If a non-league match against defending Nassau County champion Locust Valley was to serve as an early season test, consider the grade an A.
The Mattituck/Greenport/Southold wrestling team, competing in its first home match this season, dominated the dual meet with a 51-21 victory. The Tuckers won 10 of the 15 matches, six of them by pin.
The Tuckers led 30-0 in what appeared a matter of minutes with five straight pins to open the dual meet. As luck had it, the match started at 182, which lined up perfectly for the Tuckers with two of their top wrestlers leading off in James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino. (The opposing coach draws a weight out of a hat to determine the start).
Hoeg and Zagarino recorded first-period pins to set the stage for their teammates.
Locust Valley features a pair of stud wrestlers in Jon Gomez and Hunter Dusold. The Tuckers caught a break with Dusold missing the meet due to illness. And Gomez, a three-time all-state wrestler who won the 106-pound state title as a sophomore, won by technical fall against Justin Lake at 126.
Jack Bokina, one of Mattituck’s three returning all-state wrestlers, wrestled at 132, one weight up from Gomez. Bokina won a 5-0 decision in his match against Jon Romano, who was a runner-up in the county tournament last year against his teammate, Gomez.
While there was a chance Bokina could have wrestled Gomez, Mattituck coach Cory Dolson said it wasn’t the right night for the matchup. Bokina had been under the weather and was weighing less than normal, so Dolson didn’t want him to have to wrestle a state champ.
The Tuckers also got wins from Sean Feeney (99), Brian Feeney (106), Luke Bokina (120), Carmine Vergari (138), TJ Beebe (145), Gage Suglia (220) and Chance Anderson (285).
Anderson, a senior, picked up a first-period pin in his first match since his freshman year. He opted not to wrestle the past two seasons before deciding to rejoin the team this year when a heavyweight spot opened up.
Photo caption: Mattituck wrestler TJ Beebe picks up back points against Jack DeNatale of Locust Valley. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)