TUESDAY, OCT. 27: I call him the ‘Dean of Football Operations’ at Wayne Hills High. And Tony Giampapa is that, and probably much more.
Giampapa, a successful businessman, puts more than his fair share of time and effort into keeping the tradition of great football alive and well at Hills.
Sitting in his office today, he was excited to talk about a parade of Hills fans that will walk into Wayne Valley on Friday, Nov. 6 for the big cross-town football game.
The 2015 Wayne Hills at Wayne Valley game will also be known as the Mayor’s Cup. Wayne Mayor Christopher P. Vergano will toss the coin prior to the kickoff.
As far as the parade of fans, Giampapa explained the origin.
“Coach (Wayne) Demikoff got the idea after he and (former Hills assistant coach) Claudio Canonaco went to the Phillipsburg-Easton football game one year,” Tony said. “That’s obviously a huge game (every Thanksgiving) and draws big crowds. They do a march similar to what we have in mind for this year.”
The Phillipsburg-Easton football rivalry dates back over 100 years. Approximately 15,000 fans attend the game on Thanksgiving Day, at Lafayette College.
“It was incredible,” recalled Demikoff of attending the game in Pennsylvania. “The fans have been marching to that game forever. It’s something we’d like to do, starting this year. And if the Wayne Valley fans want to do the same next year, when we play at Hills, that’s great, too. It will probably take some time to get the momentum rolling, but I think it could be fun.”
The details are still being ironed out, as to where the fans will begin their march. The original thought was to walk from Hills to Valley, but that’s a 4 1/2 mile jaunt and would cause major traffic jams, especially on a Friday night. It looks like now, the march will from a site somewhat close to Wayne Valley, where fans can park and then walk over to the game.
Along with the fans, Giampapa expects the Hills cheerleaders and band to participate in the parade to the field at Wayne Valley. He’s also hoping to add some bagpipes to the event.
And the Patriots will be selling tee-shirts, as a way to raise funds for the Wounded Warriors.
“We think it would be something special to honor the Warriors,” said Giampapa. “The shirts are $10.00 each, and if you wear it to the game, that’s your ticket for admission.”
Admission to the game is $3.00, and the remaining proceeds for each shirt that’s purchased, will go toward the Wounded Warriors project. The shirts should be available for purchase later this week. I’ll have exact details, as soon as they’re available.
Giampapa also said that the freshman football game, between Hills and Valley, is set for Wednesday, Nov. 4, at Hills.
“It will be a 7 p.m. kickoff,” said Giampapa. “Both teams are undefeated, so we’re expecting a big crowd. We’ll have music and the scoreboard going, similar to a varsity game. It will be a nice buildup to the varsity game two days later.”
Of course, I’ll have much more on the freshman and varsity game, with stories of previous matchups, interviews with players and coaches, the exact details of the parade, more on the Mayor’s Cup, and a few surprises as Nov. 6 nears.
Tick, tick, tick….