As Cory Dolson, the Mattituck/Greenport Tuckers wrestling coach, talked about his returning wrestlers, one could hear the excitement building in his voice. Last season the Tuckers’ young team acquitted itself quite well in the Suffolk County Division II Tournament.
Mynor Javier, a junior, came in second place at 103 pounds. Sophomore Tomasz Filipkowski (152) and senior Brandon Lake (171) were also runners-up in their weight classes while freshman Brian Pelan (112) placed fourth. Dolson expects all of them to continue to get better.
But Dolson said that perhaps the hungriest wrestler on the team is senior Jeff Strider (140).
“This will only fuel Jeff’s fire,” said Dolson, whose team went 8-12 last season. “We’re looking for him to do some real damage this year.”
Dolson said the returning wrestlers are a group he can count on.
The strength of the team will come in the middle of the lineup.
“From 125 pounds on up, we have a lot of experience,” said Dolson.
With the new mandatory weight classes of 96 and 285 being added, Dolson said the challenge will be finding quality wrestlers for each weight class.
Dolson said defending Suffolk Division II champion Bayport-Blue Point Phantoms will be tough to beat, along with a good Center Moriches Red Devils team.
The Tuckers will open the season on Dec. 11 in the Bay Shore Dual Meet.
“Realistically, we can win more matches this season and we are going to do our best to win the Division II title,” Dolson said. “If we can fill a few holes we will be alright. We need guys to step up. Our core group has real difference-makers. If we can put the bodies in the right spots, we will be ready to go to battle.”