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Vikings Down Rockets
In a match that stayed close through most of the night, Senior Peyton Casamento’s pin with one match remaining put the Vikings ahead by 11 and clinched a final 41-36 victory over home team Richard Montgomery on Wednesday night. The JV Vikes also prevailed, winning 43-25.
Ryan O’Connor led off with a decision for the Vikes. Ryan switched from a single-leg shot to a double-leg and scored first with the takedown at 0:20 in the first. Ryan used strong wrist and ankle control to ride his opponent through the second. Starting from down in the third, he escaped quickly then sprawled on a takedown shot, pushed the head, and spun for a takedown. Ryan won 5-0 and the Vikes were up 3-0.
After Saul Remick (So-145) was pinned, Will MacDonald (Jr-152) put the Vikes back in the win column. A double-leg and almost immediate near fall put Will up 4-0. With 0:17 remaining, he caught his opponent attempting a sit-turn, and pulled him to the mat for a pin. Vikes up 9-6.
Logan Glazier’s (Jr. 160) pin in the second round was then avenged by Seb Turkewitz at 170. A quick level-change-and-high-crotch shot put Seb in control. Showing great mat awareness, Seb lifted his man to keep him in bounds and land the takedown for a 2-0 lead after one. From the down position in the second, Seb escaped in less than 10 seconds then used a headlock for a takedown that put his opponent on his back. After several seconds of micro-adjustments, the ref whistled the pin. Vikes up 15-12.
Charlie Imperial (180) and Luke Cullinane (195) then gave the Vikes some breathing room. Charlie shot a single-leg takedown in the first minute, then stayed in the up position through the remainder of the three-period bout. During that time, he scored five three-point near falls with tilts to gain the tech fall. Just back from illness, Luke wasted no time, shooting a single-leg and moving quickly to a half to pin his opponent at the 1:32 mark. Vikes go up 26-12.
After Sophomore Robert Marshall (220) and Freshman Tom Alvaro (Hwt) were each pinned to put the Rockets back in the match at 26-24, Ryan Darby came back with a pin at 107. Ryan beat an attempted headlock and slid by for a first-period takedown. Up in the second, Ryan defeated his opponent’s attempted sit-and-spin at the starting whistle, then cradled him for a two-point near fall. Starting up again in the third, Ryan used a half to pin at the 1:40 mark. Vikes are up 32-24 with four matches remaining.
After Kevin Zarin (So. 113) was pinned, and the score closed to 32-30, Isaac Besrat (Jr. 120) won a decision. Isaac pulled and ducked under his opponent for a first-period takedown and 2-0 lead. In the second, Isaac allowed an escape, then beat a headlock attempt for another takedown. After allowing an escape at 0:17, Isaac led 4-2. In the third, wrestling from the down position, Isaac was awarded a point for an illegal hold before reversing with 33 seconds left and riding out the 7-2 decision.
Going into Peyton Casamento’s bout at 126, the Vikes led 35-30 with two matches remaining. Peyton sealed the win in less than 40 seconds. He scored a single-leg takedown in 10 seconds, then found the right leverage for a near-side cradle to a pin at 1:24. After Sam Mindell (So. 132) was pinned, the teams shook hands with the Vikings downing the Rockets 41-36.
The JV Vikes had several competitive bouts. Sully Kadnar (So.) took a 5-1 decision. Joseph Aron used two takedowns and two near falls to score a 10-0 major. Patrick Fletcher used a headlock for a takedown and pin at 1:113. Robert LeBlanc slid underneath and behind for a takedown then took an armbar to a pin. Peter Li sprawled against a shot, pushed down the head and spun for a takedown before using a barbed wire for a near fall in the first. Up in the second, Peter gained leverage with an armbar then ran a half for a pin at 0:08. After surrendering a double-leg takedown then reversing for a 2-2 tie after one, Henry Sowells used a barbed wire to nail a pin in the second. Cole Wharton shot a single leg, then scored a pin just before the end of the first. Azi Schwartz ended the evening gamely, fighting back from a 2-6 deficit after the first. In the second, he beat a headlock attempt and through several rolls the wrestlers alternated advantage without gaining control until Azi caught his opponent on his back and nailed the pin at 0:23.
The win takes the Varsity Vikes dual meet record to 3-2. On Saturday, January 11th, they travel to North Hagerstown for match against a tough Hubs squad at 2:00 pm (JV wrestles at 1:00pm just before Varsity). The Vikes are idle during the week next week, enabling them to prepare for the Grapple at the Brook at Springbrook HS on Friday and Saturday, January 17 and 18. Go Vikes!
Also, glad to see Colby Fong, Yussef Zaki, Max Gersch, Matthew Lindstrom, Tom Wilmarth, Thomas Santora, and several alums’ parents make the trip to RM to cheer on the Vikes last night. Thank you!
By: Tom Mackall
Highlights of the Tournament:
- Seb upsets highly ranked O’Sullivan of Oxon Hill.
- Peyton records the fastest PIN of the entire tournament: 8 Seconds
The Vikings Varsity Team wrestled extremely hard at the Musselman Duals and had many exciting matches. HAIL VIKINGS!
The Vikings Start their Winning Streak this past Saturday
Vikings Downed By Strong Poolesville Team
The Whitman Vikings encountered a strong Poolesville Panthers team in the home opener, falling short by a score of 21-50. Another robust JV set of pairings followed, with the JV Vikes prevailing 54-39.
Arthur Dehareng (Jr. 152) began the evening wrestling against Kevin Fultz, who placed 5th in the state last year at 145. Down 0-2 after a takedown in the first, the wrestlers started neutral in the second. Fultz beat a beat a double-leg shot, flipping Arthur for a takedown. With an escape at 0:05, Arthur was down 1-4. In the third, Fultz stood Arthur up and turned a double-leg for a reversal, leading to the final score of 1-6. Vikes down 0-3.
Will MacDonald (Jr. 160) dropped a decision to Jackson Barney. Barney slid by a double-leg shot for a takedown, but Will crawled back to 3-4 before getting caught with a double-leg at 0:08 to go down 3-6. In the second, Will got caught for a reversal attempting to throw Barney back down to the mat. Starting down in the third, Barney lifted and threw Will to his back for two-point near fall and 3-10 final score. Vikes down 0-6.
Seb Turkewitz (Sr. 170) was then pinned with a cradle in the first by Colin Savage, who is ranked by Tron Carter as first in the county at 160 after placing twice at states. Vikes down 0-12.
Charlie MacDonald (Jr. 182) faced Xavier Kresslein, ranked first in the county after placing third at states. Kresslein ducked under for a takedown, then allowed an escape before using a cradle for a takedown and near fall in the first. Down 1-6, Charlie yielded an escape, takedown, and near fall, but fought off the pin, to enter the third down 2-14. After a reversal and escape, a double leg takedown resulted in a 3-18 technical fall. Vikes down 0-17.
Luke Cullinane (Sr. 195) put the Vikes in the win column with a first-round pin. Using a chin-and-wing, Luke put his man on his back and never let him up. The ref whistled the pin at 1:17. Vikes down 6-17.
Jay Gatten (Sr. 220) got caught in a sit-turn attempt and was pinned at 0:24 in the first, and the Vikes forfeited at Heavyweight. Vikes down 6-29.
Ryan Darby (So. 106) scored a third-period pin. He was up 4-2 after the first, scoring a double-leg takedown and a near fall before getting too high and allowing a flip for a reversal. Starting down in the second, Ryan escaped quickly, used an underhook for a takedown and a half for a near fall, then surrendered an escape and takedown before ending the period with a reversal. A throw for a takedown put him up 14-5 in the third before he used a half for a pin with 0:30 remaining. Vikes down 12-29.
Kevin Zarin (So. 113) threw his opponent for a takedown then quickly used a half for a pin at 1:21. Vikes down 18-29.
Isaac Besrat (Jr. 120) was down 0-5 after two but refused to give up. He stormed back with five points in the third, allowing only an escape, and falling just short 5-6. Vikes down 18-32.
Peyton Casamento (Sr. 126), back in the lineup, then sparked with a win. He sprawled against a shot in the first, and spun around for a takedown and 2-0 lead. In the second, a sit-turn reversal put him up 4-0, before he cut his opponent for a 4-1 lead. In the third, his opponent was assessed a point for stalling, but scored an escape with 12 seconds remaining. Peyton wins 5-2. Vikes down 21-32.
The Vikes then lost their last three bouts. Sam Mindell was pinned in the first off a cement mixer move. Ryan O’Connor was pinned in the first after a double-leg and bear hug put him on his back. The Vikes forfeited at 145. Final score: Vikings 21, Panthers 50.
The JV Vikings won nine of 15 bouts. Jimmy Ostler scored a double-leg takedown then pinned his opponent at 1:31 in the first. Sully Kadnar followed suit with the same sequence, pinning his opponent at 1:30. Henry Sowells used a baseball bat grip to pull his opponent into a takedown, then ran a half for a pin at 1:00. Zach Poe scored a takedown and near fall before landing a pin with a half at 1:29. Zane Shami was down 3-4 in the first before using a headlock for a takedown and near fall for an 8-4 lead. In the second, he cut an escape for his opponent, was taken down with a chin-and-wing, then reversed and pinned his opponent with 2 seconds remaining. Robert Marshall was taken down with a bear hug, but then used a back drive to pin his man in the first. Tom Alvaro snapped his man for a quick takedown, then turned a half for the pin. Peter Li nailed a quick single-leg, then took a half for a pin at 1:33. Patrick Fletcher then ended the night with a pin, going up 5-1 after one and riding for no points in the second. He escaped from down in the third then used a standing cradle to the mat for a pin with 20 seconds remaining.
The Varsity Vikes’ next match is a Tri-Meet at Wootton High School on Saturday, December 14, at 2:30 PM against Wootton and Gaithersburg. The JV Vikes practice at Landon on Thursday, December 12, then travel to Northwest for JV Duals on Saturday, December 14.
By: Tom Mackall
JV Vikes Strong in the Most Wonderful Meet of the Year
‘Tis the season, which means JV teams from around the region descend upon Whitman for our annual Viking Quest JV Meet. Twenty-five Vikes distributed across virtually every weight class posted 52 wins against 36 losses, with eight Vikings taking home first-place medals. Fueling the excitement of a fresh season, this event gives wrestlers of varying experience and ability the opportunity—for many their very first opportunity—to both test and further their progress on the mat and gives coaches and fans alike a glimpse into the futures of their programs. It truly is the most wonderful meet of the year.
Unlike an elimination tournament, the round-robin format assures every wrestler 2-4 matches. This year, 219 registered wrestlers from 14 teams were assigned to one of 30-some groups of 3-5 and wrestled every other member of that group. Four mats were busy simultaneously throughout the day. The winners of each group received first-place medals.
Three returning and four new Vikes won their groups: Conrad Randall (Fr. 4-0, 2 pins), Sully Kadnar (So. 3-0, 2 pins), Peter Li (So. 4-0, all pins), Isaac Besrat (Jr. 4-0, 3 pins), Alex Ibrahim (So. 2-0, 1 pin), Zane Shami (Fr. 2-0, 2 pins), Gage Konrad (Jr. 3-0, 2 pins) and Thomas Alvaro (Fr. 2-0, 1 pin). Another four returners and two new wrestlers placed second: Ian Galt (Fr 2-1, 2 pins), Kevin Zarin (So. 2-1, 2 pins), Joseph Aron (So. 2-1, 1 pin), Tommy Buckley (So. 2-1, 2 pins), Henry Sowells (So. 3-1, 3 pins), and Patrick Fletcher (Jr. 3-1, 3 pins). Four other Vikes finished with at least as many wins as losses: Jimmy Ostler (Jr. 2-2, 2 pins), Sam Mindell (So. 3-1, 3 pins), Azi Schwartz (Fr. 3-1, 2 pins), and Robert LeBlanc (Fr. 2-2, 2 pins). First-year wrestlers Gergo Pula (So.), Zach Poe (Fr.), Rory Malek (Fr.), Saul Remick (So.), Max Ahmed (Fr.), Peter Carney (So.), Cole Wharton (So.), and Robert Marshall (So.) wrestled hard, gained mat time, and earned wins (including some pins) among them as well. In all, 43 of the 55 wins were pins.
From 8:30 to about 3:00, the action was non-stop on four mats, and, in some instances, Vikes were wrestling simultaneously on three different mats. The following are some first-hand observations of mostly winning matches, but not an exhaustive report by any means. If somebody’s win is not mentioned below, it is only because there were more active mats than reporters’ eyes throughout the day.
At the heaviest weight class, Tom Alvaro won both his matches. Against Oakdale, Tom rode his opponent through the second to prevent any escape and enter the third tied 0-0. Tom then escaped in the third and held on to win 1-0. Against Poolesville, he was-thrown for a takedown and put on his back for a near fall, before reversing his man and gaining a pin at 1:19.
Isaac Besrat was 4-0 on the day, with two first round pins. After scoring a 6-2 decision against Clarksburg, Isaac used a snap for a takedown on his next opponent, then a power half to a pin sat 1:18. Against Einstein, Isaac threw his opponent to the mat, then flipped him for the pin with :08 remaining.
Alex Ibrahim was undefeated. He won a match with a pin when he put his opponent directly to his back with a bear hug and pinned at 1:30.
Sully Kadnar won his three matches. Against one opponent, he took a quick lead on a takedown, then did a nice job of controlling his opponent’s wrist before getting under arm to roll for pin at 0:57. Against B-CC, Sully used a snap and slide-by for a takedown, then went up 4-0 on a nearfall. After a reversal in the second to go up 6-0, he pinned his man.
Gage Konrad was also undefeated. Against Oakdale, Gage slid behind his opponent for a takedown, then used a barbed wire for the pin at 1:06. Up 3-0 in the third against Clarksburg, Gage used a chin-and-wing for a takedown, landed his opponent on his back, and pinned him with 0:30 remaining. Gage had won his first bout 6-2.
Peter Li won all four of his bouts by pin. A single-leg to a quick half resulted in a first-round pin against B-CC at 1:33. Against Clarksburg, Peter beat a single-leg shot, then showed great mat awareness to pull his opponent in bounds before running a power half to a pin at 0:32. Peter scored a double-leg takedown, then put another opponent in a cradle for another first-round pin at 1:30. Against Sherwood, Peter was up 7-4 after one, scoring a near fall as time ran out. Called for an illegal full nelson in the second, Peter’s lead narrowed to 7-5 before he gave up on a half on his opponent’s left, then hopped to his right and used a half to flip him for the pin at 0:18.
Conrad Randall won all of his bouts. He scored a first round pin with a double-leg and a cradle at 1:34. Conrad took another decision 4-2. In another bout, he showed endurance and grit taking an 8-4 decision. He fought off a single leg shot, then scored a takedown before allowing an escape. Starting down in the second, he scored a quick escape, beat another shot for a takedown then allowed an escape before sliding behind for another takedown. He allowed another escape and finally surrendered a takedown before escaping and having his hand raised in victory.
Against Poolesville, undefeated Zane Shami went down 0-2, but fought back to reverse and pin his opponent at 0:26 in the first.
Joseph Aron used a snap for a takedown against Kent Island, then an armbar for a near fall before running a half to a pin with seven seconds remaining in the first. In another bout, he gave up a double leg takedown, but escaped and used a headlock for a takedown and 3-2 lead after one. He nearly pinned his opponent in the second with a cradle, but settled for the 5-2 lead entering the tyhird. After a quick escape, he used a whizzer against a shot to land the takedown and secure an 8-2 victory.
Tommy Buckley fought a tough battle for the initial takedown in his first victory, and went up 7-0 after two near falls, before landing the pin at 0:38 in the first. Against Springbrook, he slid behind his man for the takedown, then used a half for a near fall before landing the pin at 1:06.
Patrick Fletcher won three matches by pin. Against Einstein, he scored a single leg, then took a half to a pin at 0:15 in the first. Against Northwest, after using a high crotch move for the takedown, he used a barbed wire to roll his man for the pin.
Ian Galt pinned his Springbrook opponent. He beat a single leg shot and won the takedown, then got rolled attempting a cradle, but continued the roll to put his opponent on his back and secure the pin at 0:40. In his second win, Ian converted a bear hug to five points, before using a half for a pin at 0:59.
Henry Sowells had three first-round pins, using a hug for takedown to a pin at 1:28, a headlock to the mat for a pin at at 1:19, and a snap for a takedown to a cradle and pin at 1:35. Henry’s only loss was his most exciting match. Against a strong Sherwood wrestler, Henry found himself down 2-8 after a near fall, but then scored six unanswered points capped by a last second take down to tie the match at 8-8. A questionable call at the buzzer awarded an escape point to Sherwood while the man was face down on the mat, leading to an 8-9 loss.
Kevin Zarin won two first-period pins. The first came at 1:34. The second resulted from a bear hug that put his opponent down and on his back at 1:16.
Robert LeBlanc pinned opponents from Einstein and Churchill. Against Churchill, Robert was tied 2-2 when he snapped his opponent for a takedown, then turned him for the pin at 0:38 in the first.
Sam Mindell won three of his four matches. Against Northwest, Sam went down 0-2, before trading reversals and ending the first in a 4-4 tie. Starting up in the second, Sam used his legs to ride his opponent, finally securing a half and a pin with 11 seconds remaining in the period. In another win, Sam was down 1-2 after 1, then again used his legs effectively to ride top through the second. Starting down in the third, he scored a reversal to take a 3-2 lead then pinned his man. Even Sam’s loss showed grit. Against Oakdale, Sam went down 4-2 after escaping from two takedowns, then landed his own for a 4-4 tie. The first period ended at 6-6 after trading reversals. Starting neutral in the second, Oakdale won a takedown for a 6-8 lead, then reversed in the third for a 6-10 decision.
Against Poolesville, Jimmy Ostler went up 4-0 after one and 8-0 after two. In the third, he parlayed a neutral start into a single-leg takedown for a 10-0 lead before pinning his opponent at 0:26.
Azi Schwartz dominated his Rockville opponent, using a headlock for a takedown and near fall to go up 5-0, then building a 14-3 lead after two on two reversals and two near falls. Up 16-3 on another reversal in the third, Azi used an armbar for a pin. Against Churchill, he pinned his opponent at 1:01 in the first.
Max Ahmed won a close decision against Northwest, going into the third tied 2-2 and escaping from the down position for the 3-2 win. Rory Malek lost a tough match in OT against Rockville. Down 6-8, he took his opponent down at the buzzer to force OT, but then was caught with a double leg to end the match. Robert Marshall beat a shot attempt and secured the first takedown, then used a half for a pin at 0:13 in the first against his opponent.
The JV tournament is an important fund-raiser each year for the wrestling team. Many folks, including coaches, parents, and varsity wrestlers, do a lot of work to make this a success. Special thanks to Lizzie Sowells for her leadership in organizing the parent team, all the parents who pitched in; the varsity wrestlers for their respectful and efficient management of the tables and scoreboards through the day, and our trainer, Jenny Mabry, for her professional support.
By: Tom Mackall