Boys varsity football team falls shy in conference finals

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The Viking offense huddles up to discuss its next play on the turf on Sept. 28. The Vikings went on to beat Great Neck South 55-28. This was one of the Vikings most dominant victories throughout the entire regular season.

Kyle Cohen, Contributing Writer

The heat was on in the final minutes of Port Washington football’s conference championship game.

The Vikings were leading up until three minutes remained in the fourth quarter.

After stopping Roslyn for three downs, on a fourth-and-six, Roslyn converted and scored a touchdown to take a one point lead.  This was all that Roslyn needed to hold off the Vikings, and the Vikings went on to lose by one.

So it happened that the Vikings finished the season with a 7-1 record.  They came in at second place in Conference 5, losing the championship game to Roslyn with a score of 15-14.

“We started off with a rivalry game that meant a lot to anyone who was on the team last year, as LuHi was the only team to beat us last season.  Every week after that, the team got closer and closer, and we really became a family,” said senior captain Kyle Granger.

The Vikings did not let the loss define their season.

“We played some of the best football Port has seen in a long time, and we played our hearts out each week, especially in the championship.  We succeeded in building an amazing team and we played really good football, but we failed in that we didn’t win the championship game,” said Granger.

Despite the team coming up short in the championship game, many of its players see it as a learning experience and wish to improve on what they have already accomplished.

“The season was a great success and we want to keep building off it,” said junior Anton Livshin.

There is still a question that looms as the Vikings enter what should be a busy offseason.  After having two winning seasons in Conference 5, they may be looking to move up.

However, conferences are set up by school size, rather than skill, so it has been difficult to find the middle ground between entering Conference 1,  or staying in Conference 5, with a better opportunity to be successful.

“I think that the team we are leaving behind is very capable.  A lot of the core pieces to our team this year were juniors who could handle themselves in conference one.  If they move up to a different conference, they’ll hold their own.  It’s all about whether or not Section Eight opens their collective eyes and see that the conferences should be based off skill rather than population, like every single other sport.  If it were done this way, Port would be conference 2 or 3.  I think the program should be in the conference where they are given the best chance to compete,” said Granger.

Returning players also believe that moving up in conferences would prove to be successful for the Vikings.

“I definitely want to move up, because I feel like we left our mark in this division and it’s time to prove ourselves to the rest of Long Island,” said Livshin.

The Vikings believe they would be able to handle the more difficult competition in a higher level of play.

“I think we should be moved up a conference or two because we have played some of these teams in scrimmages and competed with them, and even beaten some of them,” said junior Scott Belarge.

The Vikings are eager to move up from Conference 5, however; it may not be that simple due to Schreiber’s population.