The Golden Flashes (5-3) fell to the visiting Eagles (6-2), 41-30, in their first League V action of the season. Despite the loss, the Flashes had a lot of positives to take from the match. None bigger than in the 112 class, with sophomore Matt Leshinger's victory of defending NYS champion Mark West.
Down 41-21, Leshinger—who is an All County wrestler—was pitted against West, who won a state championship in the 96-pound weight class as a freshman last year.
The two traded hold-for-hold, matching each other at every move for the entire contest. Knotted at two points each, Leshinger was able to escape from West with under a minute remaining in the third period to take a 3-2 lead.
"Third period I knew I was going to win once I went up," said Leshinger.
There were several stoppages in the second period, when West couldn't stop the bleeding from his nose, which was just one token of the intensity that the match brought between the two top-tier wrestlers.
"I knew it was going to be a really tough match," said Leshinger, who was defeated by West three times last season. "I just really wanted it."
Besides this being the first league match for the Flashes, there was also another noteworthy first-time occurrence on the mat for Sayville.
Captain Steven Leshinger made his 2010-11 debut Wednesday night, after missing the first part of the season with injuries.
His return didn't last long however, as his match against Adam Lepkowsky was called due to injury, giving the Eagles six points.
"I just think he hasn't been able to practice," Sayville head coach Gary Pesko said. "I think he cut a little too much weight too soon, which caused some cramping."
Lepkowsky tried to prevail throughout the match, but it was clear that the conditioning and rhythm was not there due to the fact that he had only been able to practice for two days prior to the match.
"We knew it was going to be a tough match going in," Pesko said. "They're one of the top teams in the county; we wrestled them tough and competitive."
The Flashes will have another tough test on Frid