It was a successful sports year for both Wantagh and Seaford in 2012 that included championships and local athletes making waves nationally. Here is a look at what Wantagh-Seaford Patch views as the top five local sports stories for 2012.
No. 7 — Wantagh Lacrosse Alum Leads UMass to No. 1 Ranking
Former Wantagh High School boys lacrosse standout Anthony Biscardi capped his collegiate career in grand style by leading UMass to an undefeated regular season and number one ranking while earning second-team All-American accolades. Biscardi’s senior season also included a trip to his backyard on April 14 when UMass defeated Drexel 8-6 at nearby Bethpage High School and with the Wantagh product scoring two goals in front of his home fans. His magical 2012 year also included being drafted by the Ohio Machine of Major League Lacrosse.
No. 6 — Former Wantagh HS Wrestler Makes Finals of 'The Ultimate Fighter'
Wantagh resident Al Iaquinta nearly fulfilled his dream of earning a six-figure contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship when he advanced to the final bout on season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter on FX before falling to Mike Chiesa. The former wrestler at Wantagh High School and Nassau Community College received a spot on the hit mixed martial arts competition show when he won an elimination bout in March after being one of 32 lightweights selected from a pool of more than 500 fighters around the world to compete for cast-member status.
No. 5 — Save Seaford Sports Committee Rallies to Salvage Fall Season
The Save Seaford Sports Committee successfully salvaged the fall 2012 Seaford Middle School athletics season after a full-court press in early September led to a slew of $100 donations to meet the $62,000 needed prior to the Sept. 10 deadline. The group, which was formed in the summer of 2011 to fundraise for athletic teams not included in the Seaford School District budget, suspended efforts after Superstom Sandy but still managed to raise $9,000 for an intramural program this winter.
No. 4 — Wantagh Lacrosse Teams Reach County Finals
The Wantagh High School boys and girls lacrosse teams both fell one win short of winning a Nassau County title. The Lady Warriors (13-6) were denied a bid at the program's first county championship with a 14-12 loss to Garden City. The Wantagh boys lacrosse team (15-4) also fell to Garden City in the Nassau County Class B finals played at Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium.
No. 3 — Wantagh Football Drops Heartbreaker in County Finals
The Wantagh football team had a county championship in their sights on Nov. 25 before Garden City rallied from a 10-point second half deficit for a 21-17 win in the Class II title game at Hofstra. Wantagh (8-3) had advanced to the county finals the week before with a thrilling 14-13 overtime win against neighborhood rival MacArthur. The 2012 season featured the return of longtime Wantagh head coach Keith Sachs after a one year absence following the resignation of Tom Casey in March.
No. 2 — Wantagh Wrestling Wins County Dual Meet Title
The Wantagh wrestling program continued its recent dominance on the mats in early 2012 with a third Nassau County dual meet title in four years on Jan. 28 against Long Beach. Two Warrior grapplers, Jose Rodriguez (99 pounds) and Danny McDevitt (138 pounds), also captured individual county titles on Feb. 11 at Hofstra’s Mack Sports Complex. Wantagh, which finished the dual meet season 22-0, was coached in the 2011/12 season by the legendary Paul Gillespie, who won 17 county titles in 18 years at Long Beach High School.
No. 1 — Seaford Girls Volleyball Captures Second Straight County Title
The Seaford High School girls volleyball team rallied together two weeks after many players suffered damage from Superstorm Sandy to capture a second straight Nassau County Class B title with a five-set win against Mineola. The Lady Vikings, who fell to Suffolk County champion John Glenn two days later in the Long Island Class B finals, posted an undefeated regular season led by nine seniors.