This was more like a business trip than anything else for the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestling team. A six-hour bus trip Friday to the North Syracuse area, a day full of wrestling on Saturday, followed by the long drive home.
The 16 Tuckers who made the trip derived good value from the experience, though. None of them wrestled less than three matches, most handled four or five.
And, oh yes, for the second year in a row, the Tuckers took the team title in the Phoenix Round-Robin Tournament at Phoenix High School.
Having lost eight wrestlers from last season’s Suffolk County Division II champion team, the Tuckers are still young and still talented. How much they lost in terms of depth may be debated. But coach Cory Dolson said he thought his team could win the tournament. “I knew we’d be good,” he said.
What may have surprised him a little, though, was the 45-point difference between the Tuckers (192 points) and second-place Liverpool (147).
The 10-team tournament consisted mostly of teams from Section III, the Syracuse area. Mattituck/Greenport/Southold was the only team from Long Island.
“It’s nice to see that we can still go up to a tournament like that and do really well,” said Dolson.
The Tuckers produced four champions and five runners-up.
Two freshmen, Luke Bokina (99 pounds) and his twin brother Jack Bokina (106), took titles as did a pair of sophomores, James Hoeg (160) and Tanner Zagarino (170).
Second-place finishes were turned in by sophomores Thomas Hoeg (113) and T. J. Beebe (120), juniors Lucas Webb (132) and Dylan Marlborough (182), and senior Adam Goode (220).
Chris Schwamborn, a sophomore, grabbed third place at 285, and junior Tim Schmidt was fourth at 152.
Fifteen of the 16 Tuckers finished in the top six of their weight class.
“It’s a good tournament,” Dolson said. “There’s a lot of tough Division II schools up there and we’ve seen some of the guys we might see in the state tournament. It’s good to get off the island and challenge some tough competition.”
It was the second tournament of the season for the Tuckers, who came in second in the Bay Shore Duals a week earlier.
Heading into a non-league match at home against Bethpage on Tuesday, the Tuckers are 5-1, 1-0 in League VII. They have won 17 consecutive league matches over the past two seasons.
The Tuckers have two undefeated wrestlers. Jack Bokina is 10-0 and Luke Bokina is 9-0. Beebe is 10-1.
Dolson said his team still has a couple of question marks, but said Saturday’s performance “was a sign that we’re moving in the right direction.”