Seaford returns talented lineup


Last season Seaford sent more wrestlers than ever to Albany – doubling a previous program high as six Vikings qualified for the state Division 2 Championships.  

Five of them return this season – including reigning Nassau County Division 2 champions Jack Godoy and Louis Cannata – as Seaford, which came within a single match of winning both its first county title since 2004 and a dual meet championship last season, sets out to close those gaps and further widen its footprint at state.  

"Last year we fell just short in the dual meet playoffs and county tournament," said coach Dave Takseraas. "This year we've made a point that we've done the runner-up thing. Now let’s go be champions."  

Starting 2-2 in Division 2 dual meets, with solid team showings at three early tournaments – including second- and third-place finishes at the Manhasset Invitational Dec. 3 and the Ralph Jansson Holiday Tournament at Valley Stream North Dec. 17, respectively, Seaford has shown its designs on a title are doable, provided it can navigate what has become an imposing minefield of injuries.

Godoy, whose championship at the Manhasset tournament at 138 pounds came at the cost of an injured toe, is expected to be out till mid- January, while fellow county champ and state-qualifier Cannata (knee) has been in and out of the lineup, going 1-1 in duals at 145 but missing all three tournaments.

"Jack's our best wrestler, someone we count on for leadership," Takseraas said of the senior who was runner-up at the season-opening Knights Classic at Uniondale. “Louis is another one we’re counting on. We haven’t had our best starters all at once yet. Thankfully it’s early; we’ll have them back soon.”

Senior captains Aidan Lukas (172 pounds) and Max Addiego (172 and 160) have supplied ample firepower in the absence of other Vikings big guns, going a combined 5-1 in duals with a pair of pins apiece. Lukas has been runner-up at all three tournaments for Seaford, while Addiego finished second and third at Jansson and Knights respectively.

Freshman Connor Murphy has won both of his dual-meet matches by fall at 102 pounds, while finishing second at Jansson and third in both earlier tournaments.

Ashley Diaz – who as a sophomore last season finished fifth at Nassau, becoming the first-ever Long Island girl to place in sectional wrestling tournament – took second at Manhasset and third at Knights at 118, and along with Addiego had one of Seaford’s only two wins against Hewlett in a dual meet Dec. 7. “Ashley’s doing great this year, she keeps improving,” Takseraas said of the junior recently named a Vikings captain. “She can do great things, which we’re excited to see.”

Not to be outdone by his big sister in setting impressive precedents, seventh-grader Joel Diaz became Seaford’s youngest-ever tournament champion, winning at 102 at Manhasset. Patrick McClernon, a senior captain who was runner-up at county and qualified for state last season, made his season debut off the injured list placing second at Jansson at 132, and won his dual-meet match Dec. 21 pinning North Shore’s Nicolas Gugliano.

“We’ve got good depth and good wrestlers returning,” Takseraas said. “Hopefully that’s enough to put us over the top.”