After getting a bit of a reprieve from their match against Kings Park on Friday thanks to snowfall, the Sayville wrestling team travelled upstate to Endicott and finished sixth of 16 teams wrestling at the Union Endicott New York State Dual Meet Championships.
It was Sayville's fifth consecutive invitation to the tournament, which many consider to be the greatest measure of the best New York has to offer.
"We accept our invitation to this tournament each year because it draws the best dual meet teams in the state," said assistant coach Mike Vetrano. "This tournament replicates what Sayville faces week in and week out in League V, the toughest in the state."
Despite being the second smallest school at the tournament, the Golden Flashes scored a pair of big wins over Fulton and MacArthur, ranked 10th and 11th in the state. The wins were two of the biggest victories in the history of Sayville's program, and no doubt something they will be building on for the rest of the season.
Team captain Steven Leshinger returned to action this weekend finally and instantly helped Sayville in their upset of Fulton. Leshinger, wrestling at 152, soundly defeated Tony Terrese 11-2 to give the Golden Flashes five points. Terrese, the top ranked wrestler in Section Three, was previously undefeated. Rich Millwater followed Leshinger by defeating Section Three's second ranked wrestler at 160, Marcus Earl.
The team carried the momentum of toppling Fulton into their next match with MacArthur. Sayville's ability to exact revenge on the Generals, the 11th ranked team in NYS, after their 43-22 loss on December 23 kept them alive in the tournament. Despite coming close three of the last four times the teams met, the Golden Flashes were never able to get by MacArthur, until this weekend.
Justin Siracusa, at 103, hung on to defeat Anthony Boccasini 3-2 in a crucial match. Siracusa was able to avenge his early season loss to Boccasini, who is ranked in the top eight in Nassau at 103 lbs.
In the last dual of the match, Justin Bonamico pinned Rob Bennett in the second period, clinching the victory for Sayville, 40-28.
The tournament was a success for the Golden Flashes, who stood toe-to-toe with a number of the best teams in the state. They returned home late Sunday night, and will prepare to face Kings Park on Tuesday, rescheduled from Friday, at 4 p.m.
After that, they will host rival Islip on Wednesday before shipping off to the Eastern States Classic on Friday morning, where they will compete against the top 85 teams from the Northeast, spanning eight states.