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.
Send eight wrestlers into the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships and there’s a decent chance some good things are going to happen.
Four of the eight Mattituck/Greenport/Southold wrestlers who made it to Times Union Center in Albany on Friday secured a place in Saturday’s Division II semifinals. Then two of those four, seniors James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino, went on to claim the first individual state championships in team history.
To put it all in perspective, as New York State Public High Schools Athletic Association executive director Robert Zayas did during the pre-finals ceremonies, over 20,000 young men wrestle in New York State. The top 30 were crowned Saturday night in the 55th annual NYSPHSAA Championships at Times Union Center in Albany.
Four Mattituck/Greenport/Southold wrestlers were among the finalists who paraded into the arena for the finals. Mattituck has never had a state champion wrestler before.
Eight members of the Mattituck wrestling team will compete in Albany beginning Friday morning for a chance to become the first state champion in program history. READ
Talk about a single-mindedness of purpose.
The awards ceremony for the Section XI Dr. L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Memorial Championships had just started and some of the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestlers were already talking about what was next: the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships later this month. READ
The dominance over Division II teams in Suffolk County speaks for itself. The Mattituck/Greenport/Southold wrestling team has won 30 straight dual meets entering this season. The Tuckers had seven county champions last year and enter this season with a wrestler ranked top-two in 12 of the weight classes, according to preseason rankings by Long Island Wrestling Association. READ
Being a smart high school wrestler, Tanner Zagarino prepared as best he could for the first official day of practice. The senior trained all summer, knowing that with each day that passed by, he was one day closer to Mattituck/Greenport/Southold’s first practice. READ
They are the modern high school version of gladiators.
Wrestlers are tough. They have to be, competing in the toughest of high school sports.
It is where some dreams are made and others are crushed.
Standing with the confidence befitting someone of his impressive standing, Tanner Zagarino looked determined and ready to do something no other Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestler has done before.