By Chris Mellides
The beautiful weekend weather served as an appropriate backdrop for Huntington High School’s daylong homecoming festivities Saturday afternoon, despite a 28-20 Blue Devils’ loss to Half Hollow Hills West.
Hundreds of people of all ages started the day off by marching to the beat of the Blue Devil Marching Band during a midday parade through the center of town and up New York Avenue.
The crowd’s destination was Huntington’s turf field, which hundreds of fans gathered around to watch the Blue Devils duke it out with the Colts of Hills West.
Huntington jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter with 8-yard touchdown grab by Jahmik Curry, thrown by William Wright, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
The Colts responded, though, and the teams sat even, 14-14, at halftime. Hills West ultimately edged-out Huntington, 28-20.
But the Blue Devils’ halftime show was explosive.
A performance by the Blue Devil Marching Band, inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, incorporated rattling chains that accented a blaring horn section. Following the marching band, the Huntington Highsteppers performed before Alexandra Berwick and Dan Mollitor were crowned homecoming king and queen.
This year’s parade-float competition pitted each of Huntington’s classes against each other to see whose float best represented the homecoming theme, Dr. Seuss.
“I think it all starts with our kids when they’re building the floats for their class,” said Bob Piccola, of Huntington, father of two Huntington high schoolers. “It’s actually pretty neat when they take it through the town and the businesses open up their windows and are rooting everybody on.”
He added, “It all leads up to this homecoming, which is a pretty great thing for the town. It brings our community together.”
A panel of judges awarded Huntington’s sophomores with first place for their float inspired by “Horton Hears a Who.” The seniors and juniors took second and third place respectively with floats reflecting “The Cat in the Hat” and “The Lorax.”
As the homecoming festivities drew to a close, many people marched back to their cars with smiles on their faces, despite the Blue Devils’ loss.
“It was just a beautiful day featuring a fantastic turnout,” Superintendent James Polansky said to the crowd before kickoff. “Thank you to the many from all of our schools who participated.”