ALBANY — Mattituck’s James Hoeg had a different approach to this year’s state championships than most wrestlers.
Whereas some wrestlers may be enduring strict diets to cut and maintain weight, Hoeg wasn’t thinking about trimming down. Quite the opposite.
After wrestling at what he said “whatever the team needed” at dual meets and often at 182 pounds during tournaments, Hoeg is competing at 195 pounds at the Division II state championships at the Times Union Center in Albany. And he couldn’t have performed much better on Friday after spending the last few weeks “Just lifting a lot and eating a lot of protein shakes.”
The senior recorded two technical fall victories in the second period, building his confidence off a fourth-place finish at the state championship last season, into Saturday’s semifinal and championship.
“It’s what I’ve been working for since I was little — since I was 6 years old,” Hoeg said. “Coming out on top is definitely something I’ve worked my whole life for.”
His teammates Luke Bokina (120), Jack Bokina (126) and top-seeded Tanner Zagarino (220) advanced to Saturday’s semifinal. Matt Campo (113) of Mt. Sinai and Jordan Titus (Center Moriches) also advanced.
Campo, a junior unseeded entering the championships, defeated No. 8 Tristan Richardson of Ogdensburg in the opening match and Matt Laporte of Hoosick Falls in the quarterfinal. Laporte had defeated the top-ranked 113-pound wrestler in the opening round.
Dusold, Gomez advance to semis for Locust Valley
Hunter Dusold wasn’t pleased with his performance on the first day of the wrestling state championships, but even when the Locust Valley star isn’t at his best, he’s capable of advancing.
At 132 pounds in Division II, the second-seeded Dusold earned a 6-2 decision over seventh-seeded Jared Eliopolous of Putnam Valley-Haldane to move on to Saturday’s semifinals.
Dusold, a senior, trailed 2-1 into the third period before a takedown changed the course of the match.
“I always find a way to score,” he said. “It just ended up that I locked a cradle up, and it was just wrestling positions we’ve been practicing.”
In the opening round, Dusold pinned Cordell David of Ogdensburg in 51 seconds.
Top-seeded Jonathan Gomez also advanced to the semifinals at 126 pounds for the Falcons. He earned a 5-3 victory over Putnam Valley-Haldanes’ Satoshi Abe after earning a technical fall win over Lansing’s Daniel Koll in the opening round.
“I’m proud of my team,” Dusold said. “Everybody wants to go out their senior year with a team state title and individual state title, so it’s great.”