37-24!

The Vikings of Walt Whitman hung tough against a very determined Rockville Ram wrestling team and came away with another victory by a score of 37 – 24.  The Vikings head to Northern High School for the Patriot Classic Tournament with high expectations for top team and individual results.

The dual against Rockville began at the 106 weight class.  Freshman Clark Boinis scored a major decision in a “topsy-turvy”  match.  At 113, wrestling up a weight class, Chris Habibian lost a very close match 5-4.  James Mackall took the mat at 120 and came close to pinning his opponent with a cradle but eventually lost by pin.  Coach Manon took a forfeit at 126 which gave the Rams a 15 – 4 lead early in the action.  Both Andrew Shiman and James Bamberger wrestled up a weight class with mixed results.  Andrew recorded a pin in the first period with another cradle and James suffered a 6 -0 loss against a very strong 138 pounder.   After James’ loss, the Vikings took 18 straight points from the Rams, with two matches won by pin and one by forfeit.  Hamoon Shokoohinia (145)  pinned his opponent in the third period and Kevin Cullinane (152) recorded his pin in the first period.  The Rams forfeited a match to team Captain Mitch Fenton (160).   With a solid 28 – 19 lead, the a number of wrestlers took to the mat at higher than usual weight classes again with mixed results.  Braeden McKee lost his match 12 -5 at 170 while Marcos Solloso continued his very impressive season with a 9 – 5 win at 182.  Captain Matthew McClanahan was out resting a back injury.  Wrestling at 195, in the match of the day, Ezra Alexander was reversed in the final seconds of his match and lost 10 – 8.  In another close match, wrestling at 225, Zach Salem-Mackall scored a decision 3 – 1.  The Rams had one team point deducted for unsportsmanlike behavior after the match.  Completing the action was John Vipulis at heavyweight who also recorded a victory for the Vikings ending the score for the dual 37 – 24.

Check out the Gazette’s coverage of the match at