Seaford High School’s Conference IV Long Island champion football team was the toast of the town during a parade and ceremony honoring players and coaches on Dec. 17. The Vikings captured their first title since 2009 and the third in school history.
Led by the Viking mascot and Seaford fire trucks, the champions marched from the train station to the high school, cheered by residents who lined the streets. More than 100 people gathered in the gymnasium to congratulate the team. Coach Robert Perpall, assistant coaches Michael Urio and Michael Wimmer and the volunteer coaches were introduced, and players were announced one by one. Cheerleaders performed a routine at the ceremony, and a video tribute featuring highlights from the season was played on a big screen. U.S. Rep. Peter King, State Sen. John Brooks and Nassau County Legislator Steve Rhoads were among the elected officials in attendance.
After a 6-2 season, the Vikings won playoff games against West Hempstead and Locust Valley before defeating Cold Spring Harbor for the Nassau County title. Seaford then beat Miller Place, 29-27, for the Long Island championship.
Superintendent Dr. Adele Pecora described the collective spirit of the team, and said the way that players represented Seaford High School through good sportsmanship and strong character, in addition to their athletic prowess, was a point of pride. “We always play with the biggest hearts,” added John Striffolino, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “We are always the most determined, and we are always the most united as a team.”
Many speakers referred to the never-quit attitude that the team displayed throughout the season, including team captains Nicholas Calandra, Andrew Chirico and Tyler Volpi. They also thanked the community for its support this year. Calandra said he could think of no better feeling than a night game under the lights with the stands full of fans cheering the squad on.
The championship game was the last for Perpall, the varsity football coach for the past 20 years, who is retiring this year. He was recognized for his leadership, preparation and cultivation of a family atmosphere. But he said that one person doesn’t make a championship team. Perpall thanked his assistants — “the best coaching staff around” — and credited his players for their “undying spirit.”