School spirit was evident in the stands at East Rockaway Junior-Senior High School on Sept. 21 as supporters, many donning black and orange, vocally rooted for the Rocks during their Homecoming game.
The festivities began on Sept. 20, when the school hosted a pep rally and parade from Centre Avenue Elementary School to the high school. Zach Hiroshima and Mairead Connor were crowned Homecoming king and queen, and Michael Koerner and Emily Hernandez were named prince and princess.
“What a great night for a pep rally parade,” said Sheila Panzella, the co-president of the East Rockaway Club Rock booster club, which organized the event. “It was so great to see people out cheering on our students. It is part of what makes our small town so special.”
The following day, the Rocks hosted Carle Place-Wheatley in the annual Louis Cosenza Scholarship Game, which they won, 38-8. The game was the conclusion of a full day’s slate of sporting events at the school. All proceeds from the outing went toward the scholarship, which is awarded to a senior who has excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field.
The scholarship is in memory of Louis Cosenza, who was a health and phys-ed teacher at the high school when he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 31 in 1971. He taught for six years at the school before his death and also excelled in sports, previously earning a full scholarship to Adelphi University for soccer and baseball, while also being an honor student throughout high school and college. He played minor league baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals organization before entering the teaching field. In 1977, the scholarship fund was organized in his name for the benefit of the top scholar athlete, male or female, at East Rockaway High School.
Before kickoff, senior band members, varsity football players and varsity cheerleaders were honored in front of the audience. The halftime show included performances by the high school band and cheerleading squad.