After a successful first season, the Seaford boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior-varsity bowling teams faced one more challenge: defeating Board of Education trustees and administrators from their schools in a friendly competition.
District officials said that bowl-off was held at AMF Wantagh Lanes on Feb. 27. Seaford board members, principals and central administrators put their skills to the test against the middle and high school bowlers, who excelled on the conference level this winter.
Maureen Mele, a Seaford parent, spearheaded the effort to create a bowling team. After years of research, gathering community support and working with administrators and the board, she was excited to learn that a program was funded in the 2016-17 budget.
The district takes in students from Seaford and part of Wantagh. Many of the 23 bowlers on the inaugural squads honed their skills in the Wantagh-Seaford PAL league, while others picked up bowling balls for the first time at the Vikings’ open tryouts last fall.
Superintendent Brian Conboy said that Mele and the interested parents and students made the point that there was a strong group of teens with interest, talent and excitement about bowling as an interscholastic sport in Seaford. He said that Mele’s efforts and the passed budget helped make the team a reality.
“The team, under the direction of Coach Berto Cerasi, has had a remarkable inaugural season,” Conboy said. “The district is proud of the efforts of all involved — most prominently, the student athletes on the team.”
In Seaford’s first season, high school freshman Paige Donovan qualified for the county championships. She had the highest average (159.7) among the girls’ varsity bowlers, Cerasi said.
The girls’ varsity and both JV teams went undefeated and won Conference 5 titles, Cerasi added. The boys’ varsity team “lost by just a few pins” to Hewlett, he noted, finishing its first season in second place in Conference 5. In addition to Donovan, Cerasi said that many Seaford bowlers would receive individual awards for their performances on the lanes this season, which ended in January.
The administrative team tried their best against the accomplished squads. Board trustees noted that their March 2 public meeting that they were no match for the students.