While having been wrestled to the mat by its tough league opponents thus far this season, East Hampton High’s wrestling team can nevertheless point to some outstanding individual performances by Lucas Escobar, Sawyer Bushman, Mike Peralta, James Budd, and Jacob Hands, among others.
cAt an invitational dual meet contested by four schools at Comsewogue High Saturday, Escobar went 4-0 at 106 pounds, Budd went 3-1 at 170, and Bushman, at 126, Peralta, at 145, and Hand, at 220, each went 2-2. Moreover, Morgan Rojas, at 160, Kevin Heine, at 182, and Andrew Dixon, at 285, each had one win. As for Dixon, “it was the first win of his life!” said Steve Tseperkas, East Hampton’s coach.
As a result of his sweep, Escobar was named the team’s most valuable wrestler for the day. He began with a 10-5 decision of Comsewogue’s Ryan Pisano, after which he shut out Brentwood’s Wilmer Cruz 14-0 and pinned counterparts from Northport and Island Trees.
Earlier in the week, on Jan. 11, Escobar lost 6-4 here to his Kings Park opponent, Andrew Roden, a takedown near the end of the match proving to be the difference. There was no shame in losing to Roden, however — he is ranked second in the county.
Kings Park, a strong team, won the match 72-3. Bonac’s sole winner was Budd, who decisioned Sean Bennett 5-1 at 170.
The visitors’ 220-pounder, Steven Lee, who had won at that weight in the recent Half Hollow Hills East tournament, held on for a 6-5 win over Hands despite having been hobbled by an ankle injury sustained early on. A third-period escape spelled the difference.
At 126, Bushman lost 7-1 to Tom Venier, who placed second in the league meet last year. It was 2-1 in Venier’s favor after the first period, and 5-1 after the second. Venier was awarded 2 more points for a reversal in the third. Last year’s third-place league finisher, Dominic Montemurro, pinned Colton Kalbacher midway through their match at 132. Peralta was kept out of the lineup that day because of a wrist injury.
“Kings Park is stacked, so is Islip
. . .” Tseperkas said before Monday morning’s practice. “Kings Park, Islip, and Eastport-South Manor, which are all in our league, are among the county’s top 10. Eastport, the team we’re wrestling Friday [tomorrow], is fourth among the county’s tournament teams and the county’s 10th-ranked dual meet team. Islip beat Kings Park 37-30 the other day.”
Getting back to Saturday’s tournament, Tseperkas said that while East Hampton had lost 48-21 to Northport, “we won six of the 12 matches we wrestled. We forfeited at three weights. Island Trees beat us 60-24, but we won five of the 12 matches we wrestled with Island Trees, and again forfeited three. . . . We were overmatched by Brentwood. It’s the sixth-ranked team in the county, and though Comsewogue, which is in our league, beat us 57-27, we were happy that we were able to put up 27 points against them. Over all, I was happy with the way we wrestled.”
Harborfields was to have wrestled here yesterday. Tseperkas predicted some good match-ups. The team will be at Eastport-South Manor tomorrow, and on Saturday it will vie in a tournament at Mattituck High School. The county’s top-ranked dual meet and tournament team, Connetquot, will be there, said Tseperkas, in addition to Rocky Point, North Babylon, Miller Place, Southampton, Riverhead, Hampton Bays, Calhoun, East Hampton, “and a team from the city.”
“We’ve got two weeks of matches left, and then the leagues, at Bellport,” said the coach, who demurred when asked how he thought his top grapplers would fare.