The field of West Hempstead Middle School was awash in a sea of black and gold as students, administrators and community members gathered for the district’s annual homecoming on Sept. 16. Due to construction work on West Hempstead High School’s turf fields, this year’s varsity football game was scheduled at the opposing team’s field. However, West Hempstead still reveled in a day of school spirit as the Lady Rams girls varsity soccer team faced off against the Friends Academy Quakers.
Kicking off the celebration was the annual parade led by seniors Chris Orellana and Gabrielle Urena, who donned sashes as Mr. and Miss West Hempstead. They were trailed by Board of Education members, school principals, the marching band, cheerleaders, varsity football players and students as they made their way from Chestnut Street School to the Middle School. RAM pride filled the streets as the procession displayed homecoming banners from each high school class, including the “Reign Supreme Seniors,” “Junior Jocks,” “Space Jam Sophomores” and “Freshmen of the Caribbean.”
Festivities followed at the Middle School, where the community was invited to play carnival games, win prizes, have their faces painted, and enjoy cotton candy and refreshments. Spectators entering the courtyard were encouraged to make donations of nonperishable food items and toiletries, as well as monetary donations, to the “Stuff the Bus” hurricane relief drive sponsored by the high school’s Key Club and Student Council. All donations will go to those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
At the end of the first, the game was scoreless between West Hempstead and Friends Academy with the Quakers scoring the only goal in the 25th minute of play.
In keeping with the annual game’s spirit, halftime saw the recognition of Orellana and Urena as Mr. and Miss West Hempstead, and the marching band delivered a spectacular performance as cheerleaders spanning the elementary grades through high school pumped up the crowd.