Viking @ Sherwood

Rough Going at Sherwood

Whitman faced off against the Sherwood Warriors in a dual meet missing three varsity starters.

The first match of the dual was 126 with Caleb Brenner. Caleb gave up the first takedown and was bear hugged to a fall at 2:52.

Sean Mitchell suffered a similar fate in the first period of his bout at 1:39. Next, at 138, Mathew Lindstrom put up a good fight against Sam Ewing. He was trailing 3-7 after giving up 3 near fall after the 1st period. Mathew kept fighting, but eventually lost 11-7 to an experienced wrestler.

Colby Fong had a tough one at 145 but stayed tough through the 1st period scoring a badly needed escape at the buzzer. Colby tied it up at 7 with a switch for a two-point reversal in the 3rd period but ended up losing 7-10

The Vikings forfeited 152 to last year’s state runner-up Chris Sanchez. Viking Max Gersch gave Whitman its first win of the night with a major decision. Max took his opponent down quickly and rode him hard for most of the match with legs scoring back points with the power half.

Next u[ at 170 was John Mackall. Joh never stopped fighting scoring an escape in the first, a reversal in the 2nd and a takedown with a nice double leg in the third period, but ultimately fell 5-11.

Half Time Score: Sherwood 27, Walt Whitman 4.

Thomas Santoro at 182 had a tough opponent with Yusef Higazi and trailed 0-2 after the first period. Gigazi reversed Thomas in the second and scored a Fall at 3:00. Whitman forfeited 195 and sent Yussef Zaki out at 220 to receive a n equalizing forfeit.

The Heavyweight match was close with no score in the first period. Tom Wilmarth rode his opponent for the first period until 1 minute in when his opponent, Jacob Rogers, scored an escape. Tom was not able to escape the third period, but Rogers got called for stalling, tying it up 1-1 and sending the match into overtime. Tom tried to headlock his opponent in overtime but didn’t successfully execute losing 1-3.

At 106, Freshman Peter Li fought hard off his back a couple of times but was pinned at 3:22. At 113, Issaac Besrot was pinned at 0:28 and Joseph Aron similarly at 0:50.

Sherwood had a solid squad and Whitman only won two matches in the varsity dual meet, Sherwood avenged last year’s loss to Whitman with a final score 58-10.

Next up was JV:

The up and coming JV team fared better winning 5 out of 11 matches, scoring pins in 4 of those matches; however, the Vikings gave up some key pins as well.

Ryan O’Connor faced a tough Sherwood opponent and was trailing in the first period 1-4 when he scored a solid escape with a standup at the end of the period. The first period was similar with Ryan trailing 1-7 going int the third when Ryan was turned and eventually pinned at 5:22.

Stephanie was taken down in her bout, but escaped and threw a fantastic headlock to pin her opponent at 1:31 and tie the dual meet score at 6-6.

Arthur Dehareng shot a beautiful double leg at the edge of the mat and would wrist and half his foe to a fall at 1:27 putting the Vikes up 12-6. Unfortunately, Eric Yuan was cradled to a pin in the next match at 0:51 putting the dual meet score at 12-12. Steven Canfield would suffer a similar fate at 0:54 putting Sherwood up 18-12.

Next up Jack Morris, who fought hard trailing 2-6 at the end of one, but succumbed to a fall at 2:47. In a barn burner, Mohammed was winning in the 1st period when he attempted an over the back cradle and trailed 4-7. Mohamed would fight back to 10-11 with one minute remaining, but could not escape. Sherwood led 27-12.

Will MacDonald scored a takedown in a hard-fought scramble of the first period of his match. Will opened the match in the third period even putting his opponent on his back with a suck-back and won the bout 7-1 changing the score to 33-15, Sherwood.

Next was Freshman Henry Sowels, whoimmediately threw the Sherwood wrestler with a headlock scoring a fall at 0:28putting the dual meet within reach: Sherwood 33-21. Making the meet excitingwas Logan Eure, who also headlocked and pinned a Warrior wrestler at 0:32moving the score up to 33-27, Sherwood. Unfortunately, Patrick Fletcher wouldbe pinned in the next match by the dreaded headlock at 1:54 giving Sherwood thedual meet victory 39-27.

By Chuck Canfield

Vikings vs. QO

Vikings Defeat QO 53-21 In Season Opener

Sparked by four consecutive wins in the middle weights and three consecutive wins at the lightest weights to close out the match, the Wrestling Vikings downed a tough Quince Orchard team 53-21 to win its season opener.  The win avenged a disappointing 30-45 loss last season.

Caleb Brenner (Jr. 126) opened the wrestling and portended what would follow.  Caleb took a quick lead with a take down in the first 30 seconds and finished the first period using an armbar to score a near fall and take the score to 6-1.  He never relinquished the up position in the second period and took a half to a pin at 1:10.  The Vikes were up 6-0.

Sean Mitchell (Sr. 132) and Matthew Lindstrom (Sr. Capt. 138) drew two of QO’s strongest wrestlers.  Sean wrestled hard but lost by pin in the second period.  Matthew opened with a quick single-leg take-down, but ultimately lost 2-10.  The Vikes trailed 6-10.

Colby Fong (Jr. 145), who missed most of last year with injuries, then turned in a shutout to start a run of Viking victories.  Colby scored a single-leg take-down with a high crotch in the first 30 seconds of the match, a near fall using a power half in the second period, and a reversal at 0:59 in the third to win the decision 6-0.  Vikes down 9-10.

Charlie Imperial (So. 152) kept the pressure on, taking down his opponent within the first 10 seconds.  Up 6-2 in the second period, Charlie pinned his opponent by grabbing his wrist and turning him over with a half at 0:26.  Vikes went up 15-10 and never trailed after this.

Max Gersch (Sr. Capt. 160) followed up with a quick pin.  After a double-leg take-down within 20 seconds, Max allowed an escape, scored another takedown, then finished the match with a pin. 21-10 Vikings.

John Mackall (Jr. 170) won a tough decision.  John led 5-2 after the first period, scoring first with a double-leg take down and a near fall, but then was reversed and narrowly avoided back points before escaping.  In the second period he escaped from the down position, but then was taken down at :05. When his opponent escaped at 1:40 in the third period, the match stood at 6-5 and the crowd was on edge.  When John scored a takedown at about 0:35 he led 8-5, and then remained on top until the final buzzer.  24-10 Vikings.

Thomas Santora (Sr. 180) next faced off against the second-ranked wrestler at 180 in Montgomery County.  Thomas wrestled a tough match, nearly pinning his opponent in the second period, but eventually ceded a technical fall 8-23 at 1:03 in the third period.  24-15 Vikings.

Yussef Zaki (Sr. Capt. 195) then pinned his opponent with 1:03 in the second period.  The first period ended with Yussef leading only 2-1, but he quickly rolled into an escape from the down position at 1:48in the second, and scored the pin at 1:03. 30-15 Vikings.

After a Vikings forfeit at 220, Tom Wilmarth (Sr. Hwt.) wasted no time getting points back.  He took his opponent down at 1:25 then pinned him using a barbed-wire move with 0:16 remaining in the first.

At this point, the Vikings were ahead 36-21 with two freshmen and a sophomore left to wrestle at the three lightest weights.  The team was on edge, but the young wrestlers put on a show.

Peter Li (Fr. 106) was first up.  Peter went down 1-4 when his opponent scored a reversal at 1:40 in the second period.  Then Peter turned on the juice.  He scored an escape, then a take-down at 0:57, and with 0:14 in the period took a half to a pin.  Peter’s teammates greeted him gleefully and hoisted his 106-pound-frame into the air as his pin took the score to 42-21 and clinched the win with only two matches left.

Not to be outdone, Isaac Besrat (So. 113) stepped into the circle and nailed a double-leg take-down at 1:35 and a minute later ran a half into a pin. Vikings up 48-21.

Joseph Aron then punctuated the win with a gutsy match.  He went down 0-2 at1:06 but then scored 13 unanswered points that included 4 near falls through the second period.  He continued his onslaught into the third period, giving up only technical points for illegal holds, and finally going up 19-4 with a near fall.  The 15-point lead finished the meet with a5-point technical fall for the Vikings. Final score:  53-21.

Congratulations to the WrestlingVikes for coming strongly out of the gates for the 2018-19 season.  Fasten your seat belts.  It is going to be a fun ride.

JV Vikings Show Strength Again

The JV Viking Wrestlers built on their success at the Viking Quest tourney to down QO 52-15, winning 10 of their 15 matches.

Jimmy Ostler (132) led off with a first-period cradle-to-pin at 1:15. Stephanie Solloso (126) followed with her own first-period pin, converting a half at 1:09. Arthur Dehareng (145), who had four first-period pins over the weekend, nearly cradled his opponent to a pin in the first minute, but then dominated on points, prevailing 14-2. Will Macdonald (170) led his opponent 8-0 in the second period before securing a pin. Mohamed Diallo (152) wrestled a tough back-and-forth match where all the points were scored in the first period, but fell 5-7. Anh Le (106) started quickly with a take-down at 1:35, then took a 6-2 lead with a near fall at the end of the second period, before winning an 8-5 decision. Kevin Zarin (113) started with a quick double-leg take-down before pinning his opponent at 0:34 in the first. Eric Yuan (145) fought back from a 0-2 deficit to secure a 4-3 decision with an escape in the third period. Logan Eure (170) had a quick take-down, then took a half to a pin at 1:14 in the first. Ben Mickum had a tough heavyweight opponent and lost a heart-breaker 2-4 when his opponent scored a near fall at the second-period buzzer. Sam Mindell (120) showed grit taking the lead with a takedown at 1:22, but finally conceding a tough 2-6 decision-Ryan O’Connor (132) nailed a takedown at 1:49, then used a cradle for the pin at 1:13. Patrick Fletcher (152) encountered a tough opponent, losing a 1-7 decision. Henry Sowells (170) continued his strong run, taking a headlock to a pin at 0:23 in the second. Steven Canfield encountered perhaps the strongest JV wrestler pound-for-pound for QO in the last match of the night, losing a tough decision.

Overall the JV Vikings continued to show strong skill development and toughness.

By Tom Mackall

2018 Viking Quest JV Tournament

JV Wrestlers Show Strength in Season-Opening Viking Quest Tourney

                With the largest presence of 12 participating schools, 23 Vikings at Whitman’s annual Viking Quest JV tournament this weekend posted a record of 57 wins and 33 losses and took home six first-place medals.  First-year and returning Viking wrestlers alike gained valuable mat time and demonstrated impressive combinations of skill, grit, progress, and potential for growth.

                Unlike an elimination tournament, the round-robin format assures every wrestler multiple matches.  This year, 155 participating wrestlers were assigned to one of 30-some groups of 3-5 wrestlers 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.

Five returning Viking wrestlers and one freshman won their groups:  Arthur Dehareng (4-0), Charlie Imperial (4-0), Danylo Hartzler (4-0), Ben Mickum (2-0), Sean Mitchell (4-0), and Freshman Henry Sowells (3-1).   Another five returners (Isaac Beserat, Will MacDonald, Jack Morris, Ryan O’Connor, and Stephanie Solloso) and two freshman (Peter Li and Kevin Zarin) won three of their four matches.  Eric Yuan and first-year wrestlers Joseph Aron, Mohammed Diallo, Logan Eure, Ahn Le, and Jimmy Ostler posted 2-2 records.  Beck Amodeo, Steven Canfield, Patrick Fletcher, and Sam Mindell wrestled tough matches and gritted out some good wins among them.

In the well-managed chaos, two or more Whitman wrestlers may have matches on different mats at the same time, and two Vikings may go against each other.  The action never stops.  So the highlights that follow are not comprehensive, as no single observer is able to track each and every match that takes place through the day.  But there were indeed many highlights.

In at least three matches, Viking wrestlers were down by points but then pinned their opponents late in the match.  Steven Canfield was losing 0-7 to a Churchill opponent in the third period, when he flipped the switch, taking down his man and running a half into a pin.  Sean Mitchell was injured in the first period and down 4-12 with 4 seconds left in the third, when he secured a headlock from the neutral position and pulled his Rockville opponent into a pin.  Peter Li was losing 2-12 in the third, took down his Einstein opponent and pinned him with a half. 

In at least two other matches, Whitman wrestlers came from behind to win on points.  Ben Mickum wrestled an exciting match against a talented Springbrook opponent.  Ben took the lead 2-0 with a first-period takedown, but by the middle of the third period, Ben was down 4-3, and his opponent was in the up position.  Ben scored a reversal late in the round to go up 5-4 and win the match.  Charlie Imperial fell behind 2-0 to Sherwood after a takedown, then tied the match with his second escape, scored a takedown to go up 4-2, and never relinquished the lead.      

Two freshmen won matches in overtime.  Henry Sowells scored an escape late in the third period of his match against Springbrook to force a 4-4 tie after three periods.  In the sudden-death first overtime period, Henry shot for an opening and took down his opponent for a 6-4 victory.  In one of the last and most exciting matches of the day, Joseph Aron took a quick 9-0 lead over his Rockville foe, with three separate near falls.  His opponent fought back, however, tying the match at 14-14 after some scoring confusion in a fast and furious final 30 seconds.  In the overtime period, Joseph shot a double-leg takedown and won the match 16-14. 

No match is over until the final whistle, and the best wrestlers keep fighting hard until they hear it.  These wrestlers showed their commitment to this premise.  They also showed the value of next-level conditioning, for which Whitman wrestling under Coach Manon is known.  As grueling matches reach their end, or continue into overtime, superior conditioning pays off with fresher legs and clearer heads.  Determination and conditioning shone through for our wrestlers.  

On the flip-side of the long grueling matches and dramatic turnarounds, many Vikings scored first-period pins.  Arthur Dehareng and Danylo Hartzler were quick-pin machines, both winning all four matches by first-round pins.  Arthur shot a double leg takedown and moved immediately into a cradle for a pin at about 1:45 against Springbrook.  Danylo also used a cradle move for a pin at 1:38 against Quince Orchard.  Jack Morris and Stephanie Solloso each won three matches by first-round pin.  Jack’s included a headlock-to-pin vs. Rockville at 1:45 and a running-half-to-pin vs. Churchill.  Stephanie used a barbed-wire move in the first minute against Rockville, and dispensed with her Einstein opponent at 1:45.  Isaac Beserat showed strong development since last year with first-round pins against Northwest (half-to-pin) and Gaithersburg (1:04).  Charlie Imperial took a half to a pin at 1:31 vs. Rockville, and Will MacDonald pinned his Einstein opponent at about 1:30.  Logan Eure, a freshman, nailed his second win of the day with an aggressive take-down of his Quince Orchard opponent and a pin at 0:53.  Ryan O’Connor scored a takedown, then a 2-point near fall, before pinning his Churchill opponent at 0:17.  Joseph Aron scored a first-period pin with a half against a Churchill wrestler.

Some other notable wins included Mohammed Diallo’s cradle-to-pin win, Sean Mitchell’s pin of his Pallotti opponent after dominating the first period and his shutout win over Oakdale using “spladle” moves, Anh Le’s second-period pin of his Churchill opponent, and Charlie Imperial’s 15-0 technical fall against Springbrook.

Of the 23 wrestlers, 17 are wrestling for their first or second year.  First-year wrestlers accumulated 21 wins among them.  Even in losses, our wrestlers showed tremendous promise.  Wins not mentioned above did not fall short of any standard, they just were not seen amid the splendid confusion of the day.  Every wrestler should be proud of his or her work and deserves a big congratulations. 

The JV tournament is an important fund-raiser each year for the wrestling team.  Many special kudos and thank you’s are in order for making this a success: Coach Manon and his staff for the logistical work they do to make this happen each year; Piper Imperial for her leadership in organizing the incredible army of parent volunteers who staffed the event; 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.

[Correction: the original piece was updated to include a wrestler inadvertently omitted from the original.]

By Tom Mackall

Vikings Hold Memorable 2017-2018 Wrestling Awards Banquet


This year’s banquet was held at the Carderock Swim and Tennis Club.  We had a great turnout and the event was truly a memorable one.  A big shout out to Shannon Lindstrom is in order for organizing all the moving parts behind this event and ordering the delicious barbeque.  You have set the bar very high and I know we all appreciated it!

During the banquet the coaches talked about the spirit of this team and how they really came together and improved throughout the year. They also spent time speaking about each individual wrestler and how each one evolved and grew throughout the year.  While every story was unique, the themes were similar; each and every wrestler worked hard and made marked improvements this season.  Each wrestler also helped to make this team better and all  were part of the great turnaround to 10 and 4 that was achieved this year.

To make this year’s banquet even more memorable we were fortunate enough to be treated to two videos.  The first video was created by Shannon Turkewitz who put together an exciting montage of photos highlighting each wrestler on the mat this year.  Shannon, along with Chuck Canfield, were our two team photographers this season and supplied all of the action shots for this video.  Thank you Shannon and Chuck for a job well done!

The second video was created by  a group of upperclassman who showcased some of the more memorable events that occurred this season.  I know that all of their coaches, teammates and parents enjoyed this first ever parody of their coaches and other whacky events that transpired this year.  This video was created by Seniors Clark Boinis, John Luke Iglesias and John Mackall as well as Juniors Max Gersch, Mathew Lindstrom, Thomas Santora, Tom Wilmarth and Yussef Zaki with cameo appearances by Colby Fong and Sean Mitchell.  Great job guys! Your impressions of the coaches and other wrestling stories were spot on and this video will be enjoyed for years to come!

As in past years Coach Manon took time at the end of the evening to recognize several grapplers with individual awards.  Coach Manon mentioned that some of these awardees were particularly difficult to select this year as we had so many deserving wrestlers.  Having said that, listed below are the eight individual awards that were presented at the 2017-2018 Awards Banquet.

  • Most Varsity Wins – This award goes to Clark Boinis who had 34 wins this season and sustained only one loss during regular season (non-tournament) competition throughout the entire year.  Clark was also only one of four grapplers this year who wrestled in every dual meet and every tournament, this is despite having his knee pop out a half dozen or so times throughout the year.  Great season Clark!
  • Most Varsity Pins – This goes to John Luke Iglesias who had 19 pins this season.  His total would have likely been higher if he was not forced to take a number of forfeits throughout the season as many opposing coaches did not want any of their wrestlers to face John Luke.  Well done John Luke!
  • Most Improved Varsity – This honor goes to Sebastian Turkewitz this season.  Seb went 21 and 10 this season in the varsity line up.  This was a tremendous improvement from only one varsity win last season and 5 and 5 at the JV level.  Seb was also able to qualify for Regions this year.  We are all excited to see what the next two years hold in store for you.  Great progress Seb!
  • Varsity Coaches Award – Sang Hanna received the Coaches Award this year.  Sang went 17 and 18 this year on the Varsity squad.  Sang also earned his second consecutive first place finish at the JV Viking Quest Tournament. This was a huge step forward from his 2 and 7 Varsity record and his 14 and 3 JV record last season.  Sang also won some very close Varsity matches this year that helped his team achieve victory in several key duals.  Great season Sang!
  • Varsity Mental Toughness Award – As most of you know Max Gersch sustained a serious elbow injury in his first match of the year. Through Max’s hard work and positive attitude he was able to come back ahead of schedule and wrestle the last few duals of the season.  Max was even able to wrestle his way into the Regions.  Great comeback Max!
  • Viking Sportsmanship Award – This is the only award that is actually voted on by all members of the Whitman Wrestling Team.  Formerly known as the Chichester Award, this accolade is given to the Senior wrestler who exemplifies “Dedication, Perseverance, Spirit, Kindness, and Leadership on and off the field”.  This year the team voted Clark Boinis as the recipient of the 2017-2018 Sportsmanship Award.  Clark was a four year varsity wrestler and befriended and mentored many of his younger teammates. His presence on and off the mat will be missed next year.  Great career Clark!
  • Junior Varsity Coaches Award – Luke Cullinane was the recipient of this year’s JV Coaches Award.  Luke wrestled both JV and Varsity this season and amassed a varsity record of 9 and 11 while going 12 and 3 at the JV level.   This is huge step forward from last year when Luke’s record was 5 and 10 at the Varsity level and 7 and 4 at the JV level.   Luke’s progression as a grappler was tremendous this season and we are looking forward to his continued growth and following in his three older brother’s wrestling footsteps.  Great progress Luke!
  • Junior Varsity Most Wins – Stephanie Solloso had 15 JV wins this season, up from 5 victories last year.  Stephanie also placed second at the first annual Maryland State High School Girls Tournament.   We are all very proud of our only female wrestler on the team and the accomplishments she was able to achieve this year.  Great season Stephanie and kudos to you for carrying on the Solloso family wrestling tradition!

Closing Thoughts:  It has been a pleasure being associated with this program over the years.  Cindy and I are very grateful for the discipline, maturity and values wrestling has instilled in our two sons, Christopher and Clark.  We have also been lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and get know such wonderful wrestling families and watch as their children have grown into fine young men and women.  Although next year will be the first in seven seasons that a Boinis will not be on the mat, we are sure the team will continue to thrive and succeed.  Walt Whitman Wrestling is a top notch program and one we have been proud to be a part of.  Go Vikes!

By George Boinis

Three Captains Perform Well at State Tournament

The Maryland State Wrestling Tournament was held on Saturday March 3rd and Monday the 5th at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.   The normal tournament format had to be modified this year as extremely high winds forced school closures on Friday, which pushed the start of the tournament until Saturday.  This meant that all rounds, except for the first through sixth place finals, had to be wrestled on day one.  This made for another very long day……which as Whitman wrestling fans we have all become accustomed to.  I know that our three State Qualifiers greatly appreciated the support of their teammates who made the effort to come out and cheer them on.  Many thanks to James Mackall, Thomas Santora, Sebastian Turkewitz, Matthew Lindstrom, Tom Wilmarth, Steven Canfield and former teammate Andrew Shiman as well as some devoted parents.

The Maryland State Tournament is a double elimination tournament with 16 elite wresters in each 3A/4A weight class.  Each of Maryland’s four regions (North, South, East & West) sent their four top Regional Tournament placers to compete in this capstone event.

All three Whitman Qualifiers made our program proud as they wrestled their way through this tournament.  Clark and Yussef each had two convincing wins and went 2 and 2 at the tournament.  These two wins earned both of them top eight finishes in their respective weight classes.

John Luke won three matches on his way to the finals.   His second match was against the number five ranked wrestler in the state from Franklin High School (Elijah Solomon), who he beat 11-5.  He then went on to beat the number three ranked wrestler in the state from Stephen Decatur High School (Caleb Bourne) who was 31-0 before losing to John Luke in a 10 to 8 decision.  John Luke then faced the number one ranked wrestler in the state from C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air, Maryland in the finals who was 43-0 (Wyatt Graham).   Unfortunately John Luke had injured his knee in the previous match on Saturday and was not 100% going into the finals.  John Luke did however manage to tough it out and compete only to come up a bit short.  Nonetheless it was a fantastic achievement to make it to the finals and place 2nd, beating two higher ranked opponents along the way.

While the 2017-2018 season is now over for our three State Qualifiers, they each can look back and be proud of the performances they turned in, both for their team and individually.

  • Junior Captain Yussef Zaki had 5 wins at the Musselman Duals,  placed 1st at the Grapple at the Brook, 2nd at the Patriot Classic, 4th at the Counties, 2nd at Regionals and Top 8 at States
  • Senior Captain Clark Boinis had 7 wins at the Musselman Duals, placed 1st at the Grapple, 3rd at the Patriot, 2nd at Counties, 3rd at Regionals and Top 8 at States
  • Senior Captain John Luke Iglesias had 5 wins at the Musselman Duals, was 1st at the Grapple, 1st at the Patriot, 1st at Counties, 1st at Regionals, and 2nd at States

These are all truly noteworthy seasons from our team captains.  Their accomplishments serve as testimony to how hard work in the offseason can pay off in the regular season.  They say in wrestling that you get out what you are willing to put in, and that is certainly the case with these three.

It has been an exciting year for the Whitman Wrestling Program.  Aside from the individual accolades the team as a whole has made great strides from where we started at the beginning of the season.  Many of our grapplers have made tremendous improvements as the season progessed.   This speaks volumes to the commitment of our student athletes and the teaching skills of our three very dedicated coaches!

By George Boinis

Three Captains Qualify for States at 4A/3A West Regional Tournament

The Maryland State 4A/3A West Regional Tournament was held on Friday February 23rd and Saturday the 24th at Clarksburg High School.  The tournament format was changed this year as the 25 teams from Montgomery County were split into the 4A/3A West, 4A/3A North and 2A/1A West Regions .  The 4A/3A West Region got the lion’s share of the teams with 17, including Whitman, while the 4A/3A North took 5 and the 2A/1A took 3.  In addition to the Montgomery County Teams the West Region was home to eight teams from Frederick, Carroll and Washington Counties for a total of 26 teams.

Whitman was well represented at the West Regionals with eight grapplers qualifying on points or County Tournament placements.  Those who qualified from Whitman were Peyton Casamento at 120, Clark Boinis at 132, Max Gersch at 145, John Mackall at 160, Sebastian Trukewitz at 170, Yussef Zaki at 195, John Luke Iglesias at 220, and Tom Wilmarth at heavyweight.

Only two schools sent more wrestlers than the Vikings with Churchill and Manchester Valley (Carroll County) both sending 10 while South Hagerstown (Washington County) also sent eight.   Four schools failed to quality any wrestlers and were thus not represented at all.  The rules for advancement from the Regional Tournament were simple, the top four finishers advance to the State Tournament, with the fifth finishers in each weight class being designated as alternates.

Clarksburg High School provided a great venue for Regionals as they are centrally located for all the participating schools and their facilities are spacious and new.  The only downside was having to listen to their raspy voiced announcer for two days who sounded like she needed a box of throat lozenges (or maybe she has an alternate career awaiting her as a public service announcer for smoking cessation).

After two days of tough wrestling three of Whitman’s team captains were able to qualify to advance to the Maryland State Tournament in at the Show Place Area in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  Those moving on to wrestle next week are:

  • Senior Captain Clark Boinis at 132.  Clark went 3-1 at Regionals.  After a tough loss in the semi finals Clark was able to refocus and wrestle his way back to a third place finish with two convincing wins.  Great work Clark!
  • Junior Captain Yussef Zaki at 185.  Yussef went 2-1 at the tournament, recording a fall in each of his first two matches.  Although Yussef lost in the finals (to the reigning Montgomery County Champion), he has positioned himself well for a run at States.  Well done Yussef!
  • Senior Captain John Luke Iglesias at 220.  John Luke remained undefeated for the entire season showing once again why he is the defending Regional Champion by winning his second consecutive Regional Title.   John Luke recorded falls in his first two matches before facing Shawn King-Pombo from South Hagerstown in the finals.  This was a much anticipated match as Shawn was ranked just ahead of John Luke all season long in the Maryland State Rankings.  These ranking proved to be in error as John Luke easily handled his opponent and won a Major over him by a score of 13-4.  Next up for John Luke is the state title… can do it John Luke!

In addition to those advancing to States we had two other wrestlers who placed in the West Regionals.   Both John Mackall (160) and Sebastian Trukewitz (170) were able to capture 6th place finishes.  These two sophomores will almost certainly be back at Regionals next year along with Peyton Casamento, Max Gersch, and Tom Wilmarth.  All of these battle veterans will be back on the mat next year for the Vikings. Congratulations to all five of you for having great seasons and for your many contributions to the team this year.

Best of luck to Clark, Yussef and John Luke in the State Tournament…..let’s bring home some more podium finishes.  Go Vikes!

By George Boinis

Senior Captains Place 1st and 2nd at County Tournament



The Montgomery County Varsity Tournament was held on Friday February 16th and Saturday the 17th at Gaithersburg High School.  Twenty-five teams were present at this year’s tournament where the Vikings entered 10 varsity wrestlers.  Whitman did not have wrestlers represented in four weight classes which were 106, 113, 126 and the 182 brackets, with some being missed due to injuries.

The tournament started off with a familiar tune as the 300 Violin Orchestra was played over the loudspeakers (the same song Whitman makes their entrance to at every home meet).  This must have brought the team good luck as Whitman placed five grapplers in the coveted top six spots of their respective brackets.  These six top finishers are guaranteed to advance to the Regional Tournament next weekend in Clarksburg.

Capturing one of the top six finishing positions were the following:

·         Clark Boinis at 132 was 2nd.  Clark had a great tournament going 3-1 and won his first three matches to advance to the championship round.  Clark’s victorious semi-final match was against a senior Damascus wrestler who was ranked #1 in the 132 pound weight class for the entire season.  Although Clark lost in the finals he did bring home a second place finish that would vault him into the top seed in the upcoming Regional Tournament.

·         Max Gersch at 145 was 5th. Despite being seeded 13th Max was able to wrestle his way into the Regional Tournament.  Max had perhaps the biggest upset of tournament with his first round win over the 4th seed from Sherwood.  Max went on to finish 4-1 at the tournament to secure his visit to Clarksburg.

·         John Mackall at 160 was 6th.  John went 3-2 at the tournament with 2 of his wins by pin.  John the was sixth seed in his very competitive weight bracket and finished as such.

·         Yussef Zaki at 195 was 4th.  Yussef wrestled very tough throughout the tournament and went 1-2.  Both of Yussef’s losses were by the closest margin of one point each.   Yussef’s body of work earned him a second place seeding at the Regionals next week.

·         John Luke Iglesias at 220 was1st.  John Luke once again proved why he is the reigning Montogomery County Champion.  John beat a talented wrester from Blair in the finals by 10-3 to secure his second consecutive county title.  John Luke will now go into the Regional Tournament with the number one seed and defend his Regional title from last year.  Well done John Luke!

Those not finishing in the top six spots but who still qualify for Regionals based on their accumulated season point totals are Peyton Casamento at 120, Sebastian Turkewitz at 170 and Tom Wilmarth at 285.  Congratulations to all eight of our grapplers who are advancing to Regionals.  Good luck to all and let’s bring home some more top finishes!

By George Boinis