Wrestling: Big farewell for Bokina twins
This was as fine a farewell as the Bokina twins could have hoped for.
The two Mattituck High School seniors both won tournament titles in their final wrestling matches in their home gym and left with something more. Jack Bokina couldn’t have planned it any better, picking up what was announced as his 200th career win in his final. Meanwhile, Luke Bokina was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the 21st annual North Fork Invitational Saturday night. They both took titles from the tournament for the second time in three years.
That’s quite a haul for the top-seeded Bokinas, who are both in their sixth varsity season.
Sometimes things just work out.
Jack reached the double-century mark in taking the 145-pound championship with his win by technical fall (21-6 over Bay Shore’s Josh Sanchez). With his 200 wins, he is the second-winningest wrestler in program history behind James Hoeg, who graduated last year with a 206-23 record.
“It’s awesome,” Jack said afterward. “The second guy in Mattituck history to do it behind James Hoeg, it’s special. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.”
Meanwhile, Luke was a 7-0 winner over Freeport’s Lee Mauras in the 132-pound final.
Mattituck coach Cory Dolson spoke of how much of an achievement 200 career wins is for Jack.
“It’s a phenomenal number,” he said. “Two hundred wins for a high school career is incredible … There’s not many guys with 200. He’s in with an elite group of guys.”
Jack was dominant throughout the tournament, pinning his first three opponents — Freeport’s Jason Figueroa, North Babylon’s George Tsavaris and Connetquot’s Eddie Macario in a combined time of 4 minutes, 19 seconds — before the final.
“He’s been dominant most of the season,” Dolson said. “That’s his style.”
Did wrestling in front of the home fans bring added motivation?
“It’s a good way to end the [regular] season, the last time wrestling in this gym,” said Jack, who is seeking a fifth appearance in the state tournament. “It’s just special. You got to protect your house. You can’t lose.”
After receiving a first-round bye, Luke pinned Patchogue-Medford’s Cory Atcosta in 52 seconds and Connetquot’s Joe Kasten in 2:41 to reach the final.
Dolson said Luke was in one of the tournament’s toughest weight classes. “I think he did great,” the coach said.
Luke (35-4) isn’t too far behind his brother with a 186-44 career record. “I feel good,” he said. “I’m scoring a lot of points. I’m wrestling well.”
Mattituck’s Sean Feeney reached the 99-pound final before losing, 8-1, to Bay Shore’s Elijah Rivera.
The Tuckers also received third-place finishes from Brian Feeney (106 pounds) and Ethan Schmidt (152) and a fourth from Colby Suglia (170).
Freeport finished first among the 10 teams in the team scoring with 222 points. Mattituck was fifth with 176.
Dolson, asked if his seven years with the Bokinas is passing by quickly, replied: “I wish we had another seven. It has gone fast.”
The ultimate goal the Bokinas share is the same: a state championship. That was something they both came close to last year, losing state Division II finals.
“They both have the same drive,” Dolson said. “They wrestle very, very differently, but they both have the same goals and the same work ethic.”
And fond memories of their final match in Mattituck.
Photo caption: Mattituck senior Jack Bokina had his right arm raised for the 200th time in his career Saturday night when he won his second North Fork Invitational title in three years. (Credit: Garret Meade)