Hometown Champion’s Celebration

On Dec.10, the West Orange community came together to celebrate their exceptional students during the Hometown Champion’s Celebration. This celebration was organized by WOHS Sports Media, West Orange Public Schools, and West Orange Township, and it recognized different West Orange High School sports that achieved major success during the fall season; this includes football, boys and girls soccer, cross country track, cheerleading, and marching band. These groups have had great accomplishments, some even reaching achievements for the first time in the school’s history. This celebration brought the community together and showed pride in the town’s athletics.

The event started off in the Tarnoff Cafeteria, where the students gathered. After hearing from the Athletic Director, Stephen Zichella, they ate dinner and dessert provided by Nicholas Anthony restaurant. While they were eating, a video played showing all of the students’ accomplishments. After dinner, the students listen to a speech from their principal, Oscar Guerrero. Then, the teams took photos and even the mascot Monty the Mountaineers showed up for pictures. Eventually, the students got ready to head to town hall.

The teams were transported by buses that were decorated for their specific teams. These buses were escorted by police to town hall. 

At town hall, the students were applauded by West Orange citizens as they left the buses. Kevin Donnelly, the announcer for the NFHS Network, served as emcee. Many people joined to showed their appreciation for the hardworking students, including Assistant Superintendent Hayden Moore, Principal Guerrero, Athletic Director Zichella, outgoing Mayor Robert Parisi, incoming Mayor Susan McCartney, board members Jennifer Tunnicliffe and Gary Rothstein, town councilpersons Michelle Casalino and Tammy Williams, and many friends, family, and coaches. Many coaches, student leaders, and other faculty gave speeches showing their appreciation for the hardworking students. Head Football Coach Darnell Grant presented special recognitions to Mayor Parisi, Moore, and Guerrero for their support. After all was said and done, the event was closed out with the song “We Are The Champions” by Queen.