12/30/13 11:00am
12/30/2013 11:00 AM
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 FILE 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.

As Mattituck wrestler Tomasz Filipkowski put the finishing touches on a three-peat, the wrestling team captured its first county championship in program history.

The wrestling team captured the Division II title as 13 wrestlers secured places among the top four of their weight class, helping the Tuckers collect 233 1/2 points.

The Tuckers edged defending champion Bayport-Blue Point, who tallied 203. Filipkowski pinned teammate Sal Loverde in the 170-pound final to win his third straight county title.

Senior Chris Baglivi and junior Bobby Becker also won county titles to earn spots at the state championship. “This year was something special,” Mattituck coach Cory Dolson said after the team’s county title.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

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.

01/28/13 10:32pm
01/28/2013 10:32 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO  |  Matt Migliore of Smithtown Christian, left, and Christian Angelson of Mattituck/Greenport locked horns at 152 pounds. Migliore won, 6-3.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Matt Migliore of Smithtown Christian, left, and Christian Angelson of Mattituck/Greenport locked horns at 152 pounds. Migliore won, 6-3.

TUCKERS 78, KNIGHTS 7

There is always another challenge, another title to aspire to, another mountain to climb.

For the Mattituck/Greenport wrestling team, it’s not the Suffolk County League VII dual-meet championship that is the end all. The Tuckers clinched at least a share their first league title in a decade, with the possibility of a county Division II crown to follow next week. They took another giant step toward an undefeated league season with a 78-7 home victory over Smithtown Christian on Monday night.

Mattituck/Greenport can clinch the league championship with a win at The Stony Brook School on Wednesday.

But if you think coach Cory Dolson and his wrestlers will be content with just that, guess again.

“I don’t see any reason why we can’t achieve that goal,” said Tomasz Filipkowski, who has a 30-2 record at 170 and 182 pounds. “The way we’re wrestling, everyone has been really pushing in the [wrestling] room. Everyone has a real good work ethic. No one’s hitting that grind, that lag. Everyone’s still fresh.

“This is one of our more complete teams for a while. This is one of the first years that we’ve ever had from 99 to 285. There are no holes.”

Chris Baglivi, who has forged a 28-1 record at 195 pounds, was just as optimistic. “The sky’s the limit,” he said. “If everyone wrestles to their potential, we’ll definitely win the county. Everyone’s wrestled tough.”

The Tuckers (12-1, 7-0) always have had talented teams, but this year’s team has some added motivation since it finished second in the county tournament last year.

“Coming in second is not fun,” Dolson said. “It’s the worst. Nobody wants to finish second. You’re just that much closer to winning it. After coming so close last year, we got a lot of guys back from that team. They’re hungry, they’re motivated.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bobby Becker of Mattituck/Greenport won his match at 138 pounds, pinning Josh Shaw of Smithtown Christian at 3 minutes 40 seconds.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Bobby Becker of Mattituck/Greenport won his match at 138 pounds, pinning Josh Shaw of Smithtown Christian at 3 minutes 40 seconds.

Mattituck/Greenport has never won a Suffolk Division II title.

“It’s something special to be the first group of people at a school to do something,” Dolson said. “That’s making history, being the first group to ever do it. That’s extra motivation, too.”

To win every league dual meet would be an important first step up the mountain.

“It’s big for us,” Dolson said. “We’re hopefully going to go undefeated with a win on Wednesday. I think it’s big for the kids, big for the program. It’s nice, the hard work all these years is finally paying off. Winning stuff like this, going undefeated and winning a league title gives these kids a reason to keep coming back, gives them a reason to be excited about the wrestling program, a real reason to keep working hard.”

Monday’s encounter was virtually over before it started. Smithtown Christian (0-8, 0-7) brought only six wrestlers as the Tuckers won nine matches by forfeit.

Of the six matches that were held, Mattituck won four — all by pins.

Eighth-grader Tanner Zagarino pinned Josh Bellinger in only 28 seconds at 126 pounds. Ryan Bergen (132 pounds) pinned his man, Ian Mims, at 1:36. Bobby Becker (138) stopped Josh Shaw at 3:40. James Rugnetta (182) pinned Chris Olynik at 3:45.

“The situation is what it is,” Dolson said. “They had only six kids. They had a couple of tough guys. It’s tough for some of our guys. It’s hard to get up for a match like this. The atmosphere is really not there. There’s not a lot of people in the gym. It’s kind of quiet.”

The lack of competition meant some of Mattituck/Greenport’s best did not wrestle. That included Filipkowski, who has needed a special mask to protect five stitches he received over his right eye after he was head-butted at the North Fork Invitational two weeks ago.

Filipkowski, the school-record holder with 121 wins, admitted he had mixed emotions about being a spectator.

“It definitely has a chance to heal, which I guess that’s good,” he said. “But I’m definitely bummed out. It’s your last home thing ever. It’s disappointing, a little letdown.”

He added that the mask would be off in time for the county tournament. “I don’t think it has hindered my wrestling ability,” he said.

Baglivi wouldn’t have minded competition as well.

“I wish I could wrestle, senior night and all,” he said, adding that it would be the last time he could have wrestled at Mattituck High School. “I’m going to wrestle against Stony Brook.”

And possibly help the Tuckers make some history.

Dolson said that winning the league dual-meet title has helped his wrestlers “realize how good they are.”

“In the past you come so close and you don’t make it to the top of the mountain,” he said. “I think it’s sometimes for them to believe that they are the best. You’ve got to get there first and then kids start believing and buying in. Just us by going through the league and beating everybody and beating everybody pretty convincingly, that has given them a lot of confidence. They are wrestling with confidence. They are the best and they believe we can win.”

01/19/13 9:31pm
01/19/2013 9:31 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck/Greenport, who sustained a cut on his right eyebrow 10 seconds into the 170-pound final, went on to defeat Half Hollow Hills East's Maleik Henry, 4-3. Filipkowski was selected the tournament's most outstanding wrestler.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski of Mattituck/Greenport, who sustained a cut on his right eyebrow 10 seconds into the 170-pound final, went on to defeat Half Hollow Hills East’s Maleik Henry, 4-3. Filipkowski was selected the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

NORTH FORK INVITATIONAL

With blood streaming down the right side of his face, Tomasz Filipkowski looked like a cast member from a B-grade horror film, but it was the storybook ending that made this tale so captivating.

It was 10 seconds into the 170-pound final of the North Fork Invitational on Saturday night at Mattituck High School when the bout was stopped temporarily so Filipkowski could be attended to. The Mattituck/Greenport senior said he was struck on his right eyelid by either the head or a tooth of his opponent, No. 1 seed Maleik Henry of Half Hollow Hills East.

A trainer, Colleen McGowan, managed to slow the bleeding and wrapped a bandage around Filipkowski’s head so he could resume the match. Two minutes 28 seconds of blood time were consumed, but that was the only stoppage of the match because of bleeding. The second-seeded Filipkowski went on to bounce back from a 2-1 deficit and defeat Henry, 4-3, in perhaps the most enthralling match of the finals.

After the final buzzer sounded, a joyous Filipkowski clapped for himself and received applause from spectators. He was later recognized for his efforts under adversity by being selected the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.

“It’s pretty sweet,” Filipkowski acknowledged later in the locker room. “It’s one of my top [wins]. It’s at home. It’s against a kid that I lost to before in the season.”

Filipkowski, who was a champion in last year’s tournament as well, defeated Henry twice last season, but then lost to him in the Half Hollow Hills East Tournament final earlier this season. That was motivation enough. When Filipkowski sustained the cut, which was expected to require several stitches, it appeared as if it would endanger his plans.

Asked how much the cut hindered him, Filipkowski replied: “I didn’t think about it at all. I don’t think it affected me too much, to be completely honest. I just went out there and stuck with doing what I had to do during the match.”

Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson said Filipkowski endured “a little adversity, but nothing major.” The coach said that what Filipkowski did was “nothing eye-opening. That’s what he does. He grinds guys down, he scores takedowns, he doesn’t let guys ride him. That’s a typical match for him.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Brian Pelan of Mattituck/Greenport, left, putting a hold on Harborfields' Ed Henriquez during the 126-pound final. Pelan won, 6-3.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Brian Pelan of Mattituck/Greenport, left, putting a hold on Harborfields’ Ed Henriquez during the 126-pound final. Pelan won, 6-3.

Two other Mattituck/Greenport wrestlers reached the top of the podium in their weight classes, junior Brian Pelan and senior Chris Baglivi.

Pelan, a junior seeded No. 1, scored a 6-3 decision against No. 3 Ed Henriques of Harborfields in the 126-pound final.

“I expected myself to win it,” Pelan said. “I wanted to win it, so I put my mind to it and got what I wanted.”

The Tuckers also received a fine performance from Baglivi at 195 pounds. Baglivi, the tournament favorite, was leading his opponent, No. 2 Nick Marcinek of Connetquot, by 5-0 before pinning him at 2 minutes 46 seconds. It was Baglivi’s second tournament title of the season.

“I’ve been going for it for three years, trying to win this tournament,” Baglivi said. “I’m really pumped. It’s always a tough tournament.”

Riverhead sent two wrestlers into the finals, sophomore Raheem Brown (160 pounds) and junior Ryan Gevinski (120).

The sixth-seeded Brown upset the tournament’s top three seeds in his path to winning a champions’ medal and his first career tournament crown. He defeated the No. 1 seed, Nick Mastro of Connetquot, in the final, 6-4.

“You’re tired, you’re fighting,” Brown said. “You just want to win. You want to be the one with your hand raised at the end.”

Brown said he was motivated by his coaches, who got on him following his loss in a dual meet against Hauppauge the night before.

“I’m trying to move up better and better because there are other people out there 10 times better than me,” he said, “and I want to be just like them.”

A week earlier, Brown received the Riverhead team’s weekly most outstanding wrestler award.

“He’s a kid that’s still on his way up,” Riverhead coach Wade “Rocky” Davey said. “He doesn’t realize how good he can be.”

Gevinski, the third seed, dropped a 5-1 decision to No. 1 Steven Bolzomi of Connetquot in their final.

Connetquot and Rocky Point, recognized as being among the top teams in the state, lived up to their billing. Connetquot won the team title for the third year in a row, posting 376 points in the 12-team tournament. Rocky Point was the runner-up with 279, and Mattituck/Greenport third with 210.

“Our guys wrestled great today,” Dolson said. “Third place is a tremendous performance for our team.”

Following his tremendous performance, Filipkowski removed his headgear, revealing a stream of blood trickling down his face while photographers snapped away.

Said Pelan, “That’s going to look sweet in the paper, that’s for sure.”

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01/03/13 6:51pm
01/03/2013 6:51 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck/Greenport’s Bobby Becker, who had a hold on Hampton Bays’ Ralph Oswald, won the 138-pound bout by technical fall.

TUCKERS 69, BAYMEN 12

The longest six minutes in sports may be the six minutes that constitute a typical wrestling match. Those three two-minute periods can be exhausting, more so for some than others.

While opponents tire in the third period, Mattituck/Greenport senior Chris Baglivi scores points. His match on Thursday was a case in point.

Like Baglivi, Hampton Bays senior Kevin Giron was a Suffolk County champion last season. The two had never met on a wrestling mat before Thursday’s League VII opener between their teams at Hampton Bays High School.

The 195-pound contest was scoreless for two periods, and then came the third period. That’s Baglivi’s time.

Baglivi rallied and scored all of his points in the final period for a 5-0 victory that gave the Tuckers a 39-0 lead en route to a 69-12 rout.

“I usually do that,” Baglivi said of his third-period finishes. “I think I improved because off-season I went to a bunch of camps. I went to a couple of off-season tournaments, and I’ve been lifting, I’ve been running. That’s like the biggest thing with me. When the third period comes, I’m still feeling fresh like it’s the first period.”

Baglivi’s teammate, senior Tomasz Filipkowski, liked what he saw.

“The other kid came out strong, but Baglivi, he’s a tough kid,” Filipkowski said. “He weathered the storm.”

If Baglivi doesn’t have wobbly legs in the third period, it’s not by accident. For one thing, he has a pretty good practice partner in Filipkowski, a fellow county champion who earlier this season became the fourth wrestler to record 100 career wins for the Tuckers.

And then there is Baglivi’s work ethic.

“I’m trying to peak before the county tournament,” he said. “I’m running hard every day, doing extra workouts after practice, going to the weight room, getting extra runs on Sundays. I’m trying to improve at every position.”

The extra work has been evident in his performances. Baglivi’s only loss this season was to Nick Weber of Kings Park, one of the top-ranked wrestlers in New York State.

Baglivi has no shortage of motivation, either. Last season he won the Suffolk Division II title at 195 pounds, went 1-2 in the state tournament, and finished the season with a 26-9 record. “That was an amazing experience,” he said. His driving ambition this season is to win another county crown and return to the state tournament.

“He’s come a real long way since ninth grade,” Mattituck/Greenport coach Cory Dolson said. “He grew up, he got bigger, he got stronger. He comes in, does extra practices, extra weight-room sessions. He’s big and very athletic for 195 pounds. A lot of 195-pounders are strong, but they’re not as athletic as Chris.”

Mattituck/Greenport (4-0, 1-0) was too much for a young, understrength Hampton Bays team. The Baymen (2-3, 0-1) forfeited six weight classes, and seven of the nine bouts that were wrestled went Mattituck/Greenport’s way.

“We know we have a lot of work to do,” Hampton Bays coach Rafael Lievano said. “They were real tough. … They’re going to have a nice run.”

Tyler Webb of Mattituck/Greenport was trailing, 3-2, when he turned the tables on his 120-pound opponent, Shawn Bowen, pinning him with 43.6 seconds left in the third period.

The Tuckers also received pins from T. J. Beebe at 99 pounds (he pinned Lucas Kraus at 1:32) and Andre Vega at 145 pounds (he stopped John Nolan at 3:43). Another Tucker, Bobby Becker, won at 138 pounds by technical fall. He was leading Ralph Oswald, 19-2, when the bout was stopped at 5:49.

Ryan Bergen won the first match of the afternoon for Mattituck/Greenport with a 7-2 decision over Travis Flynn at 132 pounds.

Filipkowski was dominant in his match at 182 pounds, tiring out Cody Nolan in a 21-9 decision.

“I still feel like I can do a lot better,” Filipkowski said. “At the end, I started to get tired. My shots were sloppy, my takedowns were sloppy.”

The two heaviest weight classes went Hampton Bays’ way on pins. Eddie Perez, wrestling at 220 pounds, put Connor Andersen’s shoulder to the mat at 1:55. Then Tom Tretola did likewise to his opponent at 285 pounds, Nick Tesiny, in a time of 2:32.

It was an easy day for Mattituck/Greenport’s Tim Pelan, Lucas Webb, Tanner Zagarino, Christian Angelson, Anthony Howell and Sal Loverde, who all had their arm raised in victory by forfeit.

“We came in to do what we were supposed to do,” Dolson said. “It’s always good to open up [the league season] with a win.”

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GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Chris Baglivi of Mattituck/Greenport got the better of Hampton Bays’ Kevin Giron in a matchup of two county champions. Baglivi won the bout at 195 pounds, 5-0, scoring all of his points in the third period.

12/17/12 4:00pm
12/17/2012 4:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Mattituck wrestler Tomasz Filipkowski reached 100 career wins this past weekend.

The Mattituck/Greenport High School wrestling team had not one, but two reasons to celebrate this past weekend.

For the first time in the eight years since coach Cory Dolson has been associated with the team, the Tuckers won a tournament. He also had a wrestler reach 100 career wins.

Mattituck captured the Irvington Invitational in Irvington, N.Y. on Saturday as senior Tomasz Filipkowski became the fourth Tuckers wrestler to join the century club with 100 or more victories.

“We did pretty well as a team,” said Dolson, who has been head coach seven years and an assistant for one. “We never had been there before. I didn’t expect to win a tournament.”

But the Tuckers did, accumulating 197 1/2 points, behind an impressive three champions and seven finalists. Tappan Zee (179) was second and Arlington (157) was third.

“The kids wrestled tough against some real good teams and they came out on top,” Dolson said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Filipkowski’s milestone was the top individual highlight for the Tuckers as he went 5-0, pinning every opponent en route to the 170-pound title. The senior reached the coveted 100-victory mark in his final match of the round-robin. He has 101 wins with a full season remaining, trailing only Sean Heaney (114 wins), Ryan Connell (107) and Charles Kozora (106) on the Tuckers’ all-time list.

“It’s a great accomplishment for any wrestler,” Dolson said. “He can rack up a lot more wins. He took it in stride. I think he’s looking toward bigger things.”

Such as capturing his second consecutive Suffolk County Division II championship and trying for a New York State title.

“I think the biggest smile on his face was when the tournament was over and we won the title,” Dolson said. “That says a lot about his character.”

Senior Chris Baglivi (195), a returning county champion, won all his four matches by pins, recording a first-period fall in the final.

“He’s one of our leaders,” Dolson said. “”He did his job. He beat everybody like he was supposed to.”

Freshman Lucas Webb (113), who registered a comeback overtime victory in an earlier match, recorded a 14-1 win in his title match.

Four other Tucker wrestlers reached the final of their respective weight classes — eighth-graders T.J. Beebe (99) and James Hoeg (120), seventh-grader Jack Bokina (106) and junior Bobby Becker (138). Seventh-grader Luke Bokina (99), Jack’s twin brother, also finished third, as did eighth-grader Tanner Zagarino (126). Juniors Christian Angelson (152) and Connor Andersen (220) each took fourth and Ryan Dergen (132) finished fifth.

Dolson has a good mixture of experience and very promising young wrestlers.

“They don’t have a ton of varsity experience,” he said. “These kids are stepping up and doing well. If we could put it together, it could be a real special season.”

Mattituck/Greenport had two teams compete at competitions. Its B team traveled to the North Babylon tournament. That Tuckers squad did not fare as well, finishing last. But more importantly, several athletes received vital experience against their counterparts from Brentwood, Hauppauge and Huntington.

Sophomore Adam Goode (195) was the best Tucker finisher in fourth, followed by eighth-grader Thomas Hoeg (99) in fifth place and eighth-grader Timmy Pelan (106), juniors Sal Loverde (170) and Joe Peroni (182) in sixth.

“We had five guys place,” Dolson said. “It definitely was worth it.”

The Tuckers will be in action next at the Half Hollow Hills East Holiday tournament on Dec. 27-28.

“We have a good stable of talent right now,” Dolson said. “We have five guys at the highest weight classes who are really, really good. If the kids keep working together and stay with it, the sky is the limit.”

09/05/11 2:17pm
09/05/2011 2:17 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ryan Malone, a two-time all-county player for the Porters, has been moved from running back to quarterback.

An oddity in the scheduling this year has the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football team playing all four of its regular-season home games consecutively, sandwiched between two road games to start the season and two road games to conclude the regular season.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze in another game or two” after that, said Porters Coach Jack Martilotta.

He was referring to the playoffs, of course. The Porters reached the playoffs last year, Martilotta’s first in charge of the team. They ran into the tough Mount Sinai Mustangs in a Suffolk County Division IV qualifying round game and lost, 41-19, putting an end to a 5-4 season.

But 15 seniors on that Porters team have since moved on. Regardless, the Porters are seeded sixth among the division’s 14 teams, and with that show of respect comes a demanding schedule. Starting with Friday night’s season opener against the Babylon Panthers, the Porters will face some strong teams, including Mount Sinai, the defending county champion Elwood/John Glenn Knights and the Amityville Warriors.

“That’s kind of scary, man,” said Martilotta.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Tomasz Filipkowski, an all-division senior, gives the Porters speed at tailback.

Some might consider a schedule like that daunting; Martilotta sees it as a challenge. “We played well [last year], and quite frankly I expect the same this year,” he said.

Offering his thoughts on what would constitute a successful season, Martilotta used the “P” word, saying he would like to see the Porters reach the playoffs for a third straight year.

“I’d like to go far,” he said. “I’d like to make it deeper than last year.”

It would be with a largely new crew, however, and a different setup, the most obvious change being at quarterback. Ryan Malone is the new QB, but hardly a new player for the Porters. The previous two years he was an all-county running back.

With the graduation of quarterback Mark Mangiamele, an all-county player in his own right who was the team’s most valuable player last year, Malone will be taking the snaps from center.

“We thought about it over the winter,” Tom Mangiamele, the offensive coordinator, said. “He just seemed like he might be a good fit. He’s been an all-county player since he was a sophomore. He’s a natural leader.”

Malone, a senior with no previous experience at the position, has been working on his passing with one of the assistant coaches, Fred Stroh, and it is said to be progressing nicely.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Coach Jack Martilotta wants to see the Porters reach the playoffs for a third straight year.

“His passing’s looking good,” Connor Guditus, who plays center and defensive end, said. “He’s not used to being a quarterback, I don’t think, but he’s an all-around good athlete. He’s pretty confident that he can run it and throw it, too.”

Having Malone play quarterback presents a different dynamic. In addition to running with the ball or passing it, Malone will also have the option of handing it off to senior Tomasz Filipkowski, an all-division player who takes over at tailback and brings possibly even more speed to the position than Malone did.

The Porters can also turn to Chris Schantz, an all-league senior fullback/linebacker.

Mark Proferes, a junior lineman, and Bill Bishop, a senior tight end/defensive end, were both starters last year.

Three seniors — safety Zach Apleskog, wide receiver Nick Lentini and Guditus — are the only other players with prior varsity experience.

“It will be the same as any other season,” Malone said. “It’s new people filling new spots.”

Schantz said: “We lost a lot of seniors, but we have some pretty good kids. We have some kids who have been working really hard in the off-season. We’ll see what comes out of it.”

Martilotta has been encouraged that the Porters have been fundamentally sound in practice. “We’ve got some good athletes and I think we’ve got them in good positions, which we’ve been happy about,” he said. “Now I’m hoping it all comes together over the next week or so. That’s always the hope.”

Malone sounded eager for the opening-night kickoff.

“We’ve been waiting for this day since the season ended,” he said. “It’s been a long winter leading up to this.”

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08/23/11 2:51pm
08/23/2011 2:51 PM

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island, the No. 6 seed in Division IV, faces a difficult schedule this year.

Preseason training camp isn’t easy. Then again, that’s the point.

Football is a rough sport, and preparing for a new season is hard work.

“It’s tough, it’s tough,” said Jack Martilotta, who is in his second year as head coach of the Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island high school football team. “It’s very hard. It’s a lot of conditioning, but football is a difficult sport, and we have a hard schedule. We certainly don’t do any of this for the sake of doing it. We’re doing it to make them better football players.”

Every sprint, every drill, every exercise has a purpose. For the Porters, the larger picture is to prepare for the rigors of a demanding Suffolk County Division IV schedule. As the sixth-seeded team among Division IV’s 14 schools, the Porters will face the division’s top five ranked teams. They will play tough squads like the Babylon Panthers, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats, the Elwood/John Glenn Knights, the Amityville Warriors and the Mount Sinai Mustangs.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Ryan Malone, center, may be moved from running back to quarterback.

That is their reward for reaching the postseason for the second year in a row in 2010. The Porters finished the regular season in fifth place in the division before falling to Mount Sinai, 41-19, in a division qualifying round game. They finished with a 5-4 record.

The Porters were back at square one last Thursday, when they started preseason practice, getting ready for another season.

“It’s rough, getting up at 5:30 in the morning and coming out here to run every day,” Tomasz Filipkowski, a junior linebacker and tailback, said after Tuesday morning’s practice session at Greenport High School. “It’s a real challenge. It’s pretty tough. Sprints are hard. Up and downs are hard.”

Training camp is vital, though. Some consider it the most important part of the football season.

“It’s really important because it determines the rest of your season,” said Filipkowski.

Ryan Malone, a senior who is projected to play quarterback and linebacker, will enter his third varsity season. He has been through training camps before and knows what they are about.

“It’s always going to be tough,” he said. “That’s the point of this, to get in shape, to push us to the limit.”

The clock is ticking, too. With the Sept. 9 date for the kickoff to their season in Babylon edging closer and closer, the pressure is on to get players in game shape, have positions defined, and offensive, defensive and special-teams packages installed. For their part, players must make sure they rest and hydrate between training sessions.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Greenport/Southold/Mattituck/Shelter Island Coach Jack Martilotta said the coaching staff has high expectations for the Porters.

“They got to take care of themselves when they’re not here,” Martilotta said. “And when they’re here, I always tell them, the more that they put out here, the better off they’ll be in the game. Everything they do, we need a hundred-percent effort.”

While the Porters made a name for themselves last year, they also lost 15 players to graduation. Talents such as Yianni Rauseo, Mike Mangiamele and Tyler McNeil are gone.

“A kid like Yianni Rauseo is very difficult to replace,” Martilotta said. “A kid like Mike Mangiamele is very difficult to replace. You graduate that many kids, some things have to change.”

The most obvious change could be at quarterback, where Malone is expected to be Mangiamele’s successor. Malone, who was an all-county running back the last two years, could see his old position filled by Filipkowski, a seemingly tireless runner. Chris Schantz, meanwhile, has been moved off the line to fullback and linebacker.

“It will be the same as any other season,” Malone said. “It’s new people filling new spots.”

Martilotta said: “We still got speed. My expectations and the other coaches’ expectations of these kids are still very high, and we’re going to do everything we can to meet those expectations.”

Martilotta has been encouraged by the presence in camp of over 60 players. The Porters will need every bit of help they can get as the No. 6 seed, and all that entails.

“It’s really what the other coaches think we’re going to be able to do,” Martilotta said. “One of our goals was to be a better team, and by the end of last season we were a better team than Greenport had had in a while, and I think that’s reflected in the rankings. It’s harder. Our schedule is going to be harder, there’s no question about it, but it’s also the price we pay for improving. We have a tougher schedule, but everybody thinks we have a better team. Hopefully, we’re going to prove them right.”

On the other side of the coin, because of their seeding and difficulty of schedule, wins would bring the Porters more power-rating points than they would receive as a lower seed.

What transpires in training camp could go a long way toward determining what type of a season the Porters will have.

“We lost a lot of seniors, but we have some pretty good kids,” Schantz said. “We have some kids who have been working really hard in the offseason. We’ll see what comes out of it. You just got to work real hard, stick with it and you just got to have your heart in it, otherwise it’s not going to work out for you.”

Filipkowski had words of advice for younger teammates trying to find their way: “Work as hard as you can, sprint as hard as you can, do everything a million miles per hour, and you’ll do fine.”

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