The Mattituck/Greenport/Southold high school wrestling team’s golden years had quite a shine to them.
The past five seasons were unprecedented in Mattituck’s history. Last season Mattituck saw its first two state champions, James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino, crowned. That capped off a remarkable five-year run in which Mattituck picked up a fifth successive Suffolk County Division II team title and fifth straight league crown. Over the course of those five seasons, the Tuckers went 100-21 in dual meets. For the second year in a row Mattituck (24-4 last season) was tabbed as the top Division II team in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Association.
Crowning a state champion was a driving goal for the Tuckers heading into last season. Mattituck gave itself a good chance, sending eight county champions to the state tournament in Albany. Four of them reached the finals and two of them completed the season with their arms raised at Times Union Center. Hoeg (51-2, 206-23 for his career) and fellow senior Zagarino (41-4, 146-25 for his career) both claimed coveted state titles within minutes of each other.
“This is the best moment of my life, no doubt,” the top-seeded Zagarino said after his 10-3 defeat of Midlakes senior Hammond Raes in the 220-pound final.
That was shortly after the second-seeded Hoeg made history by officially becoming the first Mattituck state champion, beating No. 1 Joe Benedict.
“It’s something I’ve been working all my life for,” Hoeg said.
Twins Jack Bokina (51-6 last season, 162-41 for his career) and Luke Bokina (50-7, 151-40) were also state finalists at 126 and 120 pounds, respectively. Luke was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the county tournament after grabbing his second county title.
Photo credit: Bob Liepa