06/13/15 12:50pm
06/13/2015 12:50 PM
Mattituck's Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Mattituck’s Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

CLASS B STATE SEMIFINALS | TUCKERS 7, BLUE DEVILS 2

As the coach of the team that traveled the farthest to Binghamton for the Class B state semifinals, Steve DeCaro had the honor of calling the coin flip that determined which team was designated the home team.

“As always, I lost,” DeCaro said. “And when that happened, we felt good.”

The Tuckers got the chance to hit first, and they quickly jumped on Ogdensburg Free Academy with two runs. With Joe Tardif on the mound, the Tuckers knew any lead would give them a golden opportunity to make history.  (more…)

02/28/15 9:34am
02/28/2015 9:34 AM
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
02/27/2015 8:40 PM
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
02/26/2015 2:00 PM
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…)

11/16/14 1:51pm
11/16/2014 1:51 PM
The celebration was on after Mattituck's 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals Saturday morning in Middletown. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

The celebration was on after Mattituck’s 3-0 win over Beekmantown in the Class B state finals Saturday morning in Middletown. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

State champs!

The Mattituck boys soccer team downed Beekmantown 3-0 Sunday morning at Middletown High School to clinch the third state title in school history. A senior-laden team that experienced a taste of the states two years ago, only to come up just short, the Tuckers left little doubt of their supremacy this time. (more…)

11/15/14 11:22am
11/15/2014 11:22 AM
From left, Mattitucks' Axel Rodrigues-Canel and Ryan Foster celebrate a goal against Skaneateles in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals in Middletown Saturday. (Credit: Sarah Jean Condon)

From left, Mattitucks’ Axel Rodrigues-Canel and Ryan Foster celebrate a goal against Skaneateles in the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinals in Middletown Saturday. (Credit: Sarah Jean Condon)

CLASS B STATE SEMIFINALS  |  TUCKERS 6, LAKERS 0

Referee Larry Bechard blew his whistle to signify the end of play.

The score was 5-0 in favor of Mattituck as the happy Tuckers walked off the Twin Towers Middle School field in Middletown, N.Y. smiling and hugging each other for a job well done.

And it was only halftime of the New York State Class B semifinals against Skaneateles Saturday morning.

In their most dominating performance of the season, the Tuckers made that score stand up and then some, adding another goal late in the match to register a 6-0 triumph over the Section III school. Mattituck (18-2) will gun for its third state title at Middletown H.S. at 10 a.m. Sunday against Beekmantown (Section VII; 18-2-0), 1-0 winners over Livonia.

The Tuckers would have preferred to have played Livonia, which eliminated them from the state semifinals in 2012, but you don’t always get what you want.

On Saturday, though, the Tuckers seemingly did whatever they wanted against the Lakers (17-3-1). Senior Mario Arreola led the way with two goals and one assist. Freshman Axel Rodrigues-Canel, called up from the JV, put the exclamation point on a virtuoso performance with 5:24 remaining on a cold, crisp, 37-degree morning.

“I don’t like the cold,” Arreola said. “Scoring goals keeps me warm, running around. I played the best soccer I’ve played in a long time today.”

Actually, Arreola and the Tuckers were more than warm. They were hot.

“The first 40 minutes was some of the best soccer that you can possibly watch, not even just from our own team,” Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult said. “It was our best 40 minutes. I was really, extremely proud of the ways the guys came out and dealt with the cold, got up early. From the opening whistle, they were dominant.”

Litchhult felt the loss to Livonia was part of his senior-laden team’s motivation.

“Being here as sophomores and the feeling of going home after the semifinals really pushed them and drove them,” he said. “Knowing that most of these guys are seniors and knowing the end is near you just have to leave it on the field. What we talked about before the match, these are great opportunities and big players rise to big occasions. I can’t point to somebody on our team who had a down match. Every single player that stepped on the field rose to the occasion.”

The Tuckers made quick work of the Lakers. Walter Jacob, a left back, scored off an Arreola pass at 8:20. Paul Hayes headed in a Kaan Ilgin corner kick at 12:58. Arreola put home a John Batuello feed from the top of the penalty area at 27:07 before James Hayes headed home a Kevin Williams corner kick at the right far post at 29:06 and Arreola scored on a breakaway with 2:01 left in the half.

It was then left up to the defense and goalkeepers Ben Knowles and Nick Vitolano, who came on with 4:08 left, to secure the clean sheet.

Litchhult had to call a few audibles. Instead of attending the state banquet Friday night, the team ate at a local Italian restaurant.

“Litch wanted us to stay away from Skaneateles, just wanted to keep our heads away from them,” Paul Hayes said. “There were some Twitter battles. It was a smart call.”

The Tuckers were scheduled to eat breakfast in the same room of their hotel room Saturday morning, but Litchhult thought better of it and brought in bagels, bananas, water and Gatorade for the team to eat in their rooms.

“It is kind of a weird setup,” he said. “When you are a few doors down from the team you’re playing in the same hallway in the hotel, separated by maybe or door or two, it kind of leads to some awkward tension.

“I didn’t think it would be an opportunity for us to go down there and rub elbows with a team that we’re going to be stepping onto the field with in a couple of hours. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

Unlike their some of their recent championship wins, the Tuckers did not celebrate after this one.

“It’s not over yet,” Paul Hayes said. “It’s great to win 6-0. I’m smiling. I’m happy, I’m speechless. But my goal is to win tomorrow.”

The Mattituck boys soccer team celebrates its 6-0 win over Skaneateles Saturday in the Class B state semifinals. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

The Mattituck boys soccer team celebrates its 6-0 win over Skaneateles Saturday in the Class B state semifinals. (Credit: Michael Lewis)

03/01/14 2:00pm
03/01/2014 2:00 PM

Mattituck/Greenport eighth-grader Jack Bokina (top) lost 8-7 in a 99-pound wrestleback match Saturday morning against Jacob Nolan. (Credit: Paul Wager)

One more win stood between Jack Bokina and the podium at the Division II New York State Wrestling Championships Saturday morning. An eighth-grader wrestling for Mattituck/Greenport, Bokina was aiming to become the first Tucker wrestler to finish all-state since 2007. (more…)

02/28/14 8:18pm
02/28/2014 8:18 PM

James Hoeg of Mattituck/Greenport went 1-2 in the 145-pound bracket of the Division II state championship Friday in Albany. (Credit: Paul Wager)

The New York State Wrestling Championships can be an unforgiving destination. The Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team, which sent a record seven wrestlers into the Division II tournament, experienced that in more ways than one Friday.  (more…)