Wrestling: Tuckers grab fifth straight county crown

Mattituck:Greenport:Southold wrestling team 021217

The accolades, awards, honors and championships keep piling up for the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestling team. But what the Tuckers accomplished Sunday night may prove to be the crowning achievement of their dynasty.

To sum it up, Mattituck coach Cory Dolson used a single word: “Amazing.”

That would be appropriate. What the Tuckers did in the Section XI Dr. L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Memorial Championships at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood was amazing. Just look at the numbers: Eleven finalists. Eight Suffolk County champions. A team total of 356 points.

It all added up to Mattituck’s fifth straight Division II title, which Dolson believes is the most any Suffolk Division II team has won.

Among Mattituck’s champions were junior Jack Bokina and senior James Hoeg, who both picked up their fourth county titles. Mattituck senior Tanner Zagarino claimed his third county championship and Mattituck junior Luke Bokina was presented with the Most Outstanding Wrestler award after grabbing his second county title.

Mattituck’s eight county champions earned automatic berths into the state championships that will be wrestled Feb. 24 and 25 at Times Union Center in Albany.

Luke Bokina was the first Mattituck wrestler to hit the mat for the 120-pound final, perhaps the most exciting bout in the Division II finals. It was an exhausting affair that saw Bokina triumph, 4-1 over Center Moriches junior Donald Wood, on a move in the final eight seconds. Bokina, who has a 141-32 career record, was trailing by 1-0 and in a desperate situation when he pulled off the thrilling finish. In the dying seconds, Bokina scored two points from a takedown and another two on back points.

The 126-pound final was an all-Mattituck affair between two juniors. Jack Bokina, Luke’s twin brother and a two-time all-state wrestler with a 156-34 career record, was in control in his bout against teammate Justin Lake. Bokina won on a major decision, 14-1.

Mattituck senior T.J. Beebe had his arm raised as a champion, too, following his hard-earned 5-3 victory over Mount Sinai junior Michael Zarif at 138 pounds. Beebe’s career record is 151-39.

More Mattituck champions followed.

Senior Carmine Vergari (27-8), a powerful wrestler at 145 pounds, had his way against Port Jefferson junior Joey Evangelista, methodically producing a 4-0 decision.

Senior Thomas Hoeg pinned his opponent at 152 pounds, Bayport-Blue Point senior Chris Behan, at 4:35.

Another senior, Jake Skrezec, scored a 9-6 win over Bayport junior Dylan McCarthy for the 160-pound title.

James Hoeg was his dominant self, with a technical fall against Mount Sinai junior Jake Craston. The bout was stopped after 1:47 when Hoeg built a 15-0 lead.

Zagarino, wearing a black brace on his ailing right shoulder, did not let it prevent him from wearing down Mount Sinai sophomore John Parente, 8-2, for the title at 220. Zagarino (36-2) scored all his points on takedowns.

A tight 182-pound final was decided by a third-period escape by Mount Sinai senior Michael Sabella, a 3-2 winner over Mattituck senior Gage Suglia.

Mattituck senior Chance Anderson, wrestling at 285, dropped a 3-0 decision to Mount Sinai senior Robert Christ. The match was scoreless until Christ earned a third-period point on an escape. Christ then scored a takedown in the final seconds.

With its 356 points, Mattituck finished well above second-place Mount Sinai (261 1/2).

In a word, it was amazing.

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Photo caption: The Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestling team earned its fifth straight Suffolk County Division II championship with the aid of eight individual champions Sunday night. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)