Kennedy gets fired up at Homecoming festival


The John F. Kennedy High School community celebrated Homecoming “Friday Night Lights” –style, with festivities that included annual traditions, excited fans and a dominant performance by the Cougars football team.

The Cougars took on the Cyclones of Rockville Centre’s South Side High School at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. But before the game, the “Cougar Nation” embraced school spirit through a week’s worth of activities and the Homecoming festival and bonfire.

School officials said that, during Spirit Week, Kennedy students dressed according to several themes. The school celebrated Pajama Day, Throwback Tuesday, Cougar Nation Wednesday, Costume Day and Blackout Friday. The school also held a pep rally on Friday, which featured performances by cheerleaders, the kickline and the band, as well as the introduction of the school’s sports teams.

As the sun began to set, students headed to the bonfire –– an annual Kennedy Homecoming tradition that Principal Lorraine Poppe said capped a week full of Cougar pride. With the assistance of the Bellmore Fire Department, the fire burned high as students, faculty and community members looked on.

“It brought students, staff, parents and community members together to demonstrate their pride in our school and school community,” Poppe said. “It was a fun and enjoyable way to start off the year.”

The crowd of south Bellmore and south Merrick residents stuck around to watch the Cougars shut out the Cyclones in the 17-0 win. Before the football game ended, fans were treated to halftime performances by the varsity cheerleaders and kickline, in addition to a ceremony honoring the Homecoming court.

Rachel Acampora, Mike Kaplan, Jake Lapidot, Leiana Maiberg, Alexa Mirotznik, Josh Raber, Victoria Romano and Joey Salvaggio were introduced to the cheering crowd. Acampora and Lapidot were crowned Homecoming queen and king.