Two Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestlers are going big time.
The pride of the Tuckers, seniors James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino, who this past season became the first state champions in Mattituck history, will both wrestle for top NCAA Division I teams next season. The two training partners will not be far from each other, either. They are both headed to the state of Pennsylvania. Hoeg has committed to national champion Penn State while Zagarino made Pitt his choice on Sunday.
As the old saying goes, defense wins championships. The Mount Sinai High School girls lacrosse team knows a thing or two about both.
Mount Sinai has won three state championships in the past five years and defense had more than a little to do with it. That said, Al Bertolone believes this current defense may be the best he has had since taking over as Mount Sinai’s coach in 2008.
Say this about the Bellport and Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse teams: They make a good match for each other.
When the two Suffolk County Division II teams with similar records played on Thursday, it was intense and spellbinding. One team would score, then the other would reply with a goal of its own in a captivating, back-and-forth contest. The lead changed hands six times and the score was tied nine times. The goalkeeping on both sides was exceptional. Through the first three quarters, the only two-goal lead was Bellport’s at 7-5.
As the pregame warmups of the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school boys lacrosse team were coming to a close Friday, a Westhampton Beach player shouted, “No mercy.”
It took awhile for his Hurricane teammates to get the message, but once they did there was no stopping them as they showed no mercy in Mattituck.
If Matt Maloney has a home away from home, it just might be the lacrosse field at East Hampton High School. He had, after all, spent six years coaching girls lacrosse on that field turf until taking over as the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach three years ago.
For the first time since he last coached East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, Maloney returned to that East Hampton field for a game Friday, this time as an opposing coach, and it conjured up plenty of memories.
Rob Kruszeski is fearless when he steps onto the field to protect the goal.
So says Mattituck/Greenport/Southold boys lacrosse coach John Amato, whose admiration for Kruszeski’s courage under fire is just one of the traits he likes about his senior goalie.
The event, a series of four high school girls lacrosse games at Rocky Point High School, was called Rumble for a Cure, a fundraiser in the fight against breast cancer. It could have been called Freeze for a Cure, given the bone-chilling weather conditions, biting wind and all.
Of course, that didn’t stop Mattituck/Greenport/Southold coach Matt Maloney, whose team played in the second of those games Saturday afternoon, from adhering to his custom of wearing shorts. “No, you got to go with shorts every game,” he said.
Beginnings can be misleading.
That surely was the case with Wednesday’s high school boys lacrosse game at Mattituck High School. Center Moriches scored on its first two shots and held a 2-0 lead 2 minutes, 30 seconds into the Suffolk County Division II game.
In its own way, it was a work of art. Among other things, the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school girls lacrosse team has shown it can draw.
And that’s no small thing. Draw control is huge. It means possessions, and possessions can translate into goals.
That may have summed up John Amato’s initial reaction when he heard that New York State’s high school boys lacrosse system was to be divided this year into four classes instead of three, as it had been. It means Class D has been added to Classes A, B and C. While Amato’s Mattituck/Greenport/Southold team remains a Class C team, the playing field in that class became notably tougher.