Football is generally considered a male dominated sport, but the popularity of the game certainly transcends to the women, as well.
At Wayne Hills High School, football has been wildly popular, especially over the past decade, as the Patriots captured eight NJSIAA championships, not to mention the 55-game winning streak for the program from 2002-2011.
Many of the players who make up the team, throughout the years, have been buoyed by supportive parents, and that was the case again in 2014.
Wayne Hills finished its season on Nov. 13, with a 47-0 win over Montville in a NJSIAA consolation game. The Patriots were 5-5 this year, matching last year’s record.
The finished product on the field is the result of many hours of practice and preparation. What most fans don’t see, however, is the work put it in with pre-game dinners for the players and coaches, not to mention special events before, during and after the season, such as the Kickoff Breakfast, the Mother-Son Breakfast and the Father-Son Beefsteak.
The pre-game dinners are pretty special. and a number of players’ mothers contribute mightily to a great time prior to a home, or away game.
There is a nice variety of food at the event, both hot and cold, as well as some enthusiastic parents who serve the players. Head coach Wayne Demikoff keeps the event at a precision level, with the seniors eating first, followed by the juniors, sophomores and freshmen.
The football parents and Booster Club is led by Allyson Garrone, but she is quick to note that the dinners are a collaborative effort.
“I cannot take any credit for the great Friday Night Dinners,” said Garrone. “It is all Marsha Alechammas and Jenn Squillaci. They both put so much work into it. ”
Garrone also noted the successful Diamond Sponsor program the Booster Club sponsored this season, as well as protein shakes at the pre-game dinners; Squillaci providing cupcakes and Alechammas bringing Halloween candy, as well as Marsha’s husband making bracelets for the cheerleaders as gifts from the football players to the girls.
“On senior night, it was the junior mothers who helped to make that such a success,” said Garrone. “The Big Brother program, where the Panthers and Wolfpack players joined the high school players for dinner, was also put together by our group.”
So, as someone who truly appreciates how special Wayne Hills runs its football program, a sincere thanks to all the Women of Wayne Hills Football, 2014.