Two Vikings advanced to the West Regional 4A/3A MPSSAA tournament held February 24-25 this year. Whitman’s big guys once again made a good showing at the Regionals with both John Luke Iglesias and Yussef Zaki making it onto the podium. John Luke was crowned champion for the second week in a row with his final round victory over senior Damascus wrestler Mikey Bradshaw. His Regional Championship victory gained him one of the four number one seeds at the State Tournament. Yussef also wrestled well in the Regionals and brought home a 3rd place finish, improving his lot by one place from the County Tournament the week before. This qualified him to advance to the State Tournament at Showplace Area in Upper Marlboro, MD.
The State 4A/3A Tournament was held on March 3-4 and has entrants from all four Maryland Regions, North, South, East and our own West Region. John Luke went 2-2 at the tournament and made it to the consolation quarter finals, and again beat out Bradshaw of Damascus to get there. Yussef faced some tough opponents but managed to go 1-2 at the tournament. Congratulations to both our “bigs” for great seasons!
The 2017 Montgomery County Varsity Tournament was also held at Gaithersburg HS spanning two days over February 17th and 18th. Just eight rather than fourteen of our Whitman Varsity entered the tournament this year because some of our Varsity wrestlers had chosen to participate in the JV Tournament the week before.
When the tournament seeding came out for our 8 Varsity participants, many of them did not receive seeding commensurate with their grappling abilities. This is because the seedings are based on a point accumulation system that is, in large part, tied to the number of wins a wrestler obtains during his regular season and tournament action. As most are aware, the Vikings were prohibited from participating in the Keaser Classic Tournament this year due to a scheduling error. This was a devastating development for the entire team from a point system accumulation perspective. Each Whitman grappler could have had as many as 10 matches at the Keaser, thus enabling them to accumulate the valuable match points necessary to be on par with the rest of the county teams. As a result of having lighter overall individual records, three of our eight wrestlers were forced to wrestle into their brackets via a pigtail (which they did so successfully) and some other Whitman wrestlers were ranked potentially lower than their true abilities.
Of the eight wrestlers that entered the Varsity tournament, two Vikings were placed on the podium. Congratulations are in order to John Luke Iglesias who was crowned the Montgomery County Champion at 220lbs and Yussef Zaki who came home with a nice 4th place finish at 195lbs. John Luke’s path to victory was arguably the most exciting one of the entire tournament. Both his semifinal and championship matches went into overtime. In both instances, John Luke kicked into high gear scoring a takedown in the semifinal OT match followed by a takedown and a pin in the OT of the championship match. His championship victory was made all the more sweet by the fact that John Luke was able to avenge his only loss of the year by beating Junior Pimentel of the Rockville Rams for the crown. Good luck to both our big guys Yussef and John Luke in the Regional Tournament next weekend! GO VIKES!
By George Boinis
The Montgomery County JV Tournament was held on Saturday, February 11th at Gaithersburg High School. The Vikings showed up with one of the largest JV squads in the entire county. In fact, we had 26 grapplers wrestling in the tournament. We had the second highest number of participants, next only to Churchill who had 27.
The results were impressive with Whitman placing seven wrestlers on the podium. Among those placing were Colby Fong 4th at 120, Matthew Lindstrom 6th at 126, Aiden Carter 4th at 132, Luke Cullinane 6th at 138, Sang Hanna 3rd at 145, Ben Mickum 3rd at 285 and Tom Wilmarth 2nd at 285. Congratulations to all our JV wrestlers on a job well done! We are looking forward to seeing more of you in the Varsity matches next year.
By George Boinis
On Saturday January 28th Whitman participated in a Tri Meet against Springbrook and Gaithersburg. The Vikes sat out the first match and wrestled second against the Trojans and then again last against the Blue Devils.
Our first meet was against a thinned out Gaithersburg team and started at 220 and 285 with the Trojans forfeiting both weight classes. Next up was Sean Fleming who was winning convincingly in the 2nd period when his opponent was forced to forfeit with an injury. Peyton Casamento and Caleb Brenner then pinned both their opponents at 113 and 120 bringing the score up to 30-0. The Trojans then forfeited the next three contests at 126, 132 and 138 and it was not until 145 that we were wrestling again. San Hanna won this match pushing the lopsided score up to 51-0. The Trojans did however manage to win the next three matches at 152, 160, and 170 with Whitman taking the final two weight classes with a forfeit at 182 and a pin by Yussuf Zaki at 195. The final score was a convincing 63-12 victory for the Vikes.
The Gaithersburg JV match featured only three contests with Jay Gatten recording an 11-2 major win and Lucas Bravo pinning his opponent in the first period. The final JV score was 10-6 Whitman.
The Varsity Vikings second meet of the afternoon proved to be more difficult than the first. Starting at 285 the Vikings were initially overwhelmed by a very deep and senior laden Blue Devils squad which resulted in losses by falls in all of the first four matches. It was not until Clark Boinis entered the fray at 126 that Whitman scored with Clark posting a technical fall 15-0 in the second period. That brought the team score to 5-24. The Vikings lost again at 132 but Max Gersch turned in a convincing 7-2 victory at 138. Whitman then lost the next five matches at 145, 152, 160, 170 and 182. The contest ended with Yussuf Zaki taking a forfeit at 195 and with John Luke Iglesias pinning his 220 Blue Devil in the first period. The final score was a disappointing 20-55 loss for the Vikes.
The Blue Devils JV match was a long one with 14 contests. Whitman won nine of those contests with 8 pins and one decision. Two JV falls each came from Matt Cauley and Aiden Carter with others coming from Stephanie Solloso, Steven Canfield, James Mackall and Matthew Lindstrom who also carded a second win. The final JV score was on impressive 51-30 victory over the Blue Devils.
By George Boinis
In keeping with the longstanding Viking wrestling tradition, Senior Night was held before our last home meet. This year’s senior class was smaller than most with just two wrestlers, 170 pound Tobie Payot and 4 year team member Mason Austin-Brantley. Both wrestlers were introduced by Coach Manon and escorted by members of their family. After a warm ceremony, it was time to wrestle.
The Bulldogs field a very strong line up this year, having won all their matches with the exception of against the perennial powerhouse Damascus. Our match started at 138 and it was not until our 220 pound match that Whitman was able to get onto the scoreboard. John-Luke Iglesias broke the ice with a first period fall which brought the team score to 6-35. Our next win was the highlight of the contest at the 113 pound weight class. Peyton Casamento outlasted a very tough and ranked opponent scoring a takedown with 15 seconds left in the third period to secure his 5-2 win and the second Whitman victory of the night. At the conclusion of Peyton’s match, the Churchill Coach announced to his team and those within earshot that the Bulldogs would not give up another point against Whitman. Unfortunately for Churchill the coach would have to eat his words two matches later in the 126 pound contest that featured ranked opponents from both squads. Clark Boinis defeated his Churchill adversary 4-2 gaining Whitman 3 team points pushing the score to 12-53. The next and final match was won by Churchill and resulted in a final team score of 12-59.
Our JV squad fared better against Churchill in the 15 matches that ensued. JV pins were recorded by Aiden Carter, Sang Hanna, Steven Canfield, Zain Memon and Matt Cauley. The final team score was 30-48 in Churchill’s favor.
By George Boinis
The Vikings hosted a tri-meet last Saturday the 21st against the Quince Orchard Cougars and the Magruder Colonels. The first match was against the Cougars and started at the 145 weight class. The Cougars squad turned out to be very competitive and was able to take the first 5 matches from the Vikings until Yussuf Zaki and John Luke Iglesias stepped onto the mat. Both of these heavies were successful and pushed the scored back to a more manageable 27-10 deficit. The next four wrestlers did not fare so well and it was not until Clark Boinis at 126 trotted out that Whitman gained additional team points. The Cougars chose to forfeit and wrestle around Clark pushing the team score to 16-51. Whitman then split the final two matches with Luke Cullinane winning a 9 to 1 decision resulting in a final score of 20-57.
After watching QO win a very tight match against Magruder, the Vikings were back on the mat to face the Colonels. After suffering their earlier loss, the Vikings regrouped and came back strong. The match started off with John Mackall at 160 who set the tone for the rest of team with an impressive 2nd period pin. Following John were two forfeits at 170 and 182. For the next three matches the coaches bumped up Mason Austin-Brantley to 195, Yussuf Zaki to 220 and John Luke Iglesias to 285. The results were impressive with both Yussuf and John Luke recording pins which brought the team score up to 30-3. As the match moved to the lighter weights, the tide shifted yet again with the Colonels taking the 106, 113, and 120 weights and narrowing the score to 30-21. Then once again when Clark Boinis stepped onto the mat at 126 the opponent chose to wrestle around him and forfeit, bringing the team score back up to 36-21. Next up was Luke Cullinane at 132 who turned in a gutsy performance only to come up 1 point short at the end of the 3rd period. Max Gersch at 138 then proceeded overwhelm his opponent and pin him in the 1st period, bringing the score back up to 42-24 and ensuring a Whitman team victory. Max was followed by a loss at 145 and a major decision loss at 152 bringing the score to 42-34 for a Viking victory.
By George Boinis
The Vikings Varsity squad participated in another late night escapade at the Grapple at the Brook at Springbrook High School on Friday the 13th. This 16 team tournament featured teams from several mid-Atlantic states including Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Due to the impeding ice storm, this two day tournament was also condensed into a one day event (just like the Patriot Classic the week before). It was a very late night with several Whitman grapplers wrestling well past 1:00 am into Saturday morning. Despite the consolidated format, several of our wrestlers placed in the Grapple with John Luke Iglesias capturing 1st place at 220. Clark Boinis (126) and Yussuf Zaki (195) both took home 5th place while Max Gersch (138) took home 6th place. Congratulations to Whitman’s squad for placing in 4 of the 14 weight classes.
On January 18th, the Vikings were back in action with a home dual meet against the Richard Montgomery Rockets. After a few days off, the Vikings came ready to wrestle and turned in their most dominate performance of the year. The Rockets managed to win only 2 of the 14 matches with the Vikings recording 8 pins, 2 wins on points and 2 forfeits for an impressive final team score of 66-9! Congratulations are in order to Caleb Brenner (120) who recorded his first varsity win with a fall in the first period. Also recording pins were Mason Austin-Brantly, Yussuf Zaki, Tom Wilmarth, Steven Canfield, Clark Boinis, Max Gersch and James Mackall. Peyton Casamento and Sebastian Turkewitz also won on points with John Luke-Iglesias and Luke Cullinane collecting forfeits.
After the varsity match, our JV squad took to the mat and also did quite well winning 7 of their 10 contests, all by falls. Our winners included Thomas Santora, Matthew Lindstrom, Sean Fleming, Matt Cauley, Jerry Zhao, Ethan Gilman and Stephanie Solloso with a dramatic pin with .1 seconds left in the first period.
Next up, a home tri-meet on Saturday January 21 vs. Magruder and Quince Orchard.
By George Boinis