Steve Tseperkas, East Hampton High’s wrestling coach, was pleased to report Sunday that all of his charges had been certified the day before at the weights they were shooting for.
Lucas Escobar, arguably the team’s most talented wrestler, was certified at 120 pounds, “where he wanted to be. Last year we wanted him to be at 113, but he stayed at 120 and had to wrestle bigger kids. . . . He may start out wrestling at 126 and go down to 120 after Christmas.”
Escobar is one of only three seniors on Tseperkas’s squad. The others are Richie Brown, who’s down from 285 to 220, and Dave Vargas, a 170-pounder who, because of injuries, didn’t compete last season.
Lucas Escobar and Colton Kalbacher, a junior who’s going to wrestle at 152 (he was at 145 last year), are the team’s captains. Tseperkas said he might name one other soon.
As usual, East Hampton won’t be able to cover all 13 weights. “We’ll have to forfeit at 132 and 138 all year,” said the coach, adding that we’ve got two freshmen at 99 and 106, so we might forfeit at times at those weights because of the matchups. . . . In some meets we may have four to five forfeits. I see us doing better in individual tournaments than in team tournaments or in dual meets. Though we should do well in the matches we wrestle in the dual meets, the scores in some cases won’t, because of the forfeits, be indicative.”
There are 21 on the squad, one less than in 2012 — some tough sophomores and juniors among them.
“We’ve got three returning sophomores,” said the coach, “Axel Alanis, at 195, Kevin Boles, who’s certified at 113, and Malachy Mitchnick, at 145. Malachy went to the Penn State camp this summer and to tournaments, so he should be better. We’ve also got a first-time sophomore, Josh King, at 285, who should be good. He’s been sparring with Richie.”
Among the juniors are Haiau Euong, who’s also certified at 113; Luciano Escobar, Lucas’s younger brother, at 160 (having dropped down from 182); Jorge Calderon, at 182, and Anthony Pineda, at 145.
There are six freshmen, up from the East Hampton Middle School’s team: David Chavez, at 120 or 126; Quinn Gleeson, at 138 or 145; Ivan Guazhambo, at 106; Luis Idrovo, at 220; Finn Hallissey, at 99, and Michael Perez, at 145.
Tseperkas’s assistant this season is Sean Zay, a 1998 East Hampton graduate who has been coaching for the better part of the past decade at Southampton. Louis Russo, Tseperkas’s former assistant, sidelined at the moment by a back injury, is to coach at the middle school later in the winter. John Krupp, the former middle school coach, is teaching now in Florida. Kyle Anello, a former Patchogue-Medford student “who wrestled Lou in the league finals when Lou was at Longwood,” will be Russo’s assistant.
The team is to make its debut at home in the Frank (Sprig) Gardner tournament this Saturday. “The only one who might not wrestle is Malachy,” said Tseperkas, adding that “our freshmen will wrestle exhibitions in the wrestling room, not out on the main mats.”
Smithtown Christian and St. John the Baptist are not going to compete in the tourney this year, leaving East Hampton, Westhampton Beach, Southampton, Hampton Bays, Riverhead, Bayport-Blue Point, Hauppauge, and Ward Melville as the contenders.
Tserperkas said Ward Melville and Hauppauge were probably the favorites.