There were both bright spots and negatives for the East Hampton wrestling team last week.
First, the bad news—the Bonackers lost their best wrestler—last year’s county qualifier Lucas Escobar—in a League VI loss to Mount Sinai on January 4, when he suffered a broken clavicle. Escobar (120 pounds), a junior, has his sights set on another trip to the county tournament this year, but head coach Steve Tseperkas said that Escobar will likely be out for most of, if not all of, the rest of the League VI season.
“He should be able to come back at [the League VI tournament],” Tseperkas said on Sunday. “We’re waiting to see what the doctor says.”
Tseperkas added that if Escobar doesn’t return to the mat before the League VI tournament, scheduled for February 2 at Westhampton Beach High School, he will need special medical clearance in order to be allowed to compete at leagues.
While the loss of Escobar, in what was the first league meet of the season, was a tough blow—East Hampton lost the meet, 49-30—the Bonackers did have some nice performances in two more league meets and a tournament this past week.
In a 58-22 home loss to Shoreham/Wading River on January 9—considered one of the top teams in the league—East Hampton wrestlers won the first four matches that were contested that day. At 132 pounds, Matt Smudzinski beat Ray Lopez, 9-1, in a major decision. After that, Colton Kalbacher (145) beat David Keith, 4-1. Dallas Foglia (152) followed by pinning Nick Mazzone in 1:28, before Juan Varon earned a 3-0 decision over Asael Romero.
Tseperkas said he expected all of those matches except Foglia’s to be close, so he was happy with the outcomes.
East Hampton had to face another League VI powerhouse on Friday, losing 70-6 at Elwood/John Glenn. Smudzinski lost, 4-0, to Arman Akhund at 132 and Kalbacher lost a tough 7-6 match to Matt Porrello at 145. Kevin Heine picked up East Hampton’s only win at 220 pounds, pinning Bryan Smith in 3:14. That was a good win for Heine, as Smith finished fourth in the league last year.
Heine is undefeated at 3-0 in League VI since moving up to 220 pounds, a weight class that he is undersized for, but which he makes up for with speed and skill.
“It’s a good weight for him,” Tseperkas said. “He’s pretty fast and he’s strong enough to go with those guys.”
Tseperkas said that the only wrestler in the league who he believes will give Heine a tough battle at 220 is Sean Ferguson of Rocky Point. The two will meet up when East Hampton visits Rocky Point on January 25 for the final match of the regular season.
After the pair of league losses, East Hampton competed in the Comsewogue Duals on Saturday. East Hampton lost, 46-30, to Comsewogue, lost, 66-18, to West Islip, lost, 69-6, to Northport and also lost 51-26 to Brentwood’s ‘B’ team.
Heine had a good day for East Hampton, going 3-1 with three pins.ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 1/16, vs. Amityville, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 1/18, at Westhampton, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 1/19, at North Fork Invitational at Mattituck, 8 a.m.