Long Island girl wrestlers showcased their skills at Bay Shore High School on Tuesday,  NewsdayTV Carissa Kellman reports. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

 All the girls are looking for is a platform to showcase their skills. At Bay Shore High School on Tuesday, Long Island girl wrestlers got that opportunity in an environment that mirrored the action on hundreds of boys wrestling mats every week.

The Town of Huntington girls wrestling team defeated host Bay Shore, 54-51, in a dual meet match The girls on both teams dedicate many hours every week toward perfecting their craft. And the opportunity to display that in a competitive environment against girls from other schools is exactly what they hope to do more of.

“It’s very exciting because you prove to yourself how good you are by winning or by losing,” sophomore Isabella Franco of the Huntington team said. “It feels like we are finally given a chance to prove ourselves as women because women’s wrestling isn’t really known. We are finally able to prove we are just as tough as the guys are.”

Tuesday’s dual meet featured 20 matches — many of them very competitive going down to the final seconds. Both teams won 10 bouts each, including eight pins by the Town of Huntington and seven pins by Bay Shore.

   Franco pinned Gizzelle Rivera-Zelaya in 17 seconds at 145 pounds as she wasted little time in the dominant victory.

“I was just thinking, ‘I’m a beast, I can do this, I know I can do it,’” Franco said. “And that’s what I did.”

Ryan Patrovich, in his first year as the head coach in the Town of Huntington’s first year with a girls wrestling program, said it didn’t take him long to realize the girls had a knack for learning the sport.

“It’s crazy because I’m used to coaching boys, I’ve coached boys all my life, but the girls pick it up much quicker than the boys do as far as technique-wise and everything like that,” Patrovich said. “They are picking it up so fast that I see girls wrestling continue to grow and flourish.”

Mariza Catalan Hernandez, Wynne Franciscovich, Yuliana Hernandez Perla, Allison Hernandez Romero, Katerin Garcia, Kaitlyn Corrion, Kaitlyn Costa and Franco had pins for the Town of Huntington, which features student-athletes from Whitman, Glenn, Huntington and Harborfields.

Valerie Iglesias, Ashley Vasquez Malatesta and Isabella Olivo recorded a pin with Honesty Tricoche and Aimee Bonilla adding two pins for Bay Shore. 

“I think this is amazing for the girls to get real match experience and come out in front of a pretty decent crowd was really cool for them,” Patrovich said. “We are on the right path to get the sport sanctioned, I think, and it would be great for the girls wrestling to keep the sport growing.”

Patrovich credited Bay Shore and all the administrators for making the event happen. And the girls embraced the opportunity to showcase their skills against others in the area.

“I felt like I proved to myself I’m really improving a lot during the season,” Franco said. “I’m just proud of myself. I have a lot of confidence in myself. And we really wanted to win. We’ve been working really, really hard so we just needed to take this win for ourselves.”

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