Author Archives: smithsarita

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!