Joe Gallagher and his Seaford boys bowling teammates were aware of the opportunity they faced on Monday — the first match of high school winter sports.
"It’s crazy," he said, "that we’re lucky enough to do this."
The Vikings, winners of three straight Nassau small schools championships, opened the 2021 campaign with an 8-3 win against Division at South Levittown Lanes.
Seaford won Game 1,791-714, and Game 2, 819-656. Division took Game 3, 768-707. Seaford captured the last two points for total wood (2,317-2,138).
Casey Fjellstad paced the Vikings with games of 201, 235, and 188 for a 624 series. Joe Ledesky added a 210 in Game 2 of a 569 series, and Joe Gallagher had a 201 in Game 1 in a 565 series. Nick Abbate had a 207 in Game 1.
For Division, Joe Pesco had a 565 series and Ryan Klass had a 548 series.
Said Gallagher: "I can’t even remember the last time we lost a singular game [in the regular season]."
"I don’t know," said teammate Pete Weber, "but we have to bounce back."
Still, coach Mike Burns saw mostly positives for his Vikings.
"For this being the first match, I think their performance was amazing," he said. "However, I think they’d tell you they could do better, but they did a terrific job."
Seaford has its sights set on a county championship, which is the best it can do as the state bowling championships were canceled for a second straight season.
"That [a state championship] would have been the main goal of this team," said Gallagher, a senior captain. "But now that can’t happen, so obviously we’d like to win [a Nassau championship]."
Gallagher realizes that he and his teammates also have another objective.
"[Being the first sports season] also puts a responsibility on our backs because we’re the test subjects, pretty much," he said. "We have to stay safe."