Vikings football works to change the script


Sean Liu

Junior linebacker Bryan Novoa chases down the Hicksville Comets’ quarterback Greg Powers in pursuit of a sack. The Vikings lost to the Comets 20-7. They will face the 3-1 Uniondale Dalers on Oct. 9.

Matt Kramer, Staff Writer

With a win in its first scrimmage and at homecoming on Sept. 19, the Vikings football team has gotten off to a quick start.

The addition of new and key players, such as seniors Hayden Braider, Ari Schacter, Aidan Finnerty, and Charlie Restivo, junior Jacob Kaypour, and sophomores Jajuan Curtis and Drew Reiter, have contributed to the Vikings early success.

The team has continued to receive a major boost from the quality of the coaching staff.

Talented athletes are attracted to the dedication and hard work of the coaches, headlined by Head Coach Mr. Jamal Ramsey.

“Over the past couple of years, we have recruited many talented players from around the school and from other sports, and our great mixture of players and talent is coming together to create a great group of teammates and a competitive football program,” said senior student-coach Matthew Spier, who has helped assistant coach the Vikings for the past four seasons.  “Our hard work has really been coming together and it has been showing in practices and recent games.”

According to Braider, who left the varsity soccer team after three seasons to join the football team, the Vikings have trained long and hard to achieve this early season success.

“Throughout the entire summer, we had scrimmages and team weight lifting,” said Braider.  “We started camp two weeks before school started on Aug. 16.”

Throughout the summer, team members ran two practices per day in order to fine tune their offense and defense.  Port football has previously had a few rough seasons since moving up into Conference I.  After losing key starters in Mark Livshin, Anton Livshin, and Matt Nicholson to graduation, the Vikings have needed new athletes to fill those roles.

After finishing with a 2-6 record last season, the team already has half of the win total it had last season and looks to build on its early success.  Led by quarterback Kaypour, the Vikings took the homecoming game for the first time in three years, beating Valley Stream Central by a score of 13-12.  After an early touchdown from Schachter, the Vikings were able to hold on and win the game.  A great turnout from fans helped contribute to the Vikings home field advantage and a win.

The Vikings marched down the field early in the game against the Valley Stream Central Eagles, getting into the red zone and finishing the drive with a touchdown pass from Kapour to Schachter.

Schachter beat his defender and hauled in the pass, broke two tackles, and pounded into the end zone to give the Vikings the lead.

The Eagles refused to go quietly.

They mounted a comeback pushing the Vikings to the wall.

The Viking defense was stout in the fourth quarter and held of the Eagles to preserve a 13-12 victory.

The fans were relentless in cheering on the Vikings and willed them to victory.  The following weekend, the Vikings took the show on the road for a confrontation with the highly touted Hempstead Tigers.  Although the Tigers had lost the two previous games they had played, they held a 1-3 record on the season.

The Vikings got behind early and could not amass and comeback sufficient enough to beat the Tigers’ offensive explosion.  The Vikings were defeated by the Hempstead Tigers by a lopsided score of 56-6.  The Vikings have high hopes for this upcoming season, with competing in the playoffs at the top of the list.

This is a common goal among the team members, who have waited a long time and put in a lot of hard work to do something special with this program.  The football program has not made the playoffs in over 20 years.

“As a team, and I can speak for all of us, we want to make the playoffs and see how far we can make it.  It’s been a long time since this team has made the playoffs and we want to do something special,” said Braider.