Skies were gray but red and white was in the air as East Islip High School’s traditional homecoming parade and celebration on Sept. 29 brought EI pride to a fever pitch.
Led by the school’s cheerleaders and kickline, with Homecoming Queen Autumn Miller and her attendants riding in a convertible, the parade through Islip Terrace featured four different “decade”-themed floats. The freshmen opted for a 1970s theme, replete with disco ball and dancer, while the sophomores’ boom box float represented the 1980s, blaring Michael Jackson songs. The junior class remembered the 1950s era of rock 'n' roll and the space race with their colorful creation. The winning entry, however, came from this year’s seniors, the Class of 2013, who accompanied their 1960s-themed float with peace signs, tie-dye outfits and amusing signs such as “Free Hugs” and “Will Smile for Money.”
After the parade, fans of all ages began to pack the stands at Boomer Esiason Stadium, trumpeting their diehard allegiance with red-and-white jerseys, clothing and face paint.
The football game, a 38-13 victory over North Babylon’s rival Bulldogs, was another convincing performance for the rolling Redmen. Despite coach Sal Ciampi’s modesty in proclaiming this a rebuilding year, and East Islip’s preseason rating as the No. 9 seed in Suffolk II, the Redmen remain undefeated after four games. They have scored the most points in the league and given up the fewest, with North Babylon as the latest victim. East Islip RB Andre Deegan, a senior, was one of the stars of the day, prompting the crowd to cheer his name. Deegan scored three touchdowns and tallied 182 rushing yards while only carrying the ball seven times. Another senior, Matt Walter, notched his team-leading eighth TD of the year on a pass from QB Casey Nolan. Walter added a 29-yard field goal and was perfect on his extra-point tries, going five-for-five.
By halftime the score was 21-7 in favor of East Islip, spurring a jubilant mood in the hometown fans that was only ramped up further by the ensuing parade around the track and a rousing performance by the EI kickline team, and which did not diminish until the final buzzer sounded.