Huntington toppled visiting Smithtown East last Saturday on Homecoming Day, 32-20. The Blue Devils came from behind before a crowd of about 2,000.
Special events were held throughout the district in the run-up to Saturday’s festivities. Thursday night’s high school dance proved to be a fun time for everyone, and Friday’s pep rally in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium was a high octane affair as varsity teams were introduced to the student body and faculty to deafening applause. Athletes performed short skits and the Blue Devil marching band and color guard put on an awesome display. There were also performances by the Highsteppers and Ready Step dance teams.
Saturday’s late morning parade drew students and parents from all eight schools in the district marching behind banners. The Blue Devil marching band performed along the parade route, drawing merchants and customers out of stores and onto sidewalks.
Named as this year’s Homecoming Day King and Queen were Danny Arias and Ashlyn Case. The pair were formally crowned by Principal Brenden Cusack and Superintendent James W. Polansky.
“Today was a great day for the Huntington community,” Cusack said. “The weather turned the corner just in time for the parade and every aspect of Homecoming was picture perfect. The football team had a decisive win, the crowd was awesome and the halftime festivities were outstanding. I’m so grateful for all of the effort that went into this weekend to make it a fantastic time for everyone.”
Alumni spanning more than 70 years attended Saturday’s football game against Smithtown East. The group of graduates included more than a few from recent classes.
Huntington quarterback John Paul Paci had his biggest day of the season completing 10-of-15 passes for 275 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown pass to Chad Rowe. The Blue Devils also scored on an eight-yard run by Eric Yards, a nine yard dash by Nasir Youngblood and a 42-yard gallop by Sebastian Abreu. Huntington also found the end zone on a 41-yard interception return by Jack Stewart.
The Blue Devils scored first in the game, but missed the point-after. Smithtown East responded by scoring on a 23-yard run and successfully converting the extra point to take a 7-6 lead. It was all Huntington the rest of the way, although the Bulls did manage to stage a late-game rally that kept the big crowd on the edge of its seats.
Jordan McCoy had four receptions for 125 yards for the Blue Devils and Tazadon Smith and Jon Koumas notched quarterback sacks. While Huntington made some mistakes, including racking up a few costly penalties, overall the team played well.
“It was just a glorious day in Huntington,” Polansky said. “Any threats of inclement weather disappeared in the early morning hours, which contributed to strong representation from all district schools in the Homecoming parade. This was followed by an exciting game on the gridiron, ending in a 32-20 Blue Devil victory over the Smithtown East Bulls. Not to be overlooked were the outstanding halftime performances by the Blue Devil Marching Band and Highsteppers, as well as the crowning of Homecoming king Danny Arias and queen Ashlyn Case. Thank you to all in Huntington for contributing to a terrific celebration!”