Wrestling: Bokina twins repeat as county champs

The Bokinas had a blast.

Twin brothers Jack and Luke Bokina both captured county crowns Sunday night in the 79th annual Dr. L. Robert Fallot Section XI Wrestling Championships.

It may have been expected, but that doesn’t make what the two top-seeded Mattituck/Greenport/Southold seniors achieved at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood any less impressive. Jack Bokina won his fifth straight county title and Luke Bokina took his third in a row.

“They do what they do,” Mattituck coach Cory Dolson said. “They worked hard. They put in the extra time and good things happen.”

Both won their finals in dominant fashion.

Jack Bokina was in full control during the course of his 12-4 win over Port Jefferson senior Joseph Evangelista in the 145-pound final. The only three-time All-State wrestler Mattituck has ever had is 42-2 this season and 204-46 for his career. But that run of county titles is something else.

“Five in a row is unbelievable,” said Dolson.

Asked afterward about the significance of five consecutive titles, Jack Bokina replied, “I think it’s just starting to sink in now.”

Both Bokinas lost in state finals last year. That brought them added motivation to repeat as county champions.

“It’s pretty much the biggest tournament of the year,” Jack Bokina said of the county tournament. “It’s how you get to states.”

Evangelista has a 104-21 career mark.

Luke Bokina handled a former county champion, Mount Sinai junior Joseph O’Brien, in the 132-pound final. Bokina (38-4) won, 13-3, bringing his career record to 189-44. O’Brien is 68-33 for his career.

What was Luke Bokina’s strategy?

“Just score as many points as possible,” he said.

Luke Bokina has wrestled in the county tournament every year since he was a seventh-grader, so this wasn’t anything new to him. Asked if he felt pressure, he said, “No, not really.”

Both Bokinas said they had the confidence of having been on the big stage before.

“It’s just added confidence,” Jack Bokina said. “When you go out there, you’re the one to beat.”

When the Division II finalists paraded into the arena, four Mattituck wrestlers were among them, including sophomores Ethan Schmidt and Colby Suglia. They were both runners-up.

Schmidt lost the 152 final to Shoreham senior John Carl Petretti by technical fall. The match was stopped at 4:20 when the methodical Petretti (153-24 for his career) took a 17-0 lead.

Later, Suglia had a hard time in the 170 final, losing to Center Moriches junior Lajess Sawyer, 8-1.

Mattituck had two third-place finishers in Brian Feeney (106 pounds) and Justin Lake (132). Two other Tuckers, Sean Feeney (99) and Dan Puluc (106), were fourth.

Mount Sinai was the team champion with 241 points. Mattituck finished fifth with 192 1/2.

The Bokinas have accomplished a lot in wrestling, but there is still something neither of them have done yet: win a state championship. That’s a big item on their bucket list.

“All this stuff is great for these guys,” Dolson said, “but to be honest, they’re looking to be state champions.”

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Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold senior Jack Bokina, top, defeated Port Jefferson senior Joseph Evangelista for his fifth straight Suffolk County championship. (Credit: Garret Meade)