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Spirit Week At SPHS Culminates With Homecoming, Senior Night, Hall of Fame Recognition

Dylan Roche
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November 3, 2011

By Colin A.J. Murphy

A festive mood took hold of Severna Park High School on Friday, October 28, as the school’s spirit week and homecoming celebrations culminated with a rousing morning pep rally, the football team’s senior recognition game against Meade, halftime appearances by the eleven newly-inducted members of the Severna Park Athletic Hall of Fame, and the announcement of this year’s homecoming princes, princesses, and of course, king and queen. An exuberant crowd of parents, alumni, students, and members of the community at Roberts Field throughout the afternoon and evening enjoyed a special and memorable day.

“These are always great nights,” said Severna Park High School Principal Patrick Bathras. “It’s a lot of school pride, community pride, and school spirit, so it’s a great evening.”

The morning’s pep rally got the day started with a bang, as the students at Severna Park High—decked out in a variety of wacky, spirited fashion statements—gathered at Roberts Field to introduce the school’s sports teams, enjoy performances by the marching band and school dance teams, and get fired up for the evening’s football game.

Just prior to the contest, the team’s 23 seniors and one senior manager took the field along with parents and siblings to be feted by the school for their dedication to the football program, and the players were likewise tremendously proud of and thankful for their time spent playing on the team.

“I want to thank the coaches, players, and fans of Severna Park for making my high school football experience truly memorable,” said senior linebacker Justin Kirchenheiter, words representative of the general sentiment among the team’s seniors. “I will never forget the friends and memories I have made over the past four years.”

Once the pregame ceremonies were complete, the stands were hopping with excitement, churned on by a raucously good-natured student section and thumping music from the band. At halftime, the school recognized this year’s inductees of the Severna Park Athletic Hall of Fame.

“I was speechless,” said Cathy Vitale of when she first received the news that she would be inducted. As a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Vitale has been instrumental in obtaining funding for turf field stadiums at all the county high schools, and is also leading the charge to have a new high school built in Severna Park. “There are so many people in the Severna Park community who do so many things for the school and for the athletics here, people ten times worthier [of the induction] than me…but I’m excited to be here, and it’s a great night. Can’t beat a fall evening and hometown football,” said a smiling Vitale.

“To be here for just a year and a half and to be able to make an impact, and to [be inducted], I just never expected it and I’m really thankful for it,” said Derek Dixon, an accomplished three-sport athlete at Severna Park and in his college years, of entering the Hall of Fame. Dixon likewise spoke of how worthy all of this year’s inductees are. “Dave Wagner and I, we grew up playing basketball together in the Green Hornets, so we’ve known each other for a long time and it’s great to see him…Kim [Lawton] is a great, great athlete. She did a lot of great things for this school…Ms. [Colleen] Stauffer, she helped me while I was here, so it’s great she got inducted too.”

Lastly, no homecoming week would be complete without the announcement of the 2011 homecoming queen and king, and this year’s winners were Katie Cuccinotta and Rassan Bouyer.

“It feels awesome, I feel like I’m on top of the world right now,” said Bouyer, who was thankful to his classmates and school for voting him king. “It’s just a great night right now with the Hall of Fame inductions and the football game.” When asked if there was anything he’d like to add about the night, Bouyer expressed a sentiment that was palpable throughout the evening amongst the hundreds of families and community members in attendance.

“I love Severna Park,” he said.

The only downer on an otherwise electric and celebratory night was the outcome of the game. The Falcons played Meade tight in the first half, going into halftime down only 13-7. But the Mustang offense came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, racking up five touchdowns to go home with the 46-19 win. Austin Stein threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns on 19-35 passing for the Falcons, while Sal Misuraca rushed for 49 yards and one score on seven carries. Danny Fulton and John Galdi each had receiving touchdowns for Severna Park, and Kevin Cook led the Falcons in receptions and yards with five and 113.

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