Senior wrestlers Bradley Taylor and Josh Daryoush represented Whitman at the state tournament Mar. 3, placing second and third, respectively. Both wrestlers were regional champions, and Daryoush also boasted the county championship.
160 lb. Taylor wrestled mostly low-scoring matches, which is unusual for his weight class. He won his first three matches by a combined score of 10-4, before losing 12-2 to Tuscarora’s Austin Wenzlaff in the finals. Wenzlaff, also a senior, came into the tournament with a perfect 41-0 record.
According to Manon, Taylor performed well because he was more offensive than he had been during the regular season.
“Being aggressive and creating the scramble-type situation was beneficial to him because he does move so well in scrambles and he usually comes out on top,” Manon said. “He did a great job doing that, finishing his takedowns, forcing the other guy to make mistakes and then scoring off those mistakes.”
Heavyweight Daryoush entered the tournament confidently, having only lost once during the season. Starting out strong, he pinned Hereford’s Patrick Anderson and beat Meade’s Stephen Lloyd 7-1.
Unfortunately, he then succumbed to the eventual state champion, River Hill’s Jason Johnson, in the semifinals. Unfazed, Daryoush went on to win the consolation bracket, beating his two opponents by a combined score of 10-3.
Manon said he was proud of Daryoush’s success at the tournament and the effort it took to get him there. Daryoush’s strength stemmed from his patience and ability to outthink his opponents, Manon said.
“We’ve worked hard all year on defending from the big moves and throws because heavyweights are especially susceptible to those,” Manon said. “He waited for his scoring opportunities and took advantage of them all weekend.”
Though Taylor and Daryoush have wrestled their last match as Vikings, the team has a number of wrestlers eagerly waiting to take their places.
As only five seniors steadily held spots in the 14-member varsity lineup, there’s a lot of returning talent for next season. In particular, Manon is looking for sophomores Max Sessions and Jacob Cutler to step up, as well as juniors Andrew Cullinane and Jacob Shiman.
“They’re going to be seniors and returning varsity members next year so I’m really looking for those two guys to lead the troop,” he said.