March 5, 2014 | 898 views
Seaford wrestlers make history in state tourney
James O'Hagan is the first Viking ever to take gold, while John Lauretti placed sixth.
Seaford wrestling history was made last weekend as James O’Hagan became the first Viking ever to capture gold at the New York State Tournament.
In the first round, O’Hagan, who’s been wrestling since fifth grade, pinned Peter Corbett from St. Anthony’s in the second period. After that, he defeated the eighth seeded Nolan Terrance 9-7. In the semifinals, O’Hagan defeated the fifth seeded Trevor Gibbons 9-4. In the finals, he defeated Mike Manni from Tappan Zee by pin at 2:33 in the second period to become Seaford’s first ever state champion.
“Finishing third last year really fueled my fire,” O’Hagan, who ranks 10th in the country, said. “Now I worked harder than any other heavyweight, and this makes it all worth it. When the referee’s hand it the mat, it was a crazy rush of emotion.”
“I’ve coached James since middle school, and it’s been amazing to watch him grow,” Coach Dave Takseraas said. “He knew that now was the time to win the state tournament.”
Senior captain John Lauretti made the most of his wild card entry into the state tournament. After losing to the second seeded and eventual state champion Mark Tracy in the first round, Lauretti pulled off three victories in a row to become All-State.
“A lot of people thought it was going to be really tough for me,” Lauretti said. “But I kept my focus and I was able to fight back.”
This was the first time Seaford has had two All-State wrestlers in the same season. As a team, they placed second among all Division I Nassau County schools. Seaford also placed 11th in Division I in the state. There are close to 300 schools that qualify.
“These boys set the bar high for the younger wrestlers,” Takseraas said. “It showed them that anything is possible.”