There’s a certain swagger that comes with playing for Seaford: a confidence that you belong in the conversation for top of the league.
And while the Vikings (9-2) came short of winning the conference last season, nobody’s doubting they belong in the top tier.
“Every year we all expect to be No. 1,” senior lineman James Poole said. “We all expect to come out on top.”
The Vikings have the team to do that, being led by senior back Danny Roell, who was fourth on Long Island in rushing yards with 1,953 and fifth in touchdowns with 28. He, too, had a simple remedy to showing his team belonged at No. 1.
“We just have to prove that we’re better than everyone else and we can prove that by working hard,” Roell said.
A.J. Cain returns at quarterback and Poole will be the lone returner on the offensive line.
They’ll be contending with last year’s conference champion, Locust Valley (11-1), which lost its entire first team, but returns younger players who were a part of an undefeated regular season campaign.
“It’s more of a reload rather than a rebuild,” first-year coach Chris Wagner said.
Francesco Anile takes over at quarterback and will get a chance to throw to athletic tight end Keenan Herlich and wide receiver Nick Paniagua.
A new factor in the conference is North Shore (5-3), which arrives from Nassau III. Ryan Aughavin leads the team with his ability to unleash passes and runs with equal tenacity and frequency.
He threw for 1,063 yards and 13 touchdowns on 72 completions, while also running 86 times for 866 yards and nine touchdowns.
Clarke relies on Corey Rosenbloom moving from quarterback to running back to power the offense. He averaged 9.8 yards per carry with 500 total yards.
One team primed to make strides is Cold Spring Harbor. After dealing with significant injuries last season, the Seahawks have experience and athleticism to help them make a playoff push.