Varsity wrestling starts season off confident with 1-1 record

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Photo courtesy Wootton Patriots Wrestling

The varsity squad finishes with a 4-8 record at the Aberdeen Golden Duals Tournament on Dec. 11.

Varsity wrestling was able to pull off a dominant 66-15 win over Seneca Valley on Dec. 15 and JV was also able to improve their record to 1-1 with a win over the Screaming Eagles. This statement win comes after both varsity and JV were defeated by Northwest in their home opener on Dec. 9.

I was proud of the team not backing down to a good Northwest team and we used it as a teaching moment to improve our game.”

— Ralph Bernardo

In their 57-24 defeat against Northwest, varsity started strong to establish a 24-18 lead in their first seven matches, but the pace wasn’t kept and the Jaguars were able to pull through for the win. One of the highlights of the night included senior and reigning state champion Jasmine Gong pinning her opponent in the 106-pound match. “I was proud of the team not backing down to a good Northwest team and we used it as a teaching moment to improve our game,” Assistant Coach Ralph Bernardo said.

The Patriots were able to bounce back with a crushing win over an 0-2 Seneca Valley team. They were in control the entire time with exciting pins coming from junior Mattias Sonel in the 152-pound match and Gong in the 106-pound match. “This win was forsure needed to boost our confidence after the Northwest match and hopefully we can build off the momentum from this win,” Bernardo said.

The varsity Patriots traveled to Aberdeen High School to participate in the Aberdeen Golden Duals Tournament on Dec. 11 in to face an array of teams across Maryland. Varsity was able to go 4-8 throughout the tournament, with standout performances by Daniel Clark, who went 7-0, and Ahmed Elsamani, who finished 6-2. “I enjoyed the opportunity to compete against opponents outside of Montgomery County and get valuable experience,” sophomore Jake Kelly said. 

JV was able to redeem their disappointing 33-7 loss to Northwest with a win over Seneca Valley. Junior Max Mirksy pinned his opponent in the 170-pound match, his first pin of the year. 

“I’m really proud of the team for stepping into new roles and I also love to see that many of these beginner wrestlers have been improving their skills each week,” Assistant Coach Kyle Rampp said.

The team is without 2021 graduates Eric Liau and Jason Liau this year, who both won state championships in the 106-pound weight class and served as leaders to the team. Gong was able to fill the role as she has equal experience in competing and winning high-level state matches. “Jasmine is not only a tough wrestler, but she also leads us and is an example for the JV team,” Rampp said.

The varsity team faces a tough stretch of away games that include: Churchill on Dec. 18 and then B-CC on Jan. 5 when they return after break. JV will compete in away games against Einstein on Dec. 21 and B-CC on Jan. 5.