02/16/13 9:04pm
02/16/2013 9:04 PM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport senior Tomasz Filipkowski, left, going head to head with teammate Sal Loverde in the 170-pound final. Filipkowski won a third straight county title.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport senior Tomasz Filipkowski, left, going head to head with teammate Sal Loverde in the 170-pound final. Filipkowski won a third straight county title.

SECTION XI DIVISION II CHAMPIONSHIPS

It was a three-peat for Tomasz Filipkowski, but a first for the Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team. First, as in the first Suffolk County championship in the Tuckers’ history.

Mattituck/Greenport captured the team title in the L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Section XI Division II Championships on Saturday night at Center Moriches High School. Thirteen Mattituck/Greenport wrestlers secured places among the top four of their weight class, helping the Tuckers collect 233 1/2 points. The defending champion, Bayport-Blue Point, was second with 203.

After all the individual medals and trophies were presented, the public-address announcer had one final piece of business to attend to in regard to the team scoring. “And now the moment you’ve been waiting for,” he said to the crowd, “the 2013 Suffolk County Division II champions, with 223 1/2 points — Mattituck!”

With that, the loud section of Tuckers fans cheered.

“It’s great, man,” said Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson, whose team is also the League VII champion. “It feels great for the kids, for everybody involved in the program, from the guys who have been helping with kid wrestling to all the time people spend in the tournaments, to parents. It’s just a testament to all the hard work everyone’s been doing all these years. Everyone takes a part in this championship.”

Six Tuckers were among the parade of finalists who marched into the gym for the title bouts. Three of them emerged as county champions.

Highlighting the individual achievements for Mattituck/Greenport was Filipkowski earning his third straight county title. The senior, wrestling in a county final for the fourth year in a row, pinned a teammate, junior Sal Loverde, at 2 minutes 34 seconds of the 170-pound final.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bobby Becker's left arm is raised after winning the county title at 138 pounds. He dedicated his season to his mother Susan, who was recently diagnosed as having leukemia.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bobby Becker’s left arm is raised after winning the county title at 138 pounds. He dedicated his season to his mother Susan, who was recently diagnosed as having leukemia.

“I guess it’s pretty rare and a cool thing, but like I said, I’m not a very individual person,” Filipkowski (33-2) said before the final team scores were announced. “I love when my team succeeds. If we win that team title, it would just make my day.”

Filipkowski’s tournament was an abbreviated one. He received a bye into the semifinals, advancing on a pin of Babylon’s Tyler Jacinth at 1:41. For Filipkowski, wrestling against Loverde (19-8) in the final was awkward.

“I really hated it,” he said. “It’s very weird because you’re always taught to want your team member to succeed. … We thought it was kind of comical that we were wrestling each other.”

Chris Baglivi, a senior, and Bobby Becker, a junior, also picked up county crowns.

Along with their county titles, Mattituck/Greenport’s three champions earned the right to advance to the state championships that will be held next Friday and Saturday in Albany.

“It’s a huge deal,” Filipkowski said of the county tournament. “This is it. End of the season. You lose, you’re done; you’re not going to Albany.”

Baglivi (31-1) was in full control of the 195-pound final, scoring an 11-0 major decision over Center Moriches junior William Hamilton (19-9) for his second straight county title.

Afterward, the heavily favored Baglivi said he felt relieved to have secured a return ticket to Albany for the state tournament, something afforded only to county champions. That’s a big part of the pressure of the sectional tournament. It’s either win it all or go home.

“Higher stakes always make it more stressful on the big mat,” Baglivi said. “I knew what I had to do and I went out there and did it.”

Becker (24-12), whose mother Susan was recently diagnosed as having leukemia and watched on from the stands, reached the top of the podium at 138 pounds. After he defeated Port Jefferson junior Tyler D’Accordo, 4-2, Becker, standing on the mat, relayed to his mother the message “I love you” in sign language.

Later, Becker said his mother was speechless.

“I just dedicate my season to her, everything, because she’s the toughest in the world,” said Becker, whose mother’s name was written on his headgear. He also wore orange socks. Orange is the color used to promote leukemia awareness.

Dolson said the team rallied around the Beckers. “It’s funny how out of tragedy sometimes that brings you closer,” he said.

Becker survived a tough bracket. Following a bye and a second-period pin of Center Moriches’ Stephen Maltz, Becker defeated two wrestlers he had lost to earlier in the season. He pinned Luke Zappia of Babylon 59 seconds into overtime and then triumphed over D’Accordo (22-8).

Becker said he didn’t realize he was winning until he looked up at the scoreboard with 16 seconds remaining in the final.

“It’s almost like unreal,” he said. “I wasn’t really watching the score so much. I was in the motion, scrambling and stuff. So, I didn’t even know I was winning.”

Becker repeatedly credited his training partner, junior Brian Pelan, with helping him to his first varsity tournament title of any kind.

“He pretty much carried me there,” Becker said. “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have made that. He pushed me 10 times harder than I would have pushed myself wrestling with anyone else this whole year.”

Pelan, however, and Mattituck/Greenport’s James Hoeg both lost in their finals. Pelan (19-3) faced a tough opponent at 126 pounds in Stony Brook sophomore Hunter Hulse (34-3). Hulse pulled out a 3-2 decision. Hoeg (26-10), an eighth-grader wrestling at 113 pounds, suffered a 5-3 loss to Center Moriches senior Michael Menzer. Menzer (35-5), a five-time all-county wrestler, received the tournament’s award for the most pins in the least amount of time, three in 2:59.

Mattituck/Greenport received third-place showings by T. J. Beebe (99), Lucas Webb (113), Rodolfo Perez (145) and Anthony Howell (160). Three other Tuckers came in fourth: Jack Bokina (99), Ryan Bergen (132) and James Rugnetta (182).

Mattituck/Greenport took second in last year’s county tournament. This year, though, Dolson sensed the Tuckers had what it took to make team history.

“This year was something special,” he said. “I think we had a good mix, a lot of young guys with a lot of talent. I feel like it was a year we had to take advantage of. We couldn’t let this year slip by.”

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DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport's Chris Baglivi, top, picked up a second county title, beating Center Moriches' William Hamilton.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport’s Chris Baglivi, top, picked up a second county title, beating Center Moriches’ William Hamilton.

02/11/12 10:48pm
02/11/2012 10:48 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck/Greenport won his second straight county title and Champion of Champions trophy with a 5-2 defeat of Center Moriches' Mario Mayen in the 170-pound final.

Perhaps no other wrestler had as good a chance of winning a title in the L. Robert “Doc” Fallot Section XI Division II Championships as Tomasz Filipkowski. But even the Mattituck/Greenport junior confessed to feeling nerves Saturday in the 170-pound final.

“It’s still nerve-wracking, you know, the county finals,” Filipkowski said. “You lose, you’re out, you’re done. You can kiss the whole season goodbye.”

Instead of that, Filipkowski will be saying hello to Albany.

For the second year in a row, Filipkowski is a county champion. That distinction came via his 5-2 defeat of Center Moriches senior Mario Mayen in the final at Stony Brook University.

While waiting his turn for a postmatch interview, Filipkowski was called away. He returned to the interview area several minutes later, lugging the tournament’s large Champion of Champions trophy, the second year in a row in which that honor had been presented to him.

“I’m pretty pumped right now,” he said.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Lucas Webb rejoiced after becoming the first Mattituck/Greenport eighth-grader to win a Suffolk County Division II championship.

Filipkowski will be joined by Mattituck/Greenport’s two other county champions, eighth-grader Lucas Webb (99 pounds) and junior Chris Baglivi (195), in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships that will be held Feb. 24 and 25 in Albany.

It was a productive two-day county tournament for Mattituck/Greenport, which led in the team scoring, 20 points ahead of Bayport-Blue Point, after Friday’s matches. But Bayport caught up in Saturday’s semifinals and wrestlebacks, taking a 15-point lead over the Tuckers into the finals. Bayport won the team title with 225 1/2 points. The Tuckers, who have never won a Division II team title, had to settle for second place for the second time in team history with 208 1/2 points, quite an achievement for a young team.

“It’s a great day,” said Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson.

It was a great tournament for Filipkowski (32-2). Following a first-round bye, he scored quick pins against his first two opponents, stopping Spencer Boucher of Center Moriches in 30 seconds and then Christian Nunez of Port Jefferson in 40 seconds.

That landed him in the final against Mayen (36-9), who Filipkowski had beaten by 7 points earlier in the season. But Filipkowski knew that what is past is past, and there are no certainties in wrestling, a sport in which any wrestler can be one move away from defeat. So, even a defending champion feels pressure.

“You have to lay it out all on the line right here in these county finals,” said Filipkowski, who was a county runner-up as a freshman. “Everyone wants to be that underdog to upset you. Everyone’s coming out there full force.”

Dolson acknowledged that Filipkowski is a special wrestler. “He’s got a good combination of strength, power and athleticism,” the coach said. “He’s a super athlete. He can do things that a lot of other kids can’t do.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Chris Baglivi of Mattituck/Greenport made a second-period escape point stand for a 1-0 triumph over Center Moriches' Ryan Lewis in the 195-pound final.

The Tuckers never had an eighth-grader win a Suffolk Division II title — until Saturday, that is. Webb, a varsity rookie who has been wrestling for seven years, changed that with his 3-0 decision over Jake Palma of Bayport in their final.

Following the first tournament title of his brief varsity career, Webb said he was ecstatic. “This is a dream of mine that actually happened,” he said. “I never thought this was going to happen.”

Webb (14-5) defeated Palma (17-11) for the second time this season, wrestling what Dolson called “a perfect match.”

Webb said he felt “great. I did everything I was supposed to do.”

Webb is one of six junior high school wrestlers who train in Mattituck/Greenport’s wrestling room, and Dolson has been impressed by what they have done.

“These guys, every one of them wants to come in and practice hard every day,” he said. “Every one of them wants to keep working. Every one of them wants to lift. These little guys, they’re unbelievable.”

Baglivi came up big for his first county crown. After pinning two Bayport wrestlers — Rob Rodriguez at 3:15 and Anthony Lombardi at 5:52 — Baglivi prevailed in the final by a different means. He earned a second-period escape point and made it stand by riding Center Moriches junior Ryan Lewis the rest of the way and preventing Lewis from escaping and tying the score. After holding on for the 1-0 victory, Baglivi raised his arms in triumphant fashion.

“I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, but I believe in myself and I really thought I could win,” said Baglivi (26-9), who was bumped up a weight class after wrestling at 182 pounds for most of the season.

Baglivi noted that the county tournament is unlike most other tournaments. “The stakes are so much higher,” he said. “There’s so much more pressure.”

Lewis (28-9) came close to executing an escape in the final seconds, but Baglivi held on.

“Chris is real tough on top,” Dolson said. “That’s probably his best position.”

A fourth Mattituck/Greenport wrestler reached the finals, but sophomore Brian Pelan suffered a 7-2 loss to Babylon senior Sean Kelly at 126 pounds. Kelly is 29-3 and Pelan is 25-9.

Andre Vega (138) and James Rugnetta (170) of Mattituck/Greenport took third place. Four other Tuckers finished fourth: James Hoeg (106), Bobby Becker (138), Rich Koch (145) and Frank Zagarino (152).

For Baglivi, Filipkowski and Webb, though, their season isn’t over. They still have an upcoming business trip upstate.

Said Dolson, “Now they get to work hard for two more weeks, go to Albany and see what they can do.”

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