Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo caps season with 106-pound state championship
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ALBANY -- Port Jefferson's Matteo DeVincenzo had an entire year to think about what he would have done differently.
As a freshman in 2013 DeVincenzo made a surprise run all the way to the state finals before falling to the eventual champion Derek Spann.
This year, as the top seed himself, DeVincenzo wasn't able to surprise anyone -- not that it mattered.
DeVincenzo capped his 36-1 season by becoming the first ever Long Island Division II wrestler to win a state championship with a 9-4 win over Luke Yankloski of Wayne in the final at 106 last night at the Times-Union Center.
"I wasn't nearly as nervous as last year when I was just sweating and everything because it was something new," DeVincenzo said. "But now that I'd been there I knew what to expect and was able to treat it like any other match."
DeVincenzo took a 2-0 lead into the second period and jumped ahead to a commanding 5-0 lead after an escape and take down early in the second.
"Whenever I was getting beat up in the room or was having trouble making weight I would think of getting put on my back in the finals and losing and letting it slip away last year," he said. "It drove me -- the goal was to major everyone or win by at least four points instead of just close ones like last year."
You could tell because twice in the final round DeVincenzo let Yankloski make it to his feet, only to get a quick takedown to score more points.
"Five minutes after last year's match he looked at us and didn't have a pity party and said, 'We have work to do,'" Port Jeff coach Mike Maletta said. "He went non-stop working and the goal was to be a state champion. All season long there was no doubt in his mind that this was where he was going to end up."
It took 10 years for Long Island to crown its first Division II champion and about 10 minutes to get another. Unseeded Locust Valley freshman Hunter Dusold culminated his wild ride through the 113 pound bracket with a 3-0 win over Spann of Adirondack.
It was scoreless into the third before Dusold was able to land a tilt and score the only three points of the match.
"It feels like a dream," Dusold said. "It's so crazy; I don't even know what I've been doing the last few days."
The one thing Dusold did know was that he wanted to use the same move he's been perfecting all weekend in the finals. "When I broke down the first time I knew he was tired and I knew he would give up," Dusold said. "When I got the tilt I knew he was going over and I was going to get the three to win."
DeVincenzo and Dusold highlighted eight Long Island wrestlers who placed in the top six. Locust Valley freshman Jonathan Gomez finished second at 99 pounds and teammates Sam Ward and Nick Casella finished third and fifth respectively. Kyle Fiske and Tristan DeVincenzo finished fourth and fifth respectively and Rafal Rokosz of Southampton was fourth.