The crowd erupted in thunderous cheers when the Freeport High School Red Devils defeated the East Meadow Jets 40-0 in last Saturday’s Homecoming game, keeping them on top of Section VIII’s Conference I football standings with a 6-0 record. The squad is currently ranked fourth in the state.
Sophomore Jayvian Allen opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run, followed by senior Terrance Edmond’s 3-yard score. One of the game’s highlights was senior Gerald Smikle’s fumble recovery, which he returned 37 yards for a touchdown. On the defensive line, junior Makhai Jinks led the Red Devils with nine tackles.
While Freeport dominated on the field, a crowd rallied in the school’s parking lot, where many school organizations were selling cookies, hot dogs, drinks and school spirit paraphernalia. There was even face-painting for children.
The festivities began with a parade that featured the flag team, the high school marching band and the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps — as well as the 2018 Homecoming court, led by the senior king and queen, Thornton Brown and Mia Almonte.
A few Freeport High alumni from the classes of 1974, 1975 and 1979 reunited during the game, and enthused about the football team’s solid season thus far. According to the Rev. Michael Lisbon, 57, associate minister of St. John Baptist Church in Inwood, football has long been a dominant program at the high school, but this year it’s “something special.”
“Our football program has always been really special,” Lisbon added. “I can take you back to the ’60s — Wayne Jackson, Larry Jason, Terry Barnett . . . A lot of those guys were great, like these guys.”
With a few laughs, Lisbon and two fellow alums, Carl Beard, 61, who owns a car dealership in Manning, S.C., and Douglas Anderson, 62, who now living in Westbury, reminisced about their days at the high school.
“We’re so happy to be here,” Anderson said. “There are so many memories here, and we get to see family.”
“This really takes us back to the days when [the team] played at Hofstra’s field,” Beard said.
Freeport resident Brian Clukies attended the game to show support for his daughter, senior Jacqueline Clukies, who performed with the marching band. Heading home after halftime, Clukies said the Homecoming was bittersweet, because it was his daughter’s last.
“She’s been in the marching band four years,” Clukies said. “I know it meant a lot to her to be here.”
At halftime, Freeport cheerleaders led the crowd in a chant, warming it up for the performance by the marching band. Senior members of the band, the football team and the cheer squad were also honored, with their names announced during the halftime show.