The New Year Brings Victory


The Walt Whitman Vikings turned in an impressive home win against the Watkins Mill Wolverines on January 4th.  The Wolverines fielded a small squad and were forced to forfeit six of the 14 matches.  Of the remaining eight contested matches Watkins Mill only managed to win 3 of them resulting in a lopsided 61-17 victory for the Vikings.  In those eight matches, falls were recorded by Steven Canfield, Luke Cullinane and Mason Austin-Brantley.

Two days later the Vikings were back in action at the Patriot Classic.  This two day tournament was condensed into one very long Friday night event due to the impending snow storm which landed in our region on January 7th.  Congratulations to our wrestlers who persevered and placed in the tournament.  John Luke Iglesias was undefeated at 220 and took 1st place.  Clark Boinis (126) and Mason Austin-Brantley (182) both took home 5th place.  Congratulations are also in order to Peyton Casamento who wrestled very tough and made it into the fourth round.

By George Boinis



Whitman JV Wrestlers Show Well Over Holidays

The JV Viking Squad participated in two tournaments over the Holiday break.  Our JV squad turned in some impressive performances at both the Wootton JV Snowbrawl on December 27th and our very own Viking Quest Tournament on December 29th.

The Snowbrawl was a clash of 8 area teams including Whitman, Wootton, Oakdale, Rockville, Walter Johnson, Springbrook, Northwest and Georgetown Preparatory School.  The Vikings JV squad medaled in nine of the weight classes with following grapplers finishing in the top 3:

  • 1st Place finishers were Max Gersch, Sebastian Turkewitz, Tobie Payot, Yussef Zaki, and Tom Wilmarth
  • 2nd Place finishers were Matthew Lindstrom and Sang Hanna
  • 3rd Place finishers were John Mackall and Luke Cullinane

The Viking Quest was a much larger tournament and included 12 Montgomery County Schools featuring Whitman, Northwest, Magruder, Walter Johnson, Quince Orchard, Watkins Mills, Churchill, BCC, Einstein, Rockville, Sherwood and Wootton.  The wrestlers were divided up into 31 weight groupings with Whitman wrestlers finishing in the top two spots in nine of them.

  • 1st Place finishers were Sang Hanna, John Mackall, Tom Wilmarth, Ben Mickum and Matt Cauley
  • 2nd Place finishers were Steven Canfield, Luke Cullinane, Thomas Santora and Tobie Payot

Congratulations to all the Whitman JV wrestlers for turning in some very solid results!

By George Boinis

Whitman Vikings Record First Win



The Vikings participated in two matches the week before Holiday break.  The first match was against a very good Paint Branch team on December 20th followed up two days later against the Einstein Titans.

The match against the Paint Branch Panthers started off at 195 with Whitman facing a slew of upper classman and experienced wrestlers.  The Vikings managed to win three of the 14 matches with pins coming from John Luke Iglesias at 220 and Peyton Casamento at 120.  Max Gersch at 138 also recorded a very close victory with a 5-4 decision despite wrestling with a cut inner cheek injury that would later require stitches.  The final outcome of this contest was a disappointing 15-58.

The JV team fared a bit better scoring wins in five of their 15 matches.  Among the winners were Zain Memon, Stephanie Solloso, Matt Cauley, Jerry Zhao and Ben Mickum.  The highlight of the JV contest was provided by Ben who wrestled tough for all three periods and was able to pin his opponent with one second remaining in the third period.  Well done Ben!

The second contest of the week was against the Einstein Titans on December 22nd.  Before the match the coaches and team captains John Luke Iglesias and Clark Boinis fired up the Vikings squad to go out and get their first win before the break.  This match started out at the lowest weight class of 106 with Whitman falling behind early.  After the first 10 matches the Vikings were trailing 18-33 with all 18 points collected by forfeits.  Next up was 182 pound Senior Mason Austin-Brantley who pinned his opponent in the second period.  Yussef Zaki  at 195 followed Mason’s example with a first period pin.  The score was then a manageable 30-33 with Jerry Zhao up next at 220.  The Titans chose to forfeit at 220 and thus the fate of the entire contest rested with the heavyweight wrestlers.  Captain John Luke Iglesias was then bumped up a weight class to try and secure Whitman’s first team victory.  John Luke did not let his teammates down as he quickly put an end to the match with a dominating pin in the first 60 seconds of the first period.  The final score of match was Whitman 42 and Einstein 33.

The JV matches that followed were very impressive with Whitman taking all seven matches and handing the Titans a 30-0 shutout.  Wins were recorded by Sebastian Turkewitz, Lucas Bravo, Matt Cauley, Jerry Zhao, Ethan Abikoff, Jack Kelly and Christian Beske with an impressive 50 second pin.

By George Boinis

Tough Home Opener and Away Match

The Vikings had two contests this week with their home opener against Wootton Patriots on December 13th and an away match against the Northwest Jaguars on December 15th.

The match against the Patriots started off at the lowest weight class of 106 and didn’t go so well at first with the Viking’s five freshman wrestlers all losing in the first 5 matches.  It wasn’t until the 138 pound weight class that the Vikings were able to get on the board with Max Gersch scoring a major 12-2 decision.  Next up were James Mackall at 145 and Sang Hanna at 152 who both were victorious for the Vikings, with Sang securing his first win as a Varsity wrestler.   At this point in the contest Whitman was still trailing 13-28.

Next up was Tobie Payout at 160 who lost in the second period, followed by John Mackall at 170 who pinned his Patriot opponent in the first period for his first varsity win.  This left the score at 19-34 with Whitman needing a string of wins to get back into the contest.

Mason Austin-Brantly at 182 answered the call once again with a first period pin.  Then at 195, Yussef Zaki and John Luke Iglesias at 220 both followed Mason’s example with first period pins to nudge the Vikings ahead of the Patriots 37-34.

It appeared the outcome of the entire match would come down to the last match and heavyweight wrestler Tom Wilmarth.  Tom started the match off very strong against an opponent who appeared to have at least 30 pounds on him.  Tom kept up a relentless pace and began to tire his opponent out while building an impressive 7-2 lead.  Unfortunately late in the second period Tom got caught in scramble and got pinned.  The final outcome of the varsity contest was Whitman 37 and Wootton 40.

The JV matches that followed once again showcased an impressive line-up of young Viking grapplers.  Freshman Stephanie Solloso got her first match with brothers Marcos and Anthony eagerly watching her every move.  She did not let them down as Stephanie controlled her opponent from the opening whistle and eventually pinned her adversary with 30 seconds left in the second period.  Whitman controlled seven of the 10 JV matches and walked away with a 42-18 victory.

The Northwest match which started at 138, would prove to be a difficult one for the Vikings.  Whitman dropped the first six matches and was at risk of being shut out until John Luke Iglesias stepped onto the mat.    John Luke dominated his opponent and pinned his Jaguar with 14 seconds left in the first period.  This unfortunately proved to the only win for the Vikings who were beaten with a final score of 6-67.

The JV wrestlers fared little better during their 16 matches with Whitman winning only four of the contests.  However there were bright spots with wins by Thomas Santora, Aiden Carter, Stephanie Solloso and an impressive first high school performance by Christian Beske.  Christian showcased his years of mat experience early in the first period with a toe dragging takedown with just the tips of his toes on the mat.  He went on to easily control his match with an 8-4 win.

By George Boinis

Vikings Lose Close Opener to Rockville Rams


The 2016-2017 wrestling season is officially underway as Whitman clashed with Rockville on December 7th.  The Rockville Rams were somewhat of an unknown entity as we have not faced them since the 2014-2015 season when the Vikings were victorious 37-24.  This time however the outcome was different with the Rams on top 42 to 32.

The starting Whitman line-up this year is comprised of lots of new faces.  Only 4 Varsity wrestlers returned from last year’s dominant lineup that went 11-2 in regular season action.  Returning from last year’s lineup are Clark Boinis at 126, Max Gersch at 138, James Mackall at 145 and John Luke Iglesias at 220.  This makes for one of the youngest lineups the Vikings have fielded  in recent memory with 10 spots being filled with new Varsity wrestlers.  However, even with this relatively inexperienced lineup, the Vikings held their own and almost came away victorious.

The first match of the season opener featured Freshman Nick Roy at 106.  Nick held his own in the first period but was eventually pinned in the 2nd period.  The second match also featured a Freshman in Sean Fleming, Sean wrestled three full periods and won a major decision with an impressive 21-8 score.  Next up at 120 was Freshman Peyton Casamento who showed his years of mat work experience and skillfully shut out his opponent 7-0.

The fourth match of the evening featured Junior Clark Boinis at 126 who quickly pinned his opponent with a cradle in under a minute.  Up next at 130 was Freshman Luke Cullinane.  Luke battled throughout the first period and was pinned just as time was running out.  The next match at 138 featured Sophomore Max Gersch.  Max wrestled well and turned in a convincing 10-5 win over his opponent.  Following Gersch was Junior James Mackall at 145.  James also looked polished and carded a 9-1 major decision over his opponent who was never really in the match.  At this halfway point in the match the Vikings led the Rams by a score of 20-12.

As the second half of the match got underway the Vikings’ luck began to turn as our next three wrestlers were all pinned, thus losing a total of 18 points.  I am sure the coaches will be looking at the film footage and encouraging Sophomore Sang Hanna at 152, Freshman Sebastian Turkewitz at 160 and Freshman John Makall at 170 to do better next time.   At this point in the contest Senior Mason Austin-Brantley had had enough and stepped in to stop the bleeding.  Mason’s three years of experience showed as he manhandled his opponent and pinned him early in the second period, thus leaving Whitman only 4 points off the lead at 30-26.

The last three matches featured Whitman’s heavyweights including Sophomore Yussef Zaki  at 195, Junior John Luke Iglesias at 220 and Sophomore Tom Wilmarth at 285.  While both Yussef and John Luke were pinned, Tom fared much better.  In his first wrestling match ever Tom, pictured above, recorded a pin for his team.  Tom wrestled very well throughout his first contest and was in control of his match 9-3 when he triumphantly pinned his opponent in the third period with a cradle.

After the Varsity matches were concluded the Whitman JV wrestlers took the mat.  In the eight JV matches that ensued against their Ram opponents they recorded 7 pins, which was quite an impressive showing.

Post Script

In the previous Season of Legacies article I failed to mention that we are fortunate to have yet another legacy wrestler this season.  Sophomore Robb Barrett has joined the team this year.  Robb’s older brother Connor (2015) was a two year grappler for the Vikings.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank my predecessor Craig Bamberger (father of 2016 graduate James) for the time and effort he put into this website.  Craig reported on every match last season and kept us all up to date on the key match-ups and results throughout the season.

By George Boinis

Annual Wrestling Team Clinic Saturday 12/10

The Annual Whitman Wrestling Team Clinic for kids (grades 2-8) will be held on Saturday December 10th from 11:00am-1:00pm!
It is a team fundraiser and Viking team members will be there coaching the kids.
**First 25 to register will receive a FREE Whitman Wrestling drawstring sack!**

NO experience is necessary…all levels are welcome. It is a great team to join at Whitman with excellent coaches.  The clinic is a one day chance to check it out…risk free.
Our fundraising clinic is for boys and girls in grades 2-8 and will be Saturday, December 10th, 11:00am-1:00pm in the Walt Whitman Gym.
Cost is $30
Click on the link below for Registration information and form:
Contact Cindy Boinis at with questions.

The Season of Legacies

The Walt Whitman 2016-2017 wrestling season is upon us and it appears that this will be the year of the Legacies.  Wrestling tradition runs deep with the Vikings this year and Coaches Manon and Sharbaugh will be sporting 5 legacy freshman wrestlers, many of whom are expected to have an immediate impact on the Varsity roster.

Joining the team this season will be John Mackall, who’s older brother James will be returning to the team for his third season.  James has been on the varsity roster for both of his first two seasons and, we are told, has been showing his younger brother some of his moves.  These moves must have paid off as John joins the team this season having won the Montgomery Youth Wrestling League (MYWL) Tournament last year.   John’s cousin, Zach Salem-Mackall (2016) was also a Whitman wrestler, so that makes John a double legacy.   Now,  father Tom will once again have double the hoarse throat as he roots on both his sons.

Also joining the team will be Luke Cullinane who is a triple legacy Whitman wrestler.  Luke’s brothers Kevin (2015), Andrew (2013) and Matthew (2013) all preceded him on the mat at Whitman and had exceptional wrestling careers.   We are sure that Luke will carry on the winning family tradition that his older brothers  started.   It will be nice to see Luke’s parents Kevin and Mary back in the gym this winter, rooting another son on after their short one year hiatus from the bleachers.

Whitman is also excited to have perhaps the first father-son legacy, or at least the only one in recent memory.  Joining the team this year will be Peyton Casamento who has been under his father’s wresting tutelage since he could walk.  Peyton’s father Jami was an outstanding Whitman wrestler (1989) who then went on to wrestle at the collegiate level at Shippensburg University.   Jami has also coached youth wrestling in the Bethesda area for many years and has helped send lots of experienced wrestlers to Whitman’s program, including 3 of the 5 legacies this year.

The Vikings are very excited to have Christian Beske join the team this year.  Christian is the younger brother of Grant Beske (2015) who was a three year Whitman wrestler.  We are hopeful that Grant will find time to attend some matches this year to cheer his brother on as he is currently a student at nearby Georgetown University (no pressure Grant).  We are also looking forward to seeing Christian’s parents Gavin and Lise once again in the gym this year.

Continuing the Vikings wrestling tradition for the Solloso family will be double legacy Stephanie.  Stephanie’s brother Marcos (2016) was a Captain of last year’s standout team and a State Qualifier.  Anthony Solloso (2014) was also a Whitman wrestler, so I think we can assume that Stephanie will be getting lots of advice from her older brothers this year.

These freshman legacies will join returning  legacy Junior wrestler Clark Boinis.  Clark’s brother Christopher (2015) was a four year grappler for the Vikings.   Chris is expected to make a few matches this year with his fellow 2015 graduates and wrestling big brothers Kevin Cullinane and Grant Beske.

By George Boinis