Thirty-one seasons after first becoming head coach of the Seaford High School boys basketball program, Ralph Rossetti reached a major milestone Tuesday night.
The longtime Viking hoops coach earned his 300th career victory when Seaford defeated Clarke 53-37 before an enthusiastic home crowd.
“It started here in 1981 and here we are in 2013 300 wins later and it’s a tribute to Ralph’s dedication as a student of the game and a commitment to young people,” said Seaford High School Athletic Director Tom Condon moments after the Vikings’ triumph Tuesday. “More important than the 300 wins is that behind it he has tremendous dedication to his players and former players.”
Whether Seaford would earn Coach Rossetti’s 300th win in front of the home fans was not much in doubt after the Vikings used a 17-2 first half run to jump out to an early 22-7 lead. Seaford was paced by a game-high 26 points from guard James Curley.
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After Tuesday’s monumental victory, Rossetti, a retired teacher in the Seaford School District, said his three decades running the varsity boys basketball program have meant the world to him.
“Through that journey I’ve had a lot of nice experiences with some really great kids,” said Rossetti, who has captured three conference titles and a county championship in 1998 “We’re very family oriented.”
Rossetti’s 300th win also improved Seaford to 3-3 in Nassau Conference A-IV and 7-3 overall. After suffering close losses to conference opponents West Hempstead and Mineola, Rossetti feels his team has the ability to get on track and compete for a playoff spot.
“If we cut down on a few little mistakes in the second half of the season we might be able to take some of these teams,” Rossetti said. “Hopefully we’ll be a playoff team.”
Rossetti will go for 301st win Friday night when Seaford takes on Valley Stream North at home starting at 7 p.m.