Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:00
Jericho High School’s varsity football game against St. Dominic’s was special for the 10 seniors who played in front of the home crowd for the last time on Senior Day. But the day was perhaps even more special for three children from St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside, Queens, who were named “honorary captains” for the Jayhawks.
St. Mary’s is New York’s oldest and largest provider of long-term care to children with medically complex conditions. Senior captain Spencer Shapiro has been volunteering his time at the hospital for the past year, and came up with the idea to create a unique experience for the children who rarely get the opportunity to leave the hospital. He contacted Jericho Athletic Director, John Mankowich, and Head Football Coach, Tim Drake, and got clearance to stage this memorable experience.
Each of the three children, Jaylen (11), Sophia (6) and Kea (22), received Jericho football t-shirts and game balls from Coach Drake. The team then formed two lines as the children were escorted in their wheelchairs to midfield by captains Shapiro, Ian Greene, Ryan Condon and Alex Gerome for the coin-toss. The referee asked young Jaylen to flip the coin. The St. Dominic’s captains were also clearly moved by this gesture. The St. Mary’s kids then cheered on the Jaywalks from the Jericho sideline.
The inspiration of these brave young children helped as Jericho went on to a dominating 41-0 victory. Jericho also donned brand new pink jerseys to help commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was truly an unforgettable day for
Spencer, the whole varsity team and the three children from St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital.
—Jericho High School