Viking vs. Paint Branch

Vikings Edge Paint Branch

            Sparked by three pins and a timely victory by Thomas Santora wrestling up at 220, the Vikings held off a good Paint Branch team and prevailed 36-33.

            After a Paint Branch pin of Peter Li at 106, Isaac Besrat battled up from a 1-9 deficit in the third to avoid the major, but the Vikes were down 0-9.

            Peyton Casamento (120) came out very strong, taking his opponent down with a double leg and putting him right onto his back and into a pin at 1:35 to put the Vikes on the board at 6-9.

            Caleb Brenner (126) fell just short of turning several shots into takedowns and was decisioned 5-12 before Matthew Lindstrom was awarded a forfeit at 132, to tie the score at 12-12.

            Colby Fong (138) wasted little time taking down his opponent and using a cradle for near fall and 5-0 lead, then using a half for a pin at 1:00. Vikings up 18-12.

            At 145, Arthur Dehareng made the best of his varsity debut. Twice in the first period he shot a single leg then grabbed the second leg for takedowns. He defeated a switch attempt after the second takedown to hold a 4-1 lead at the end of the first. He cut his opponent free after starting up in the second, then after a single-leg shot stepped back for another takedown and a 6-2 lead. His opponent fought back to 6-5 with an escape and take down before Arthur reversed with five seconds remaining for an 8-5 lead. Starting down in the third, Arthur fought off several attempts to flip him with a half, and scored an escape at 1:33 for a 9-5 lead that Arthur maintained to the end. Vikings up 21-12.

            Charlie Imperial (152) dropped a 3-10 decision, before Will Macdonald took the mat at 160. After surrendering the first take down, Will tied it up with a reversal in the first. After another reversal to start the second, Will used a power half for a pin at 1:27. Vikes up 27-15.

            Paint Branch surprisingly did not put a wrestler on the mat at 170 against John Mackall. After that forfeit, the crowd was pleased to see Sang Bobbitt Hanna on the mat for his first bout of the season after a knee injury, but Sang succumbed to a pin from his county-ranked opponent at 0:42 in the first. When Danylo Hartzler was also pinned in the first period, the score stood at 33-27 with two bouts remaining.

Thomas Santora delivered in the clutch. Thomas got behind his opponent, lifted and took him to the mat then surrendered a quick escape at the end of the first for a 2-1 lead. Starting up in the second, he gave up an escape, but then slid behind his opponent for another takedown at 0:50 and rode top to the buzzer for a 4-2 lead. Another similar takedown in the third gave Thomas a 6-2 lead and a cushion that a final-second reversal could not overcome. With the 6-4 victory, the Vikes were up 36-27 and clinched the win.  The final score was 36-33 after Tom Wilmarth was pinned by Paint Branch’s third county-ranked wrestler.

The JV Vikes wrestled simultaneously, so their performances weren’t covered, but the respective weight distributions of the teams apparently resulted in a number of intra-squad matches.

Next up, the Vikings travel Wednesday to Magruder for a 6:15 dual, followed by the Grapple at the Brook tourney at Springbrook High School in Silver Spring on Friday and Saturday. Go Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Viking @ Kennedy

Vikings Prevail In Forfeit-Filled Kennedy Match

            Against a Kennedy team that put only four wrestlers on the mat, the Whitman Vikings won big, 66-13. The wrestlers that took the mat for Kennedy, however, gave the Vikes a handful.

            Ten Vikings won by forfeit: Isaac Besrat (113), Peyton Casamento (120), Caleb Brenner (126), Matthew Lindstrom (132), Colby Fong (145), Seng Bobbitt Hanna (170), Thomas Santora (182), Danylo Hartzler (195), Yussef Zaki (220), and Tom Wilmarth (Hwt).

            Charlie Imperial (152) dominated his opponent and won by pin. After a quick double-leg takedown, Charlie held a cradle for nearly 30 seconds, but could not secure the pin. He broke the hold for three points, then claimed another near fall at the end of the period. In the second period he used a single leg and high crotch for a takedown and 10-0 lead, before using a half for the pin at the 1:20 mark.

Stephanie Solosso made her varsity debut at 132. Down 0-7 after a snap take down in the second, Stephanie reversed and nearly pinned her opponent, before being reversed for a 5-9 deficit. Starting up in the third, Stephanie claimed another near fall to narrow the gap to 8-9, but was reversed as she attempted to roll out. Two more near falls led to an 8-16 final.

John Mackall (160) was tied 7-7 late in the third, but his opponent won the last-ditch takedown struggle for a 7-9 decision. 

Peter Li could not escape his opponent’s double-armbar move, and was pinned at 1:30 in the second.

On Saturday, the Vikes host a perennially strong Paint Branch team, which has three county-ranked wrestlers at the upper weights. The match starts at 1:00 pm in the Whitman gym. Come out and support the Vikes!

By Tom Mackall

Varsity Patriot Classic Tournament

Vikes Place Sixth at Patriot Classic

            Led by Tom Wilmarth’s third-place finish, six other placers, and at least one victory by every Whitman wrestler, the Vikings placed sixth among 22 teams competing in the 26th annual Patriot Classic at Northern High School (which is in southern Maryland). The Vikes have four days’ rest before their dual meet on Thursday, January 10, at 6:15 at Kennedy.

            Whitman has participated in the Patriot Classic in Owings, MD, in Calvert County for several years. It draws teams primarily from PG County and southern Maryland and serves amazing crab soup at the concession, the best bargain of the season. This year, the tourney drew 22 teams and 18 Maryland-state-ranked wrestlers.

Wrestlers who lose before the championship semi-finals must win 2 or 3 consolation rounds to advance to the consolation semi-finals, from which winners will vie in the consolation finals for place 3-4 and losers for 5-6. Wrestlers who lost in the championship semi-finals have consolation byes until the semi-final round. This format assures every wrestler at least two bouts, and some may wrestle as many as six matches over the two days. Individual wrestlers receive medals for places one through four in each weight class, and teams earn points based upon wins, types of wins, and advancement.

            As a team, the Vikings compiled a 33-24 overall record, secured one third-place, three fourth-place, two fifth-place, and one sixth-place finishes, and had every wrestler win at least one bout. This showing earned the Vikings 123.5 team points, placing it behind only St. Mary’s Ryken, Sherwood, Broadneck, Northern, and Lackey.

            Tom Wilmarth (HWT) was 4-1, and placed third, with his only loss to tourney champion Christian Bryant from Eleanor Roosevelt in PG County. Tom led the entire way in his first bout, winning 5-2 against an opponent from Lackey. Tom sprawled and spun for a takedown, then ran a half to a pin in 38 seconds to down his quarterfinal opponent (Oxon Hill). Tom just missed a fireman’s carry move in the semis, which his opponent turned into a takedown and a wire move to a pin. In a rematch against his first opponent in the consolation semis, Tom again dominated start to finish for a 5-1 decision, nearly pinning his opponent with a cradle in the second. In the consolation finals, Tom was down 0-2 going into the third, but landed a takedown then nailed a pin in the second against his Surrattsville opponent.

            Peyton Casamento (120) also wrestled into the championship semifinals where he lost to the tourney champion, Evan Eldridge of St. Mary’s Ryken, and ended with a 4th-place finish and a 3-2 record. In the opening round, Peyton took a headlock to a pin in 27 seconds. In the quarters, he made a quick takedown then caught his opponent in the middle of an attempted sit turn for a fall with :09 remaining in the first. After losing by fall, Peyton went to a 10-0 lead on a near fall at the end of the second period and won a 12-5 major decision against a Broadneck opponent in the consolation semifinals. In the consolation finals, Peyton faced a Lackey wrestler, who may be the tallest 120-pounder out there, and was caught with a takedown and pin in the waning seconds of the second period.

Colby Fong (138) had a strong tourney, placing fourth by winning four and losing two, his first to a state-ranked Broadneck wrestler who placed second in the tourney and his last to state-ranked Sam Ewing of Sherwood. Colby was tied 5-5 going into the third period of his opening match, and very nearly escaped from the down position, but was rolled into a 3-point near fall to lose 5-8. In his second match against an opponent from Northern, Colby came out aggressively, scored a first-period takedown, then used a high half for a pin in the second. Next, Colby dominated a Chopticon opponent, allowing only an escape and winning a major 9-1. Colby followed that with a technical fall over a McDonough opponent, going up 6-0 after the first. With a 14-0 lead after a near fall, Colby cut his opponent then scored a quick takedown to go up 16-1 for the tech fall. Facing a state-ranked Bowie wrestler in the finals, Colby went down 1-2, but then turned the match around for a 6-3 lead before taking a half to a pin with 1:02 remaining.

Thomas Santora (182) also had a 4-2 record and a fourth-place finish. Thomas won his opening match (St. Mary’s Ryken), going up 6-2 at the end of the first, 8-3 after the second, and reversing his opponent in the third for a 10-3 decision. Thomas was up 2-1 in the third period of his next match after reversing his C.H.Flowers opponent, but gave up a late reversal to lose 2-3.  Undeterred, Thomas shutout his next opponent (Wise HS) 5-0 with two takedowns and an escape, dominated his Lackey opponent for a 7-3 win, then pinned his Broadneck opponent in the second period of the consolation semifinals. He could not get untracked against his Bowie opponent in the finals, however, and lost 3-8.

Second-year wrestler Charlie Imperial (152) showed his high ceiling, going 4-2 with a fifth-place finish. Charlie’s first and last bouts were against Marc Kemgang from Sherwood, and he won both decisively. In the first bout, he survived a near fall in the second period when he missed a switch attempt, but then scored a reversal and a two-point near fall at the end of the period, then pulled away in the third for an 11-4 decision. Charlie’s second bout was a high scoring rumpus that could have gone either way. Down 8-12 to start the third period with gauze wrapped around his face to stem a nosebleed, Charlie took advantage of superior conditioning to reverse his Frederick Douglass opponent and then cut and took him down in succession to tie at 14 then go down 14-15, with some confusion as to whether he should have been awarded additional points. When his opponent was called for a second stall with 15 seconds left, the match tied 15-15 and went to overtime. In overtime, Charlie’s opponent surprised with a burst for a double-leg take down and near fall, for a 15-19 final. Charlie followed this pin in the second period using a power half against his opponent from Patuxent, and another second-period pin against an opponent from Wise. Charlie then went up 4-1 but lost by fall late in the second period against Northern in the consolation semi-finals.

John Mackall (160) battled through a tough seeding draw for a 4-2 record and a fifth-place finish. John lost his first match by fall in the third to a state-ranked St. Mary’s Ryken wrestler, who lost in the championship finals to another state-ranked wrestler. Against his next opponent, John led 5-1 after the second with a reversal, takedown and point for illegal hold. His opponent escaped to start the third but John snapped and circled for a takedown and a 7-2 final score. John then wrestled the top-seeded wrestler in the bracket, went up 2-0 from an illegal hold and an escape in the second, and then rode top the entire third for the win. John pinned his next opponent (Duval) in the second period by getting under a takedown attempt, putting him on his back, and using his legs to secure the pin.  John was up 4-0 after a reversal to start the second period of this next match (Northern), but got caught in a cradle for a fall. John won his final match against Frederick Douglass in another low scoring affair, where he went up 4-2 with a reversal in the third, then allowed an escape at the buzzer to win 4-3.

Will Macdonald (170) posted a 3-3 record and placed sixth. Will opened quickly, scoring a single leg and put his Oxon Hill opponent on his back for a pin in 35 seconds. He lost his next (Northern) by fall in the third. He bounced back with a pin early in the second against McDonough. Next, leading 9-3 in the third, he pinned his Great Mills opponent with 0:34 remaining. Will was then pinned by state ranked Higazi of Sherwood in the consolation semi-finals. He battled strong against his Duval opponent in the finals, going up 3-2 in the second, and then down 3-5 in the third after cutting his opponent, but surrendered a takedown for the 3-7 final.

Every wrestler won at least one match. 

Peter Li (1-2, 106) won his opening bout against Calvert. Down 0-2 after an initial takedown, Peter proceeded to score a reversal, two takedowns, and an escape to win 9-3. 

Isaac Besrat (1-2, 113) won his second match 7-3 after leading wire-to-wire over Broadneck.

Caleb Brenner (2-2, 126) opened scoring in his first match with a double leg takedown at the 0:32 mark, then cradled his Lackey opponent for a pin at the end of the first period. That earned him the right to wrestle top-seeded highly ranked Blake Jury of St. Mary’s Ryken, who pinned Caleb in the second period. Caleb came back with a strong performance, leading 11-5 in the third then taking a half to a pin his opponent (Wise) at 1:17.

Matthew Lindstrom (2-2, 132) started the tourney by sweeping the ankle of his opponent (Eleanor Roosevelt) and taking him to a cradle for a pin in 32 seconds. As with Caleb, Matthews opening win pitted him then against a highly ranked and the top seeded wrestler, who won 3-14. Matthew returned to form next match, leading 7-1 after three takedowns, and then using an armbar to a near fall for a 10-1 lead then pinning his opponent (Frederick Douglass) at 0:11 in the second. After a second-period takedown against his next opponent (Wise), Matthew was up 4-1, but was reversed and got caught for a fall.

Danylo Hartzler (195, 1-2) won his second match by pin. He began second period in the down position, then switched, caught his opponent (Calvert), and put him right to his back for the pin at :09.

The Vikings’ competitiveness and sportsmanship was on display throughout the well-run tournament. In several brackets, the Vikes encountered wrestlers that showed a standard to which they need to develop if they want to progress to the state tournament at the end of the year.  The more time the team gets against great competition, the bigger the dividends at the end of the year.

Keep coming out to support the Vikes and watch this team develop.

Vikings Lose to Talented Springbrook Team

            Fresh off winter break, missing several wrestlers, including Captains Max Gersch and Yousef Zaki to injury, and facing a seasoned Springbrook team with 11 county-ranked wrestlers, a young Whitman lineup went down 12-64 on Wednesday night.

            Several bouts looked as though they could go either way, but Danylo Hartzler, a first-year varsity wrestler, delivered the brightest performance of the evening. Danylo missed a shot in the first round, which the Springbrook wrestler turned into a takedown and an 0-2 lead at the end of the period. Danylo took the down position to start the second, and at 1:25 reversed his opponent and took him right into a near fall. After some micro-adjustments, he secured the pin at 0:42.

            Colby Fong lost an exciting bout in overtime. Tied 0-0 after the first, Colby took a 3-0 lead after the second with an escape and single-leg takedown. Colby was reversed and taken to a near fall to go down 3-4, but quickly reversed for a 5-4 lead, only to be reversed again to go down 5-6. Springbrook was called a second time for stalling at 0:10, which tied the bout. In overtime, Colby took the initiative and appeared to land a double leg takedown, but was flipped by his opponent, who was awarded the takedown and a sudden death victory.

            The JV team wrestled on a second mat at the same time as varsity, so I could not follow those bouts. What was most impressive, however, was the size the respective JV squads, which provided bouts for many wrestlers and bodes a bright future for both programs.

By Tom Mackall

Vikings @ Richard Montgomery

Vikings Pull Away for Convincing Win over Richard Montgomery

            After spotting the Richard Montgomery Rockets to a 12-point lead through the lower weights, the Vikings turned the tables and dominated the upper weights to register a 54-21 victory. With a grueling weekend at the Musselman Duals and three victories in three days this week, the Vikes will get some much needed rest over the holiday break before getting back on the mat to practice for their home match against a strong Springbrook team on Wednesday, January 2.

            Peter Li led off the match facing Montgomery County’s fourth-ranked 106-pound wrestler. After a close first period ended with Peter down 0-2, RM scored a quick reversal in the second and finished with a pin. Vikings down 0-6.

            Isaac Besrat (113) took a tough opponent the distance.  Down 1-4 after the first period, he rode top the entire second period and had the bout within reach at 2-4 when he scored an escape at 1:48 in the third. After being taken down and escaping with 30 seconds remaining, Isaac was unable to close the gap and lost 3-6.  Vikings down 0-9.

 Peyton Casamento (120) continued his strong return to the mat, scoring a single-leg takedown in the first five seconds, then using a barb wire move to pin his opponent at 0:49.  Gap closed to 6-9.

Caleb Brenner (126), back from injury, went up 4-1 after two periods, very nearly pinning his opponent with a roll at 1:40 in the second.  He got caught with a move in the third period, however, and gave up a pin.  Vikings down 6-15.

Sean Mitchell (132) fell short after an exciting third period.  Down 2-4, Sean reversed to tie at 1:54.  After a reversal, a 2-point near fall, and another reversal, Sean was on top but down two points with 38 seconds remaining.  He nearly missed several attempts at back points, however, and fell short 6-8.  Vikings down 6-18.

Next to wrestle was Colby Fong (145) following a forfeit to Matthew Lindstrom at 138. Colby wrestled aggressively, taking his opponent down in 15 seconds then using a half to a pin at 1:06. With Colby’s pin, the Vikes tied the match 18-18.

Charlie Imperial (152) then gave the Vikes the lead, which they would hold the rest of the match. Charlie was up 7-1 at the end of the first period, just missing a pin at the buzzer. He rode from the up position in the second period, and scored a pin at 0:36.  Vikes up 24-18.

RM moved their 152-lb. county-ranked wrestler up to wrestle Max Gersch at 160. Max was caught with a bear hug take down and near fall at about 0:35 in the first and was down 1-4 after an escape near the end of the period. With a reversal at 1:34, Max was down 3-4, but could not quite secure back points on several tilt attempts before RM escaped at 0:58. Wrestling up in the third, Max again fell short on tilts. A reversal, escape, and take down in the last 25 seconds resulted in a 4-9 loss.  Vikes up 24-21.

John Mackall (170) ended the first period up 2-0 and escaped from down at 1:48 in the second for a 3-0 lead. A successful chin and wing took his opponent down and nailed a pin at 1:10.  30-21 Vikes.

Will Macdonald (182) followed suit.  With a 2-0 lead going into the second, he started up, scored a near fall at 1:22, and then secured the pin.  Vikings 36-21.

Danylo Hartzler turned in the most exciting bout of the afternoon.  Down quickly 0-5 from a headlock takedown and near fall, Danylo wriggled off his back and scored a reversal and a barbed wire for a near fall.  All this happened in the first minute of the bout.  Nearly reversed again, Danylo defeated a switch attempt, then secured his opponent’s head and arm and laid the pin with 48 seconds remaining in the first. 

Thomas Santora then continued the team streak of the day and his personal streak at 220. Up 5-0 at the end of the first after using a reverse half for a near fall, Thomas used a bear hug for a takedown at 1:37 of the second. An arm bar then rolled his opponent over, resulting in a pin about 25 seconds later. Tom Wilmarth then won by forfeit.  Vikings win 54-21.

Once again, the JV Vikings followed up the varsity Vikings with a strong outing of their own, winning 30-11. After Rian O’Connor lost his opening bout 2-10, Jack Morris used a headlock for a takedown in the first five seconds, then never relinquished his hold and scored the pin at 1:19. Anh Le then won a decision 8-6, ceding an escape and going down one to start the third, but then landing two takedowns for the win. Kevin Zarin just missed a first-period pin, and ceded an escape to start the third and go down 2-3. From there, he took his opponent down and used a half to a pin at 0:14. Joseph Aron nearly escaped a pin in the first period, and fought his way back steadily from a 2-6 deficit and ran a half to a three-point near fall in the third to win 7-6. Sam Mindell took his opponent the distance again, but lost a decision. Stephanie Solloso continued her strong year, taking down her opponent and then cradling for a pin at 1:10 in the first. Jimmy Ostler fell just short, losing a 4-7 decision. Henry Sowells ended the evening using a half to pin his opponent midway through the second in a match where both wrestlers’ head gear popped off at the same time at one point. Two Vikings, Mohamed Diallo and Logan Eure, wrestled an exhibition against each other, with Logan pinning Mohamed with one second left in the second.

Wishing everyone a very relaxing, joyful, and safe holiday break.  Be ready to come out and support the team AT HOME against Springbrook on January 2 at 6:15 pm.

By Tom Mackall

Vikings vs. Einstein and Watkins Mill

Vikings Dominate Home Tri-Meet vs. Einstein and Watkins Mill

                Despite new injuries in an already depleted line up, new Vikings stepped up and some Vikings wrestled up, and the team turned in dominating performances against the Einstein Titans and the Watkins Mill Wolverines in Wednesday’s home tri-meet. This showing should provide this evolving team some momentum into the dual at Richard Montgomery at 4:00 PM on Friday.

                The injury bug continues to strike. Yussef Zaki, Sr. Captain and 220 standout, has learned he will be out at least six weeks. Seb Turkewitz, Jr. 170, is also likely sidelined for several weeks. Caleb Brenner also did not wrestle due to injury. Luke Cullinane, Sean Fleming, and Sang Bobbit Hanna were already out for the season. The depth the coaches have cultivated comes into play now, and younger wrestlers have opportunities to step up. On the flip side, Peyton Casamento returned for his first matches after injury and illness.

Vikings over Titans 64-10

Thomas Santora led off for the Vikings in the 220 spot. This is three weight classes and 38 pounds heavier than where Thomas has been wrestling at 182. Despite the jump, Thomas continued his string of success, using a bear hug to score a takedown at 1:40 and then an arm-bar to a pin at 0:21 in the first. Tom Wilmarth (Hwt.) followed with a forfeit, and the Vikings were up 12-0 quickly.

Peter Li (106) kept the quick-win string going, scoring a takedown at 1:14, then using a half to flip and pin his opponent at 0:30 of the first. Isaac Besrat (113) followed with a 14-4 major decision. After falling behind with a takedown at 1:26 in the first, Isaac put together 14 unanswered points, with two long near falls where he could not quite get both shoulders to the mat before the buzzer. After these two matches, Vikings led 22-0.

 Next up, Peyton Casamento (120) exploded at the whistle with the energy of a wrestler who has been longing to get onto the mat this season. He scored a takedown in the first ten seconds, and after getting under the arms of and throwing his opponent for a takedown about half-way through the second period, nailed the pin with 0:52 remaining. 28-0 Vikings.

Sophomore Rian O’Connor (126) then made his first varsity appearance in this spot. He delivered. Against a very active opponent who started the second period in the down position, Rian stayed very fluid to keep with his opponent and defeated several switch attempts, but finally relinquished a reversal and was down 1-4 at the end of the second period. In the third, Rian started in the down position, scored a quick escape, then headlock to a takedown and tied the score at 4-4. He cut his opponent for an escape and then took another takedown with a minute left and held on for the dramatic 6-5 win. Vikings up 31-0.

Matthew Lindstrom (138) made quick work of his opponent, sweeping the ankle to score a takedown in the first five seconds and then using a barbed wire and half to land the pin at 0:18. 

Two Whitman wrestlers drew county-ranked oppoents. Sean Mitchell’s opponent at 132 is currently ranked second and pinned Sean at 0:32 in the second period. Colby Fong’s opponent placed 4th in counties last year and is currently ranked fourth. Colby took him to the limit, wrestling the first period to a 0-0 draw, but finally ceding a major decision 0-9. Vikings up 37-10.

Charlie Imperial (152) scored a single-leg takedown within 20 seconds, then ran a half at 0:58 and converted to a pin at 0:44. Max Gersch followed with a similarly quick pin, nailing a take down in 12 seconds, then scoring a near fall before taking the pin at 0:13. 49-10 Vikings.

Will Macdonald was another first-time varsity wrestler at 170. No worries. With a quick shot at 1:30, he scored the take down, then converted to a pin at 1:14. 55-10 Vikings.

John Mackall (182) wrestled up two weight classes and took a hard-fought decision.  Facing a much larger opponent, John was up 2-1 after the first period, but then gave up a take down at the buzzer ending the second period to fall behind 4-5.  John started the third period in the down position and scored a reversal in the first 10 seconds.  He then rode out the rest of the period for a 6-5 win. 58-10 Vikings.

Danylo Hartzler (195) was the fourth season-debut-Varsity wrestler at his weight class, and like the others took full advantage.  Danylo scored a takedown within thirty seconds then pinned his opponent at the 0:55 mark. With his win, the final score was Vikings 64, Titans 10.

The JV Vikings followed up in similar form. Einstein does not have the depth the Vikings have, and fielded only four grapplers. Anh Le was down 1-4 at 0:20 when he reversed his opponent and scored a pin with two seconds remaining. Joseph Aron then scored a takedown in 15 seconds and took a half to a pin at the 1:03 mark. Stephanie Solloso took her opponent down within the first ten seconds, then used a power half to a pin at 1:27. Jimmy Ostler then closed out the bout with a victory. Up 4-0 after a reversal in the second, he used a barbed wire to secure a pin at 0:51. Four matches, four pins for wins.  JV Vikings 24-0.

Vikings over Wolverines 69-12

The Vikings continued the onslaught against Watkins Mill. The Wolverines had no heavies, forfeiting to Tom Wilmarth (Hwt.) to open the match, and then forfeiting to Danylo Hartzler (195) and Thomas Santora (220) to end the match. On the other hand, Watkins Mill put up two strong wrestlers at the light weights, securing pins against Peter Li at 106 and Isaac Besrat at 113. After the opening three bouts, the Vikes were down 12-6.

Peyton Casamento came out even faster this bout than last, scoring a take down at 1:53 then pinning his opponent at 1:34. Not to be outdone, Rian O’Connor used a headlock to takedown and pin his opponent, also at the 1:34 mark. Two consecutive 26-second pins, and the Vikings were up 18-12.

Sean Mitchell wrestled the most exciting bout of the match. Down 1-2 after a take down and escape, he took his opponent down and nearly landed a spladle, but was reversed at the buzzer and down 3-4. Beginning up in the second, he gave up a quick escape, then won a takedown at 0:47. Sean rode his opponent until the last ten seconds, when he was reversed, only to quickly reverse his opponent at the buzzer. The third period opened tied at 7-7 and Sean selecting down. He secured a quick escape, then executed a slide-by takedown. He was reversed at 0:55, but escaped with 0:09 remaining to win 11-9. 21-12 Vikings.   

In less than five minutes of wrestling that followed, the Vikings scored six pins and took a 57-12 lead. Matthew Lindstrom (138) swept an ankle for a takedown, then barbed wire to pin at 1:27. Colby Fong (145) used a headlock to a takedown, then a reverse half to a pin at 0:57.  Charlie Imperial (152) had a quick take down, then used a wrist-half combo for a pin at 0:44. Will Macdonald (160) used a barbed wire to a pin at 0:52. Max Gersch, wrestling up at 170, used a quick move to nail a pin at 1:23. Then John Mackall (182) had a quick takedown to half to pin at 1:20. With the two forfeits at 195 and 220, the Varsity Vikes claimed a 69-12 victory.

The JV Vikings won five matches and lost one.  Anh Le decisioned his opponent 6-4.  Kevin Zarin was leading 5-0 when he pinned his opponent at 0:58 in the second. Joseph Aron scored a single-leg takedown then pinned his opponent in 20 seconds. Arthur Dehareng used a cradle to pin his opponent in 18 seconds. Jimmy Ostler was down 0-4 after the first, but went from the up position to a cradle to a pin at 0:31 in the second. Sam Mindell wrestled a gutsy match, scoring two reversals and an escape, but lost a decision 5-13.  Final score, 27-4.

By Tom Mackall

Varsity Musselman Duals & JV Northwest Duals

Tough Musselman Duals Raise Bar for Vikings

            Despite some strong individual performances and very tough wrestling, the Varsity Vikings encountered teams and wrestlers at the Musselman Duals in Inwood, WV, that set a higher standard to which the team can aspire as it develops through the season.  Overall, the team won three of eight duals against teams from West Virginia, Virginia, and western Maryland.  This experience should pay dividends in the three dual matches coming up this week.

            Twenty teams from the tri-state region wrestled in this year’s Musselman Duals.  Each team wrestled four other teams in its bracket plus another randomly-matched team, and then wrestled three additional teams in day two based upon their results.  These duals are filled with state-ranked wrestlers and teams that wrestle twelve months out of the year, so the wrestlers’ combination of conditioning, experience, and skill is top-notch.  Unlike some tournaments that may allow the Vikings to pad their records against lesser competition early in the year, the Musselman Duals give the Vikings the opportunity to “learn much more by wrestling people from top programs, than by pinning somebody in 30 seconds,“ says Coach Manon.

Excluding forfeits, the Vikings recorded 31 wins against 52 losses.  The records on the weekend for each individual wrestler, including forfeits, were as follows:

  • Peter Li (106 Fr.)—5-3, with two pins for wins
  • Isaac Besrat (113 So.)—2-6
  • Joseph Aron (120 Fr.)—3-1
  • Caleb Brenner (126 Jr.)—3-5, with a pin for a win
  • Sean Mitchell (132 Sr.)—2-5, including an 8-2 decision
  • Ryan O’Connor (132)—0-1
  • Matthew Lindstrom (138 Sr. Capt.)—4-4, with 3 pins for wins and a major
  • Colby Fong (145, Jr.)—1-7, with a pin for a win
  • Charlie Imperial (152, So.)—1-7, with a pin for a win
  • Max Gersch (160, Sr. Capt.)—3-2, with a pin for a win
  • John Mackall (160, Jr.)—1-3, with a pin for a win
  • Seb Turkewitz (170, Jr.)—3-3, with two pins for wins
  • Thomas Santora (185, Sr.)—6-2, with three pins for wins
  • Youssef Zaki (195, Sr. Capt.)—8-0, with six pins for wins
  • Tom Wilmarth (Hwt. Sr.)—5-3, with two pins for wins

While every wrestler left nothing on the mat through a grueling two days, three seniors and a freshman stood out.  Youssef Zaki dominated his opponents by winning every non-forfeited match by pin, and ending every match the second day in the first period.  Max Gersch wrestled two top-ranked wrestlers at 160, losing in overtime vs. Martinsburg, WV, and winning a 1-0 decision against Williamsport, MD.  Thomas Santora consistently frustrated his opponents securing five wins on the mat.  Joseph Aron, who wrestled only on Friday, showed a rare instinct for a first-year wrestler to exploit mistakes and put people on their backs and scored three pins for wins.

The Musselmans are set up as a team event, and as a team the Vikes went three and five.  Here are brief highlights.    

  • Whitman (33) vs. Martinsburg, WV (42):   The opening match was hard-fought with Aron, Lindstrom, Turk, Santora, and Zaki scoring wins on the mat.
  • Whitman (48) vs. Berkeley Springs, WV (23): Forfeits made the difference for the Vikings in this team win.  Aron, Caleb Brenner, and Colby Fong each won by pin.
  • Whitman (12) vs. Williamsport, MD (60): Williamsport is a top program in Maryland.  Youssef pinned his opponent, Santora won 8-7, and Gersch scored the only point of his bout to win 1-0.
  • Whitman (52) vs. Moorefield, WV (15): The Vikings won five of the nine bouts actually wrestled, with pins by Santora, Zaki, Wilmarth, and Aron, and a major by Lindstrom.  Four additional forfeits added to the victory margin.
  • Whitman (12) vs. Mountainview (Stafford), VA (61): Mountainview out of Stafford, VA, is another strong program.  Zaki won his bout by pin.  The most exciting bout was Turk’s hard fought 7-8 loss in which he tied his opponent with a takedown at 1:13 in the third, but fell just short in the final seconds.
  • Whitman (57) vs. Hampshire, WV (22): The Vikings had success against Hampshire. They nailed seven pins (Gersch, Imperial, Li, Lindstrom, Santora, Turk, and Youssef), and Sean Mitchell won by an 8-2 decision, showing the aggressiveness he has demonstrated at the JV level.
  • Whitman (30) vs. Hedgesville, WV (48): The Vikings forfeited three weight classes against Hedgesville, which made the difference in the score.  Zaki, Wilmarth, Li, Lindstrom, and Mackall each pinned their opponents.
  • Whitman (30) vs. Buckhannon-Upshur, WV (37): The Vikings had a chance to exit the event with a .500 record, but dropped their final match, which had a closer score because of forfeits.  Santora ended the event with an exclamation point, pinning his opponent with a barbed wire move at the 1:12 mark of the first period.

The work this weekendshould put the team in a good position going into this week of bouts before theChristmas break. On Wednesday, the Vikings have a home tri-meet againstEinstein and Watkins Mill. On Friday, they travel to Richard Montgomery.  EVENTS ON BOTH DAYS BEGIN AT 4:00 PM.  Mark your calendars and come cheer on theVikes.       

      By Tom Mackall

JV Vikes Grapplers Wrestle well at the Northwest High School JV Dual Meet Tournament

            Even though the JV Viking Wrestling Squad was forfeiting two weights and 12 points per match, they managed to go 3-1 on Saturday. They beat Richard Montgomery 48-24, Chantily 37-29 and Blair 52-15 and lost to a combined Wooton/Middleton Squad 36-45. They did not formally place in the tournament due to a preference to advance teams with no missing weights to the championship round but delivered a top 5 performance.

Notable individual performances include the following:

  • Will MacDonald 4-0 with four pins including a tough comeback pin against a strong Middleton Wrestler.
  • Ryan O’Connor 4-0 with three pins and a Major Decision
  • Danylo Hartzler 4-1 with 3 first period wins and an excellent execution of a front headlock to a nearside cradle for back-points.
  • Joseph Aron 4-1 with two pins
  • Kevin Zarin 4-1 with two pins\
  • Arthur Dehareng 3-1 with 2 pins and a beautifully executed switch for a reversal in one of his matches.
  • Jimmy Ostler 3-1 with one pin
  • Henry Sowells with one pin
  • Gage Conrad 3-1 with 2 pins
  • Stephanie Sollosso 3-2 with 2 pins
  • Jack Morris 1-1 with a badly needed 8-7 win achieved by riding a tough opponent out an entire 3rd period
  • Patrick Fletcher 1-1

This was a good test for an up andcoming JV team that knows how to pin and score bonus points needed to win dualmeets where the Vikings are giving up forfeits for missing weights. Note the two meets this week:  on Wednesday, the Vikings have a hometri-meet against Einstein and Watkins Mill and on Friday, they travel toRichard Montgomery.  EVENTS ON BOTH DAYS BEGIN AT 4:00 PM. 

By Chuck Canfield

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