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Wrestling: Bokina twins both grab state crowns

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02/24/2018 8:41 PM |

The scenario was similar, but the result was oh so different for twin brothers Luke and Jack Bokina.

Once again the two Mattituck High School seniors had wrestled their way to state finals at Times Union Center in Albany. The difference this time — and what a big difference it was — was both Bokinas had their arms raised as state champions.

“It’s awesome because we’re always trying to one-up each other, but now we can’t,” Jack Bokina said in a video posted on the NYSPHSAA Twitter account. “We’re both state champs.”

Fifth-seeded Luke Bokina pulled off a 2-1 triumph Saturday night over No. 2 seed Nicholas Young, a senior from Alexandra, in the Division II 132-pound final of the 56th annual NYSPHSAA Championships.

“It means everything,” Bokina (42-4), who has a 186-37 career record, said in an online video. “Ever since I was 8 years old, just training [for] one goal: to be a state champ.”

Young was no slouch himself, going 53-4 this season.

Luke Bokina had won his semifinal earlier in the day, a 4-2 decision over top-seeded Cahal Donovan, a Marcellus junior.

The state champions: Jack and Luke Bokina. (Credit: NYSPHSAA)

Luke Bokina took his first two opponents by decision on Friday, beating Ogdensburg sophomore David Coordell, 6-2, and Randolph senior Matt Evans, 5-3. Evans was seeded fourth.

Not long after Luke’s victory, Jack Bokina, the No. 2 seed at 145, defeated the No. 1 seed, Central Valley Academy junior Hunter Shaul, by a 5-0 decision. That brought Jack Bokina’s season record to 46-2. He is 208-43 for his career and the only four-time All-State wrestler Mattituck has ever had.

Shaul finished the season with a 54-3 record.

Jack Bokina reached the final by pinning Holland Patent senior T.J. Philpots, the No. 3 seed, at 2 minutes, 42 seconds.

Jack Bokina romped on Friday as well. He opened things up by beating unseeded Groton junior Joe Evangelista by technical fall (17-1). In the quarterfinals, Jack Bokina pinned No. 7 Ian Houck, a senior from Rondout Valley, in 2:32.

“The Bokinas are studs,” Mattituck coach Cory Dolson said in a text message. “Great kids, great family. They deserve everything that they have earned. Couldn’t be more happy for two kids. Very proud of them both.”

In the Division II team scoring, Mattituck finished third with 49 1/2 points, behind Central Valley Academy (74) and Norwich (67).

The Bokinas’ accomplishments give Mattituck four state champions in two years. Last year James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino became Mattituck’s first state champions. But the Bokinas are the only Long Island twins to ever win state titles, according to Newsday. Twins Rocco and Phillip Mansueto of Middletown both won the same year in 1997.

CORRECTION: The Bokinas are the first Long Island twins to ever win state championships, not the first in state history.

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Photo caption: Mattituck senior Jack Bokina, pictured wrestling Friday, won a state championship Saturday night, as did his twin brother Luke. (Credit: Ray Nelson).

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