HYANNIS, MA – They call it Spirit Week in the halls of Barnstable High School.
With alumni returning home in droves, the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame set to enshrine its 8th class of inductees and the 70th Annual Barnstable Thanksgiving Football Parade and Pep Rally ready to kick off next Wednesday along Main Street, Hyannis, it matters little that the winds of November have turned brisk and bitter.
Break out the scarves and mittens because there is no week quite like next week for the Cape’s largest high school. Bookended by a half-dozen usually well-attended events, the 70th Annual Parade along Main Street, Hyannis will be replete with antique cars, marching bands, cheerleaders, youth football players, local dignitaries, veterans, antique cars and of course, the Barnstable High football team. The parade will culminate on the Hyannis Village Green, in the shadow of sculptor (and 1957 Red Raider captain) David Lewis’ bronze likeness of Chief Iyannough and the stone memorial to fallen former Red Raider Kevin Houston, the US Navy Seal who lost his life August 6, 2011 when killed in action in Afghanistan (see accompanying feature story). The 1951 Undefeated Team will also be hosting its annual dinner on Sunday, Nov. 30 (see below for more details) and the Barnstable High School Basketball program will be hosting its 2nd Annual Alumni Game on Saturday Nov. 29 (also, see below).
The Quarterback Club – the central booster club for Barnstable High School football founded in 1967 – is the driving force behind the parade. To date, the Cotuit and Hyannis Fire Departments have committed apparatus to participate in the parade and are always a crowd favorite. Each year, special guest speakers and alumni join the Red Raiders on the dais to inspire the Red & White to victory. Each class will be represented by their own hand-made floats, judged and prizes awarded for the Best Float.
In the event of inclement weather – this year’s parade will move to a pep rally only in the BHS gymnasium. The parade was cancelled last year and in 2003 due to pouring rain.
Immediately following the parade, the football team is treated to a special pre-game dinner prepared by Dave Columbo of The Roadhouse – a tradition begun in 2006. It’s no surprise that Columbo welcomes the team for the ceremonial feast – he was a star quarterback for the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins back in the early 1970s.
Saturday, November 29 at the Ridge Club in Sandwich, the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame will enshrine its 8th class of inductees. This year’s inductees include former BHS superstar volleyball and tennis players Whitney Davis, Casey Buss and Brittany Enz (Class of 2004), former gridiron standout Pat Ryan (Class of 1983) who went onto a brilliant collegiate career at the University of Colorado, longtime Red Raider and American Legion coach Rollie Hicks, 1,000-point basketball scorer Dennis Fisher (Class of 1988), ice hockey and baseball standout Ryan O’Neil (Class of 1991), football and baseball star Erik Ellis (Class of 2004), gymnastics star Jillian Pacheco (Class of 2003), softball and basketball captain Beth Kane (Class of 1987), and ice hockey stars Eric Nickulas and Joanna Bednark (Class of 2000).
Former Red Raider football and baseball star Mike Duffley Jr., one of the founding members of the hall of fame and he himself an inductee, will be coordinating the event.
Taking place the same time as the hall of fame induction ceremony will be the 2nd Annual Barnstable High School Basketball Alumni Game beginning at 4:00 pm at the BHS gymnasium. the brainchild of boys junior varsity coach Ramon Pires and boys varsity head coach Chuck Kipnes, the alumni game has quickly grown to become the biggest fundraiser for the basketball program.
The teams are broken into two teams of 15 (30 total players) alumni. According to Kipnes, there is already a waiting list of former Red Raiders who want to jump back for one last chance on the hallowed Red Raider parquet. Additionally, all of the former players who reached the 1,000-point career milestone have been invited back for a special unveiling of a new 1,000-point scorer banner similar to the one at Nauset Regional High School. Adult tickets for the event are $2 and students are $1 and there’ll even be a 50-50 raffle.
And on Sunday afternoon, the 1951 Team Annual Dinner will be held – as usual – at The Yarmouth House on Route 28 in West Yarmouth at 3:00 pm. Tickets for that event are $38 and all Red Raider football alumni are invited to attend. If interested in purchasing a ticket, please contact either Jack Aylmer or Fran Fermino at 508-957-2143.
Story & Photos By: Sean Walsh/CCB Sports Editor