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Top Sports Stories 2018: Twins are state wrestling champions

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12/22/2018 6:01 AM |

After decades and decades of never having produced a state wrestling champion, Mattituck High School turned out two of them for the second straight year in 2018. Of course, there was a neat twist with the two most recent crowned champs: They’re twins.

Luke and Jack Bokina became the first twins from Long Island to win state titles, according to Newsday. They did so within minutes of each other in the 56th annual NYSPHSAA Championships at Times Union Center in Albany.

It was a year earlier in that same arena when the Bokinas watched as teammates James Hoeg and Tanner Zagarino became the first Tuckers to secure state championships. The Bokinas lost in the state finals that year, but they didn’t let a final opportunity, as seniors, slip from their grasp.

Fifth-seeded Luke’s triumph came in a drama-filled Division II 132-pound final. He was trailing the No. 2 seed, Alexandra senior Nicholas Young, 1-0, with 14 seconds left when both wrestlers went out of bounds. Then Luke scrambled for a takedown with about six seconds left, holding on for a 2-1 victory.

“His finals match was nothing short of amazing there with the last-second drama,” coach Cory Dolson said. “It was unbelievable.”

Jack, who is one minute older than his brother, wasn’t about to be outdone by his sibling, though. About 10 minutes later he took the mat for the 145-pound final against the No. 1 seed and a returning state champion, Central Valley Academy junior Hunter Shaul. No. 2 seed Jack prevailed, 5-0.

“It’s the best feeling in the world, like you can’t even describe it,” said Jack (46-2), who went 208-43 for his high school career and is the only four-time All-State wrestler Mattituck has ever had.

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

Photo caption: Jack (left) and Luke Bokina both won state wrestling championships. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

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