Competing on the grandest stage in New York State high school wrestling, Mattituck/Greenport/Southold did something it had never done before. Yet, what the Tuckers wanted most still eluded them.
Although Mattituck sent two wrestlers into the Division II state semifinals for the first time in team history, its hopes for a first state champion went unanswered at Times Union Center in Albany.
Tanner Zagarino (43-2) gave it a good shot. His third-place finish at 195 pounds equaled the best finish ever by a Mattituck wrestler. Louis Troisi took third in 2007.
But that wasn’t what Zagarino was wrestling for. He wanted state gold.
“Third place is nice,” Zagarino said after pinning his two opponents in the consolation rounds. “It’s good to finish off with a win, but it would have been nice to have been in the finals and to have been a state champ. I was really close. I feel like I kind of let [the Tuckers] down.”
The Tuckers, who had two all-state wrestlers in their history before the tournament, finished with another three. In addition to Zagarino, all-state status was accorded to Jack Bokina (43-8) and James Hoeg (46-5). Bokina, wrestling at 113 pounds, finished fourth for the second year in a row. Fourth place also went to Hoeg at 170.
Mattituck was recognized, along with Warsaw, for being tied for the No. 1 ranking in Division II by the New York State Sportswriters Association. It was considered the greatest season in team history for the four-time Section XI champions.