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Wrestling Preview: Tuckers have their work cut out

Two poster-sized photos that are to be hung in the Mattituck High School wrestling room are a reminder of who Mattituck/Greenport/Southold no longer has. That is Jack and Luke Bokina, who last season became the first twins from Long Island to win state championships.

That’s a big hit, but it’s not the only one.

While Jack Bokina is wrestling at Brown and Luke Bokina is wrestling at Roger Williams University (R.I.), Mattituck has issues to address. The team roster of 30 as of Monday was on the low side, about 10 less than the Tuckers typically have. Coach Cory Dolson said that for the first time in his 13 years coaching the team, the Tuckers will have to forfeit three or four weight classes in dual meets.

Not only that, but Mattituck has been bumped up to League VII where it will compete with Bayport-Blue Point, Shoreham-Wading River, Elwood/John Glenn and Mount Sinai.

“It’s a different year for us in that we’re definitely not one of the favorites, that’s for sure,” Dolson said. “It’s definitely going to prepare us better for the end of the year.”

It appears as if Mattituck’s golden era of wrestling is over. After winning five straight Suffolk County Division II championships and five league titles in a row, Mattituck went 9-11 last season. In the previous five seasons, the team went 100-21.

Dolson said, “I think the biggest thing for our team this year, because we don’t have a ton of starting experience, we have a lot of new guys in the lineup … we got to take those middle-of-the road guys and we got to make them above-average guys.”

Mattituck has some county contenders like Ethan Schmidt (25-15) and Colby Suglia (26-13), who were Suffolk Division II runners-up as sophomores last season. Schmidt will wrestle at 160 or 170 pounds, and Suglia will go at 195 or 220.

Dan Puluc, a sophomore, is an All-County wrestler expected to wrestle at 120 or 126. The other returners from last season’s lineup are: sophomore Luke Altman (120, 126), senior Tim Davis (126), senior Jacob Theodorou (126, 132), senior Ethan Prager (126, 132), senior Ben Webb (145), junior Tyler Marlborough (220) and senior David Jenkins (170, 182).

“There’s competition at a lot of weight classes,” Dolson said. “That’s a good thing … These guys are going to have to compete to start.”

The Tuckers are eager to take part in their first competition of the season Saturday when they will wrestle in the Takedown Autism Duals at William Floyd High School.

This is the third week of training, and Dolson said: “It’s tough. It’s a little monotonous. It’s a little bit of a grind.”

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Photo caption: Mattituck/Greenport/Southold junior Ethan Schmidt (bottom) was a Suffolk Division II runner-up last season. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

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