The word that came to the mind of Port Jefferson senior Matteo DeVincenzo was ‘devastating.’
No, it wasn’t to describe his 2:45 technical fall over Lajess Sawyer of Center Moriches in the 126 pound final of the Dr. Robert Fallot Suffolk Division II wrestling championship at Center Moriches Saturday night.
He used it to describe the end of his junior season, when he left the Times-Union Center in Albany without a state title.
“There’s no way I want to feel what I felt after my match where I finished third last season,” the four-time Suffolk Division II champion said. “If I lose this year there is no next year. This is my last chance to make it count.”
As a sophomore DeVincenzo became the first Long Island wrestler ever to capture a D-II state title when he won at 106 pounds. After the disappointing end to his junior season DeVincenzo is hoping to join Jamie St. John as the only Port Jefferson wrestler to win two state championships in any division.
“Out of all my years of wrestling I’ve been the most focused and obsessed with winning this year,” DeVincenzo, who was named the tournament’s champion of champions, said.
The same can be said for Babylon senior Brett Frole. Frole, voted the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament, will be making his third trip upstate after edging Mattituck’s TJ Beebe, 6-5, in a physical match at 132.
“I worked my butt off all year long and my coaches and partners have really pushed me,” Frole said. “This is what I’ve worked for all my life.”
Frole, who broke Babylon career record for wins with 133, was joined by Jack Bokina (113) and James Hoeg (170) of Mattituck in winning a third Suffolk Division II title.
“There are still always nerves walking out in the parade of champions up state,” Frole said. “But this year is going to be different because it’s my goal and my last shot to get on the podium.”
Bokina and Hoeg were two of seven wrestlers that claimed titles and spots in the state tournament for Mattituck, which won the team competition with 318 points. Center Moriches was second with 158.
It’s extra special this year as Jack will be joined by twin brother Luke, who beat Center Moriches Donald Wood, 8-4, at 106.
“It’s nice to share this experience with my team and my brother,” Jack said. “Winning and having fun with your team makes the season that much more enjoyable.”