For six years the Seaford wrestling team has watched other teams accept the first-place plaque at the Nassau County Division II wrestling championships.
Six times, the Vikings finished second in the team scoring for the sectional title. It was always wait until next year. It was always, ‘oh so close.’
The wait is now over.
Seaford had 28 of 29 qualified wrestlers score points as the team totaled 358 points to capture the Nassau Division II sectional title.
Island Trees finished second with 283 points and Locust Valley was third with 209.
“We finally punched through and won the title,” said Seaford coach Dave Takseraas. “It was a total team effort. And it was exciting to see the guys finally finish on top.”
Seaford advanced six senior wrestlers into the state tournament on February 24-25 at the Times Union Center in Albany.
The Vikings crowned one champion when Karl Leudesdorff earned the Nassau title at 215 pounds with a 4-2 decision over North Shore's Isaac Bratter.
“We had one champion, and five of our guys finished second,” Takseraas said. “It’s been a great season for our team.”
Seaford’s Pat McClernon (126), Jack Godoy (132), Max Addiego (152), Aidan Lukas (160) and Matt Martorana (189) were all second at the sectional and earned a spot in the state tournament.
Seaford also won the Nassau dual meet title and qualified for the state tournament, where they split two bouts in the round robin qualifier and just missed getting into the state semifinals.
In a matchup of defending county champions, Godoy lost by fall in 3:38 to Locust Valley's Evan Shriberg. The bout was scoreless after the first period, but Shriberg turned a second period reversal into near fall points and ultimately the pin.
Shriberg was awarded the Michael A. Gomez Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. He also earned the Tom Hennigan Most Pins/Least Time award, pinning four opponents in 5:57.
Locust Valley's Charles Dickman was voted by his peers as the Ted Petersen Champion of Champions after he won a 5-2 decision over his teammate Jesse Firestone at 145 pounds. Dickman battled his way into the finals with a narrow 1-0 semifinal win over Aidan Smith of Cold Spring Harbor.
Island Trees and Locust Valley each crowned three champions. Dickman, Shriberg and Charles Kelly (285) were all titlists for Locust Valley. John Mignanelli (102), Joseph Filocamo (138) and Michael Coppeto (152) were champs for Island Trees.