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.
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.
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