The Hauppauge Community Comes Together for Homecoming 2017
When day broke on Hauppauge the morning of Saturday, October 14, 2017, rain was falling. Principal Christine O'Connor and Assistant Principals Joy Ferrara, Michael Caulin, Joseph Wieckhorst and Director of Physical Education, Health, Athletics and Family & Consumer Science Daniel Butler had worked tirelessly for weeks organizing an event for the entire community to enjoy. Homecoming 2017 was in jeopardy. The weather report offered some hope that the skies did little to reinforce.
Fortunately, the day’s festivities began indoors with the Hall of Fame Brunch at the Wind Watch Golf and Country Club. By the time the honored inductees arrived at the high school for the Hall of Fame Wall unveiling in the downstairs gym lobby the rain had stopped. The inductees and their families were in great spirits to see their years of hard work and dedication to their sports honored with beautiful plaques added to the family of exceptional athletes honored over the years.
The inductees on hand included Chris Kunzig, Beth Moore, Krista Thorn, Bo Tripodi, Paul Dill, Chuck Lloyd and most of the 1999 Champion Wrestling Team.
Heading outside in anticipation of the big parade, honorees and community members were delighted to see patches of blue in the clouds to the west and the dark rain clouds leaving to the east.
The Homecoming parade was a true show of community pride with a wonderful showing of police, firefighters and military joining in the festivities. When the parade made its way to the football field the area was abuzz with activity. The Booster Club had their grills sizzling with delicious food. The U.S. Army had set up a rock climbing wall and set up an inflated tunnel for the teams to run onto the field. There were Ice Cream trucks, vendors and many booths set up by clubs and organizations all adding to the spirit and celebration of the day.
Eagle pride was everywhere as people in blue and white filled the stands and all along the fences in anticipation of an entertaining afternoon. The audience was introduced to the Hall of Fame inductees who lined up at midfield. HHS Music Teacher Mark Kimes led the Chamber Choir in a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America, featuring soloist Evelyn Beltrani.
The Eagles football team led by Head Coach Steve Chmela and Assistant Coaches Tony Druckenmiller, Mike Ciserano and Craig Cardillo was pumped up and ready to play. Although the score was not in their favor, the young Eagle team fought hard and never gave up. Many thanks go to the members of the Eagles Chain Gang keeping on top of the down and distance throughout the game. They are Anthony Aiello, Frank Hufnagel and Harry Shehegian. Announcer Rich Lionetti kept the crowd informed with play by play commentary from the booth while sitting side by side with Timekeeper Josh Gutes.
The halftime entertainment was spectacular. The HHS Marching Band under the direction of Music Teacher Andrew Monsen played an impressive medley of music from soundtracks of popular science fiction movies and television shows. It would be impressive hearing those musicians play so well if they were sitting still. However, the fact that they were moving in formation and still playing at concert quality is truly remarkable. Drum Majors, Rhiannon DiSilvio and Dylan Mahoney took turns conducting from a perch on the 50-yard line. The spectacle was made more delightful by the synchronized addition of the Kickline coached by Ana Goodfellow and Color Guard directed by Ms. Meagan Champlin. The halftime show concluded with the presentation on the field of Mr. & Miss Hauppauge. Crowned at Spirit Night, the community was introduced to Mr. Hauppauge Kevin Bie and Miss Hauppauge Samantha Suazo.
Of course, Homecoming or any football game wouldn’t be the same without the presence of the Cheerleaders under the direction of Hauppauge Varsity Cheerleading Coach Laura Candela. The girls entertain and engage the crowd for the entire game with the spirit and high-flying athleticism that has garnered them many accolades all the way to the national level.
The bleachers that were packed at the beginning of the game were still full as the lights went down and the sky lit up with a dazzling fireworks display capping off Homecoming 2017, a wonderful community celebration in Hauppauge.
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