Chants and cheers could be heard loud and clear on Newbridge Road last Saturday afternoon as residents gathered along the Mepham High School Homecoming parade route to show their support for the Pirates. Spectators donned garnet and gray and shouted at least one administrator’s name again and again ––Christopher Safina, assistant principal for guidance services.
The Mepham Sports Boosters Association and Athletic Director Anthony Cracco named Safina the parade’s grand marshal. While Safina said it was an overwhelmingly positive experience to have people shout his name from the sidewalks, he enjoyed the energy and Mepham pride that the community showed most of all.
“The hard work, dedication and pride that our students and staff exhibit on a daily basis are unique to our school, and the parade is a perfect way to illustrate this,” Safina said. “The long tradition of our Homecoming parade and the involvement of the American Legion and our local emergency medical service, fire, and police departments is important to us, because it’s one of the ways in which the town comes together to show our pride and school spirit.”
Pirate pride was in full force at the parade and other festivities accompanying the Homecoming game. Principal Michael Harrington noted that Homecoming participation reflected the spirit that is evident at Mepham every day.
The celebration kicked off on Friday with a pep rally. Each class also festooned one hallway at the school with decorations that complemented their parade floats. The “Seniors in the City” and “Juniors of the Jungle” floats were built by the classes of 2014 and 2015, while sophomores chose a luau theme and freshmen went with a Hollywood theme.
The parade, which was rerouted this year, began at the Jerusalem Avenue School and headed south on Newbridge Road before ending at Mepham on Camp Avenue. Participants included the North Bellmore Fire Department, the W.C. Mepham Alumni Association, the school’s marching band, the varsity cheerleaders and the Pirettes, Mepham’s kickline squad.
The Homecoming Court featured Chris Durkin, Nicole Jacobovics, Brian Keohane and Sabrina Mastrangelo, and Chris Vento and Julie Dijkstra were crowned the king and queen.
The Pirates took on the Colts, their cross-town rivals from Calhoun High School, in the afternoon football game, and Mepham came out on top, 39-17.