The high school’s Sept. 29 homecoming began with a sunny, spectacular parade through town, energized by the entertaining marching band, color guard and cheerleaders and punctuated by a quartet of creative banners from each grade level. Waving to the crowd from the two pairs’ respective vehicles were this year’s Mr. and Miss West Islip, homecoming king Brian Parrett and homecoming queen Erin Bevan, and runners up Jake Maresca and Melissa Khoury.
Once at the stadium, the excitement hit a new level for the packed house of fans clad in Lions blue and gold. Striding onto the field with energy and pride, West Islip’s varsity football squad seemed more than ready to take on Northport’s Tigers, with both teams entering the game undefeated. In this battle of the big cats, the Lions proved dominant, cruising to a 28-0 shutout victory and status as Suffolk III’s only undefeated team. After throwing an early touchdown pass to Patrick Cunningham, West Islip quarterback Mike LaDonna ran for three touchdowns, including a final fantastic 87-yard effort. The defense, led by linebacker Kyle Haff’s six tackles, had a particularly strong day, earning four sacks, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.