On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Oswego State wrestling team pulled out a close win over RIT, 24-22. The clinching blow to RIT was when Oswego State senior Eric Leusch pinned Stephan Avorkliya at 4:49 of their match.
The pin came right after the first period where Leusch chose the bottom stance. At the whistle he pulled a reversal on Avorkliya, gaining some more points just before pinning his opponent to the mat.
For some athletes, the sport they excel at is not what they really set out to play. This is the case for Leusch.
A student athlete at West Irondequoit High School in Rochester, Leusch was a football player looking to become better in the off-season. He picked up wrestling in eighth grade to do just that.
It came as a surprise to him and his family when he began to really enjoy wrestling and an even larger shock when he quit football in his junior year of high school to focus on wrestling.
"My family comes from a long line of hockey players so my parents were pretty surprised," Leusch said. "But they were very supportive."
It isn’t like Leusch made the wrong decision, either.
In high school he was the first person to become a part of the "Century Club" by achieving 100 match wins. He was also a three-time Monroe County All-American and an Academic All-American here at Oswego State.
Leusch said that both his high school coach Arkee Allen and Oswego State head coach Mike Howard had the greatest impact on him.
Leusch is really looking forward to the rest of this season and how much skill the team seems to have.
"This is the best team I’ve been on since I’ve been here," he emphasized.
The young players look very promising too. Leusch isn’t under the impression that just his pin won the match for the team alone. He was especially pleased with freshman Kyle Sheridan, who stepped up and got a key pin as well.
Even the freshmen that aren’t playing on a daily basis are helping the team, according to Leusch. They work hard in practice and make the team better.
As a senior Leusch, is looking to have a great season and feels that it can happen with the guys that are contributing all around him.