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Walt Whitman tops Patriot Classic at Northern-Calvert

Updated: Jan 12

Whitman's Solomon Randall needs only to look to the coaching chairs for inspiration.

That’s where the undefeated, 120-pound sophomore will find Will Sharbaugh, an assistant to 17th-year head coach Derek Manon.


Sharbaugh was a Class 4A-3A state champion with a 37-0 record in 2006, this a year after leading the Vikings to the Class 4A-3A state duals and tournament crowns in 2005.


“I want to become an undefeated state champion for my school and to break the 18-year streak since my coach, Will Sharbagh, won one in 2006,” said Randall, 15, who placed third at each of last year’s Montgomery County, regional and Class 4A-3A state tournaments. “Another big motivation for me is my goal to get my name on the wall in our wrestling room. To get your name on the wall, you have to win a county, region or state title, and I can see myself in the near future accomplishing this.”

Randall is 16-0 with 12 pins on the year, having remained on pace to achieve his desires by winning the title at last weekend’s 20-team Patriot Classic at Northern-Calvert High School.


“I was handed my first loss last year at this time in the finals of the Patriot Classic, so I would say that I’ve been doing a pretty good job so far this season. Thanks to my offseason work, I’m 16-0 and have gotten over some humps where I came up short last year,” Randall said.

“Being undefeated this deep into the season is extremely gratifying. I also feel that being undefeated adds some pressure given that one match can set you back. But in the same way that being undefeated places you in the spotlight, that constant pressure and the ‘What if’ factor is what motivates me even more.”





Randall was joined on the victory podium by freshman Jabasie Trice (113), junior Laird Ostien (165) and seniors Meran Elake (144) and Jon Aron (175) as the Vikings won the overall title by placing seven wrestlers within the top three of their weight classes and 10 within the top six.


The Vikings (221 points) withstood second-place Bowie (164.5) thanks to third-place finishes from senior state runner-up Jacob Gaum (126) and sophomore Chris Lindstrom (132), with fifth place efforts from junior Justin Rommel (138) and senior Levi Merstein (190) and a sixth from freshman Kelani Ramos (106) in an event which began on Friday and concluded Monday due to Saturday’s inclement weather.


“Our team is really coming together as a group and wrestling hard for each other,” said Manon, whose Vikings were state tournament runners-up in 2009. “Our wrestlers went an impressive 9-1 in the placement matches which is an amazing finish to the tournament. Each of our 14 kids at the Patriot Classic won at least one match and contributed to the team score.”



Randall used a 61-second pin and a semifinal 10-0 decision to reach the finals, where he planted Roosevelt junior Oluwatunmi Faniyi in just 37 seconds.


“Solomon isn’t afraid of competition. He wrestles every match with the same intensity,” Sharbaugh said. “When Solomon toes the line, he’s in your face and doesn’t give you space to breathe.”





Trice displayed similar ferocity, pinning twice in 85 and 36 seconds before winning his title bout by 20-2 technical fall over B-CC junior Ethan Makle. Trice is 15-2 on the year with 10 pins and a technical fall.


Elakel pinned twice in 1:44 and 1:48 before earning a 6-2 quarterfinal victory and winning his championship bout, 8-6, over Roosevelt junior Ethan Lilly. Elakel is 14-2 on the year with seven pins and a technical fall.


Ostien squeezed a 9-0 quarterfinals major decision between a nine-second first-round pin and a semifinal fall in 4:30. Ostien won his championship match, 10-8, over Lackey sophomore Ronald Jackson, and is 14-3 with 12 pins.


Aron pinned his first couple of opponents in 59 and 28 seconds respectively before winning his semifinal bout, 10-4, and his championship match, 7-3, over junior Glenn Vinson of Federick Douglass. Aron is 14-4 with nine pins and a technical fall.


Lindstrom has a record of 15-3, Gaum is 12-5, Merenstein is 12-6 and Rommel, 7-3.

“This shows the resilience and competitive nature of the group. It’s hard to lose a tough semifinal and battle back for third or fifth,” Manon said. “But we had several wrestlers do just that. We have some tough tournaments and duals coming up, so we are looking forward to those opportunities to compete and improve as we progress this season.”

The Vikings are 5-0 in dual meets, with county league victories over Einstein (74-6), Northwood (77-6), Seneca Valley (64-18), Sherwood (42-28) and Wheaton (72-10) entering this weekend’s Grapple At The Brook Tournament at Springbrook.


“We are undefeated in dual meet action and have placed in both tournaments we’ve gone to this year, taking third at the Parkside Holiday Tournament and winning the Patriot Classic, so I’m extremely pleased with our current team’s performance this year. This year’s team in comparison to last year has gotten better,” Randall said.


“We’ve gained much more depth across all of our weights, especially our middle and upper weights, where I believe we have been given the momentum to have the standout season we’ve been having this year. This upcoming weekend at the Grapple At The Brook, I think our team can come away with another first place finish compared to our fifth place finish there last year.”


Drew Dominates

Northern's defending Class 4A-3A state champion Drew Montgomery dominated his four, 138-pound rivals, scoring three pins and a technical fall to pace the Patriots to an overall fourth place finish.


A two-time state finalist, Montgomery pinned Bowie senior Alan Giron in 3:01 of their title bout, improving his career mark to 108-4, and his record on the season to 21-3 with 13 pins and three technical falls.


Montgomery finished his freshman year with a record of 44-1, winning the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference and regional crowns before finishing second at states. Montgomery went 43-0 last season, becoming the Patriots' first sophomore to win a state title.


Bulldogs Bite Down

Champions for Bowie were unbeaten junior third-place Class 4A-3A state finisher Jamil Morrow (215) and senior Angel Giron (126), with a runner-up finish from senior Alan Giron (138).


Morrow (215) used a 67-second pin, a 13-3 major decision and a fall in 5:51 to reach the finals, where he finished Roosevelt’s Nnaemeks Ezinke in 65 seconds.


A Prince George's County champion who placed third at regions, Morrow is 19-0 with 13 pins and a technical fall this season.


Angel Giron used a 15-0 technical fall, an 11-0 major decision and a 9-5 semifinal victory over Gaum to reach the finals, where pinned Fredrick Douglas sophomore Dominic Montgomery in 6:21 of overtime.


Angel is 16-3 with 11 pins, having placed fourth in the Boonsboro tournament at 132 pounds. Alan Giron, the elder of the siblings, is 13-2 with 10 pins, having finished second at Boonsboro.


The siblings are not twins. They are former junior league wrestlers who are in their first season of high school wrestling.


Last fall, the Girons starred as First-Team All-County members of the Bulldogs’ soccer team. Angel scored 11 goals and assisted on nine others as a striker, while Alan scored three and assisted on two as a center defensive midfielder.


The Bulldogs are coached by Bowie alumnus Shomari Stewart and assistant Javan White. White won counties three times, placed first and third at regions, and third at states before graduating in 2015 as a 106-pounder. Stewart finished third at counties and fourth at regions and states as a 170-pound senior in 2014.


Barons’ Best And The Rest

The third place Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons crowned junior Nizhoni Deschene (150) and senior Seth Weaver (157), with Deschene scoring a pair of falls in 1:41 and 1:43 before winning his semifinal, 9-6, and his title match, 9-2, over Northern's Hayden Tyree.


Weaver pinned his first couple of opponents in 3:14 and 2:26 before winning his semifinal by 12-1 major decision. Weaver’s championship victory was a 9-7 decision over McNamara’s Rhonin Swenson.


Sixth-place Roosevelt also had a pair of title winners in freshman Austin Hayes (106) and senior Stephen Exum (132).


Hayes sandwiched a 38-second semifinal fall between a quarterfinal 19-6 major decision and a championship bout, 10-2 major decision over B-CC freshman Kanik Deschene.


Exum pinned twice in 5:59 and 3:03 before winning his title match, 10-3, over Severn’s Nick Melfi, who was fourth at last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Tournament and fifth at last year’s Maryland Independent Schools’ States.


Other champions were Severn senior Aiden Schenck (190) and Bishop McNamara's Zachary Betts (285).


Shenck had falls in 19 and 34 seconds before decking his semifinal opponent in 4:55 and pinning his overtime championship bout opponent, Steven Hall of Lackey in 6:52.


Betts used falls in 47 and 33 seconds to reach his title bout, where his 6-5 decision overcame runner-up Cornell Johnson of Calvert, who placed second last year at Class 2A-1A states.


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