A clutch pin sealed Seaford’s first county dual championship in program history.
Senior Frank Politi pinned Cold Spring Harbor’s Bryce Kipnes with 1:26 left in the second to last match at 195 pounds to clinch a team title for the Vikings in the Nassau County Division II dual meet championship at Clarke High School on Jan. 19. The crucial six points earned by Politi proved the difference in a 38-37 win against Cold Spring Harbor and denied the Seahawks a chance to claim the crown in the day’s final bout at heavyweight.
“We needed a pin for the title because if we didn’t there was a chance they could have won the last match and won the duals,” Seaford coach Dave Takseras said. “Frank knew what he needed to do.”
The dramatic county team title sent Seaford to the New York State Dual Meet Championships in Syracuse this past weekend where the Vikings won their first match against Eldred South West Liberty, 56-21, before falling to top-seeded Tioga, 49-19. The experience of taking a five-hour bus ride and staying in hotel prior to competing against the state’s best was an added bonus after the Vikings claimed the counties following a 14-3 regular-season record.
“It is motivating and will hopefully inspire us to want to get to state’s each year,” Takseras said. “This is huge for our program.”
Seaford recorded seven wins in total in the championship victory against Cold Spring Harbor including Tom Lynch (138), Nick Brandi (285), Vito Valentino (106), Jake Murphy (113), Shane McClernon (126), Andrew Volpi (132), Pat Quinn (182) and Politi. Lynch’s win proved especially crucial when he recorded a late takedown for a 9-1 major decision win against Sean McCauley.
“That one point ended up being the difference in the match,” Takseras said. “I was so proud of him stepping up and getting the major.”
Seaford next turns its attention to the Nassau County Division II individual championships scheduled for Feb. 8-9 at Cold Spring Harbor High School. Every Viking wrestler will be able to compete since there are no qualifiers this year in Division II and Takseras hopes they can exceed last year’s 12 All-County placements. Takseras also sees potential for Brendan O’Hagan (182), who was kept out of counties due to injury, and Murphy to bring home county titles.
“I feel confident they can both win counties,” said Takseras of O’Hagan and Murphy. “They are studs.”
No matter how the Seaford fares in February, the Vikings have already made their mark this winter with some January magic that culminated in a team title. Takseras was thrilled to see the wrestlers rewarded for their hard work and a successful regular season where the team’s only three losses were to traditional powers Sachem East, Long Beach and Wantagh.
“It’s been a goal of ours to win the county as a team and to do it is a great accomplishment,” Takseras said. “We’re proud of what we have accomplished, but we are still hungry for more.”