Defense is the name of the game at Seaford, which last season captured its first county football title since 2010.
The Vikings, who allowed just 10.7 points per game last season and went undefeated in conference play en route to a 20-0 victory over Carle Place/Wheatley in the county final, are seeded first in Nassau IV, .
Linebacker Nicky Calandra helped lead the defensive effort in that game and returns this season, along with defensive ends Andrew Chirico and Tyler Volpi.
“We could not run on him last year,” Carle Place/Wheatley coach Tim Moran said of Calandra. “They have a top defensive front and they let him roam. They’re a veteran team with a lot of size.”
The Vikings’ first opponent this season will be Moran’s Wild Frogs, who are coming off its best playoff finish since 1999 and returns a number of key players at the skill positions.
This includes running back Tziah Albert, who rushed for 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a semifinal win over North Shore. “He has outstanding speed and outstanding quickness,” Moran said. The senior will be joined in the option attack by fullback John DeRidder and running back Luke Caliendo.
They will be running behind lineman Corey Iglesias, while Moran said new quarterback Matt Baltzer can add an aerial dimension to the offense.
Locust Valley returns more than half of its starters from a team that reached the semifinals last season, and will be powered by its own deep backfield of Thomas O’Brien, Matt Dellaquila, and Rammell Phillips.
Running back Austin Carman-Lyons leads Clarke after rushing for 1,018 yards and 12 touchdowns on 124 carries. He also made 40 tackles on defense and is joined on that side of the ball by lineman Kyle Kandel, who had 42 tackles.