County champs may be deeper than ever

DANIEL DE MATO FILE PHOTO | The Tuckers had good cause to smile last season after their landed the team its first county championship.
DANIEL DE MATO FILE PHOTO | The Tuckers had good cause to smile last season after their landed the team its first county championship.

The Mattituck/Greenport high school wrestling team is coming off what may be the greatest season the Tuckers have ever had. They accomplished so much. They were undefeated League VII champions. They posted an over all dual-meet record of 16-5. They won the first Suffolk County championship in team history. They finished the season ranked fourth among New York State small schools. Their coach, Cory Dolson, was selected by his colleagues as the Suffolk Coach of the Year.

Not bad. Not bad at all.

The sight of the Tuckers piling onto the podium as members of the Suffolk Division II championship team may be Dolson’s most cherished memory of 2012-13.

“We had a blast last year,” he said. “A lot of good things happened.”

And now there is more good news for the Tuckers. Dolson said he is seeing the most competition for lineup spots that he has ever seen in his eight years as the team’s head coach. This week the team was to hold wrestle-offs for — get this — the backup places in weight classes!

“It’s not like your spot is given to you,” Dolson said. “You have to earn your spots.”

One wrestler who has undoubtedly earned his place is Bobby Becker. The senior, who will wrestle at 138 pounds, was a county champion. He went 1-2 in the state meet, ending the season with a 25-14 record.

Other credentialed wrestlers are back. Brian Pelan (19-3) was second in the county as were teammates James Hoeg (26-10) and Sal Loverde (20-8). Pelan, a senior, will wrestle at 132 pounds. Hoeg, a freshman, will compete at 138 or 145, and Loverde, a senior, will be in the 182-pound weight class.

T. J. Beebe (22-12), a freshman wrestling at 106, was third in the county last season, as was sophomore Lucas Webb (21-11), who is slotted in at 126.

Fourth-place finishes in the county tournament were turned in by eighth-grader Jack Bokina (99 pounds) and senior Ryan Bergen (145).

And that is not all the Tuckers have. Also in the mix are Christian Angelson (160), Adam Goode (195), Connor Andersen (220), Stephen Ostrowski (285), Luke Bokina (99), Thomas Hoeg (99), Tim Pelan ( 113 or 120), Tyler Webb (120) and Tanner Zagarino (150 or 152).

“We have talent,” Dolson said. “We got to try to separate that talent” into the various weight classes.

Altogether, the Tuckers have 41 varsity and junior varsity athletes training in their wrestling room. More than 25 of them are returning wrestlers.

“We have a lot of guys coming back,” Dolson said. “We should be pretty tough.”

The dream season the Tuckers are coming off seems to have carried over in a different attitude that Dolson has noticed. “Now the mindset is we can go beat anybody,” he said.

Dolson knows that dwelling on past accomplishments isn’t going to help the Tuckers this season. He’s looking ahead and forward to another successful season.

“I think we have to put it aside and know that it’s a new year because we’re not going to surprise anybody this year,” he said. “Last year was fun, but this is a new year and we want to do it all over again.”

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