After a 38-hour rain delay due to historic NYC flooding, the Xaverian’s Varsity Football Team took on St. Francis Prep in the American classic homecoming game on Sunday morning at Aviator. In an exciting clash of school spirit, fierce competition, and long-lasting memories, the Clippers would go on to win 28-6.
Heading into the game with a 2-2 overall record, the Clippers were confident in their game plan. Having been practicing as a team since August, the playbook, chemistry, and confidence have been solidified. And nothing could have given the players more energy to perform than the turnout of the student body at a homecoming game.
“Homecoming always creates extra buzz and excitement for players and coaches. The administration has been great at supporting the team,” said head coach Kevin Fountaine.
When the game kicked off at 9 a.m., the defense took the lead as senior linebacker Anthony Farina made a big tackle for loss, pinning St. Francis deep in their territory. Junior quarterback Jude Vanooyen began the scoring with a short run for six points. As the Clippers gained momentum, junior wide receiver Antonio Hernandez would take a short pass 45 yards to the endzone, running out several St. Francis defenders. The score would be in favor of Xaverian 14-6 at half.
As the Clippers headed to the locker room with a comfortable lead, the stands got loud to show their support for performances by the Varsity and JV Cheerleaders, the Dance Team, and this year’s new Step Team.
Performing to songs like "All of the Lights" by Rihanna and "Sorry" by Justin Bieber and even creating their own chants, each group brought energy to the field. The popular songs gave the crowd the perfect leeway to cheer on the performers. The high energy was held from start to finish of the halftime show.
Shortly after her performance, Julianna Mistretta ‘25 commented, “Going out on a field and dancing gives a rush of adrenaline like nothing else. It’s the best feeling ever!”
The teams have been preparing for their Homecoming spotlight since the last weeks of summer, putting in an abundance of time and effort under the guidance of their dedicated coaches.
“I was excited to be there as a coach and a more involved member of the Xaverian community,” exclaimed Coach Tara of the Dance Team after watching her girls' performance for the very first time. “Seeing the crowd cheer for not only the Dance Team but every team that performed was so heartwarming. The amazing Xaverian community that everyone has been talking about was really proven true this weekend!”
The 2023 Homecoming Halftime performance was definitely memorable. The Clippers were eager to let the performers know how proud they were!
“The spirit in the stands was unmatched. With all the school spirit in the air, the cheerleaders were determined to keep the crowd going,” stated senior Ellie Stavropoulos ‘24, after her final homecoming.
As the Clippers retook the field, they looked to continue their dominating ways. Senior running back Freddy Scuteri would take the ball 60 yards to the house and would celebrate with our cheerleaders and the band sounding their instruments in the background. Junior wide receiver Owen Conti looked to add to the scoreboard, which some are considering the catch of the season. The third-year varsity player would snatch the ball out of the air with one hand and a defender on the other and finish it in the endzone. This would cap off the Clippers’ scoring, as on the defensive side of the ball, Xaverian would hold St. Francis to a small six total points.
It was a dominating battle by Xaverian on both sides of the ball, with notable plays by junior wide receiver Owen Conti, senior linebacker Tommy McMorrow, senior running back Freddy Scuteri, and junior defensive end Thomas Regan. The Clippers would total 343 yards of total offense compared to the St. Francis 254 total yards. The teams split the turnover battle with one a piece.
Kudos to all the Clippers involved in this year’s homecoming! Be sure to check out the Athletics Media page on Xaverian’s website for pictures from the day!