Articles by

Joe Werkmeister

04/06/15 2:17pm
McGann-Mercy pitcher Nicole Gravagna throws out a runner at first base Monday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

McGann-Mercy pitcher Nicole Gravagna throws out a runner at first base Monday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

MONARCHS 10, MARINERS 5

An early morning start on the day after a holiday can be a cause for alarm for any coach. Are the players going to be mentally ready? Will they come out sluggish?

Before Monday’s home opener for the McGann-Mercy softball team, first-year coach Rich Schaub was confident his group was ready. The Monarchs put together a strong practice Saturday, giving Schaub reason to believe that would carry over.  (more…)

03/28/15 10:00am
Jeffrey Avilas Ramos, a Mattituck High School junior, competes in eSports called Major League Gaming playing mostly Call of Duty. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Jeffrey Avilas Ramos, a Mattituck High School junior, competes in eSports called Major League Gaming playing mostly Call of Duty. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Down a steep wooden staircase, in a small basement room to the right, an RCA TV sits atop a folding table. An Energy Guide sticker cuts off a portion of the TV’s bottom right corner. A cable on the left side dangles down to the floor, where it connects to an XBox One.

Jeffrey Avilas Ramos leans forward in a folding chair, his eyes fixated on the screen. The sounds of gunfire blast from the speakers. Ramos never flinches.  (more…)

03/21/15 4:00pm
Photos of David DeCarle at Friday's memorial. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Photos of David DeCarle at Friday’s memorial. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

When bikers from across the country began to make their way to Riverhead Friday for a memorial and fundraiser in honor of David DeCarle, it came as no surprise to LJ James.

“We do this for each other,” Mr. James said. “When one member goes down, we take care of their family.”  (more…)

03/07/15 5:50pm
The Southold Fire Department on scene of a house fire Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

The Southold Fire Department on scene of a house fire Saturday afternoon. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

A small fire broke out in the closet on the second floor of a Southold home Saturday afternoon, closing traffic in both directions on Route 25.

No injuries were reported and the Southold Fire Department quickly had the fire at 56995 Route 25 under control.

(more…)

03/03/15 4:30pm
In 2000, Jesse Jantzen won a fourth state title for Shoreham-Wading River. He was the only Long Island wrestler with four crowns until this past weekend. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

In 2000, Jesse Jantzen won a fourth state title for Shoreham-Wading River. He was the only Long Island wrestler with four crowns until this past weekend. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The words used to describe Jesse Jantzen often evoke a mythical connotation. The “great” Jesse Jantzen. The “legendary” Jesse Jantzen.

And for good reason. At Shoreham-Wading River High School, Jantzen won four state titles for the Wildcats, never losing a match during his four years in high school. Jantzen set the standard for wrestling in Suffolk County following his graduation in 2000.  (more…)

02/28/15 9:34am
Jack Bokina of Mattituck wrestles in the quarterfinals of the state tournament Friday. (Credit: Paul Wager)

Jack Bokina of Mattituck wrestles in the quarterfinals of the state tournament Friday. (Credit: Paul Wager)

Update, 2:15 p.m.: Jack Bokina closed out his freshman season with a fourth-place finish at 99-pounds. Bokina dropped a 7-2 decision to the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Drew Shafer of Pal-Mac, in the consolation finals.

Bokina trailed 5-0 in the second period before scoring his first point on an escape in the third period. It was as close as he got in the match as Shafer controlled it throughout.

Bokina is only the second wrestler in program history to reach the podium at the state meet.

Update, 12:30 p.m.: After a hard-earned win, Jack Bokina of Mattituck advanced to the third/fourth-place consolation final. Bokina came back from a one-point hole in the third period to defeat Carson Dobozy of Peru in the consolation semifinals.

Bokina picked up his third win of the tournament.

Bokina scored with about 40 seconds left in the match to take a 4-3 lead. He was riding on top, then got hit with a stall warning with 14 seconds left. On the restart, he held Dobozy long enough to finish out the match and take the 4-3 win.

Bokina trailed 1-0 in the second period after Dobozy got an escape point. Bokina scored a takedown with 1:05 left in the second to take the lead. Then Dobozy answered with a reversal with :37 left.

Update, 11:30 a.m.: Click below to see a video of Jack Bokina’s semifinal match at the state championships.

UPDATE, 10:15 a.m.: Mattituck freshman Jack Bokina dropped a 10-5 decision in the semifinals of the Division II state tournament Saturday morning. Bokina fell to Orion Anderson of Schuylerville, dropping him into the wrestlebacks.

Bokina couldn’t get any offense going in the match. Anderson scored a pair of takedowns in the first period. Bokina escaped twice to stay within 4-2 after one.

It was a 4-3 match heading into the third period, but Anderson came back with two more takedowns to take control of the match.

Bokina will now wrestle Carson Dobozy of Peru in the next wrestleback. A win would send him into the third/fourth consolation final. A loss would send him into the fifth/sixth consolation.

Original post: Day II of the New York State Wrestling Championships kicks off Saturday morning at Times Union Center in Albany.

Mattituck freshman Jack Bokina is wrestling in the 99-pound semifinals for a chance to become the first wrestler in program history to reach the state finals.

Bokina is one of only two Section XI wrestlers from Division II to advance to the semifinals. The other is Matteo DeVincenzo of Port Jefferson at 120. DeVincenzo is a defending state champion.

Bokina will wrestle against Orion Anderson of Schuylerville.

In Division I, Section XI is in the lead going into the semifinals with 126 1/2 points. Section VIII is in second with 94. Section III is the Division II leader with 114 points.

For team scores, Hauppauge is in second place in Division I with 32 points.

Here are the brackets after one day of competition:

New York State Wrestling Championships

02/27/15 8:40pm
Mattituck freshman Jack Bokina wrestles Kevin Velez of Petrides in the first round of the 99-pound New York State Championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

Mattituck freshman Jack Bokina wrestles Kevin Velez of Petrides in the first round of the 99-pound New York State Championship. (Credit: Paul Wager)

It didn’t take long for Jack Bokina to cement his legacy in Mattituck’s wrestling history. The freshman, wrestling 99 pounds, won his first two matches Friday to guarantee himself an all-state finish on the first day of the New York State Championships in Albany.

Bokina, in his second year wrestling at states, now has a chance to go where no Mattituck wrestler has gone before: the state finals. (more…)

02/26/15 2:00pm
The view inside Times Union Center for the 2013 state tournament. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

The view inside Times Union Center for the 2013 state tournament. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

Right around the time I spotted a condom on the bathroom floor of my shady motel room, I began to seriously question the wisdom behind driving to Albany in a snowstorm.

This couldn’t possibly be worth it, I thought.

It was February 2010. For the fourth straight year, I was bound for the New York State Wrestling Championships, a dizzying two-day marathon of hundreds of matches contested across eight mats on the Times Union Center floor.  (more…)