Cross Country Conquering

Nick Pesko flattens his competition

Travel time for Sayville High School wrestlers



Sayville High School’s wrestling team, the Golden Flashes, logged a great number of miles in recent competitions. This past December their travels took the varsity team to Florida where Coach Pesko saw his athletes compete in the Walt Disney Duals in Orlando. Five men (Leshinger, Ciancimino, Payne, Dzacor and Bethea) got pins and two (Zach Meyer and Rich Millwater) won decisions. Against Long Island’s Clarke High School four pins were produced (by Chris Siracusa, Michael Payne, Albert Rios and Bethea) and three decisions were granted (to Chris Siracusa, Justin Bonamico and Rich Millwater). During their advance to the semi-finals they also faced Washington State’s Omak High School, the number #2 ranked team in the United States, scoring four pins (Nick Pesko, Zach Meyer, M. Pesko and Rich Millwater) and earning four decisions in an intense 17 - 15 battle. Pesko’s warriors did not fare as well against Charters-Houston High School of Pennsylvania when they earned zero pins and just four decisions. In the overall tournament however Justin Bonamico remained undefeated, winning all six of his matches and was named Tourney MVP.

Next it was on to meet Hauppauge High School where they earned three pins (Nick Pesko, Justin Bonamico and Oliver Hull) and three decisions (Matt Leshinger, Albert Rios and Calliendo). The coach entered those athletes as part of a "split squad", thus freeing up some of his wrestlers who were slated to head upstate to compete in the Endicott Duals. The first challenge for those young grapplers was to face Fulton High School, ranked #10 in New York State. Three wrestlers earned pins (Matt Leshinger, Nick Pesko and Justin Bonamico, who brought his man to the mat in less than sixty seconds). Decisions were also won by Justin Siracusa, Chris Siracusa, Michael Payne, Rich Millwater, Albert Rios and Stever Leshinger, who won 11 - 2. They defeated a top MaCarthur High School squad the very next day, 40 - 28. That win was led by Justin Siracusa, who earned an overtime win versus Boccanisin. Pins were also achieved by Chris Siracusa, Justin Bonamico, Rich Millwater, Oliver Hull and Albert Rios who performed his in less than one minute as well. Decisions were granted to Nick Pesko/119 and Chris Sieacusa/125 and the squad finished sixth in the tournament.

Over the winter vacation the team was anything but resting, finishing second to Kings Park in the Hills East Tournament, which saw no less than eight teams participating. Winning their weight classes were Matt Leshinger, Chris Siracusa (who defeated teammate Nick Pesko) and Rich Millwater who came in second in his weight class at 171 pounds. Closer to home the Golden Flashes faced both Islip and Kings Park where Matt Leshinger won twice with pins, along with Nick Pesko, Justin Bonamico and Steve Leshinger, while Ciancimino, Reyes, and Millwater had one win each. Most extraordinary was Millwater’s pin at 5:15 against Kings Park’s Garrick at 160 pounds. Shortly thereafter another split squad took on St. John the Baptist in a non-league meet. Under the guidance of assistant coach James Knote Liu won his decision by 9 - 3, Abarhall won his 14 - 4, and Hauser by 13 - 1. Zach Meyer quickly pinned his opponent in the first period and Piscitelli followed suit, pinning his in 1:08.

The Rich Zakar Memorial Dual Meet Tournament, held at Centereach, saw Sayville defeat all of its five competitor high schools. Justine Siracusa had three pins; Matt Leshinger had four; Chris Siracusa had three pins and a decision; Nick Pesko had four decisions; Bonamico had a pin and a decision; Caliendo had a pin plus two decisions; Millwater had two pins and two decisions; Bethea and Reyes had a pin each. Mike Payne had four wins (including three pins) and was voted the most outstanding wrestler for Sayville, currently at 13 - 7.