East Hampton wrestling coach Steve Tseperkas is realistic when it comes to expectations for his team. He knows his Bonac squad is not a dual meet powerhouse capable of going blow for blow with some of the top programs in Suffolk County—several of them are league opponents, including John Glenn and Shoreham/Wading River.
So, instead, Tseperkas focuses, for now, on smaller goals designed to increase his team’s profile and perhaps be the building blocks for bigger things in the future.
For the past several years, East Hampton has had at least one wrestler represent the team at Suffolk County’s Division I tournament, and this year Tseperkas would like to see a maroon and gray-clad wrestler find his way onto the podium with a top-six finish. The last time the Bonackers had an All-County wrestler was in 2003. They seemed poised to break that streak last year, with senior Lucas Escobar, but he was upset early in the tournament and was unable to wrestle back for a top-six finish. He is now a member of the wrestling team at Johns Hopkins University.
Tseperkas named five wrestlers on this year’s squad who he says have the potential to earn All-League status by finishing in the top four of the League VI tournament, which would give them a spot in the county tournament. Those five standouts are all at 152 pounds or higher, continuing the trend of strength in the upper weights for East Hampton. Colton Kalbacher (152), Luciano Escobar (170), Jorge Calderon (182), Axel Alanis (195) and Josh King (285) should be the top performers for the Bonackers this year, and getting as many of them as possible to the county tournament is another goal for Tseperkas.
Luciano Escobar is the only returning wrestler who competed in counties last year, where he lost in the first round. He earned his spot there by finishing fourth in the league tournament.
As for the rest of East Hampton’s lineup, there are a few other returning wrestlers who should see more success after a year of experience under their belts. At other weights, however, less experienced wrestlers will be getting their first taste of varsity action.
Tseperkas said he has no one right now at 99 pounds, while at 106, returning sophomores Ivan Guazhambo and Finn Hallissey will see time. Guazhambo could also be at 113, as well as freshman twin brothers Michael and Tommy Pulido, and possibly Charles DiTullio, all up from the JV squad.
Senior Haiau Duong is a returning wrestler who will provide experience at 120 pounds, while senior Jonathan Hanse, who wrestled as a freshman and then took two years off, is back and will compete at 126, along with sophomore JV call-up Samuel Clermont.
Freshman Ryan Lynch could see time at 132 pounds, while sophomore returnee Matt Carrillo will compete at 138, and senior returnee Anthony Pineda will wrestle at 145. At 160, Tseperkas has two first-year wrestlers, including junior Charles Bourie and senior Nick Tulp. Tulp was the starting goalie for the East Hampton boys soccer team, which advanced to the state championship this fall.
At 220 pounds, sophomore returnee Luis Idrovo and junior returnee Burke Gonzalez will see time on the mat.
Tseperkas said he’d like to see his squad win one or two dual meets in a highly competitive League VI, and he hopes the team can win or take second at the Doc Fallot Team Tournament in Hampton Bays on December 20. The coach added he’d also like to see his team have a few place-winners at each individual tournament it competes in. Aside from that, he said, he simply wants his squad to “compete, work hard and have fun.”
East Hampton will open the season on its home mats, hosting the Sprig Gardner Tournament on December 13. The Bonackers will open the League VI season on December 17 at 5 p.m. at John Glenn.