MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Mahopac High School Student Athletic Council hosted its annual “March Madness” event, a charity and community basketball tournament made up of Mahopac elementary school students, faculty and staff and the Carmel Police Department on Saturday, March 9.

Besides giving elementary students the experience of basketball at the high school, the tournament represents school pride, community building and philanthropy.

For weeks leading up to the tourney, each elementary school prepared for game day by creating t-shirts, signs and team cheers.

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“This was my first ‘March Madness’ tourney and I’m so excited to be part of it,” said Jamie Davenport, Fulmar Road player and physical education teacher. “I even brushed up my shooting with my two sons.”

The tournament tipped off with a lively game between Austin Road Elementary and Lakeview Elementary.

In the next game, Fulmar Road took on the Carmel Police Department. The game included a special acknowledgment to Det. Frank Chibbaro. Set to retire this year, this was his last March Madness.

Chibbaro was honored at Fulmar Road’s pregame pep rally with a special three-clap chant and given a special jersey that made him a player for both Fulmar Road and the Carmel PD.

As the D.A.R.E. instructor, Chibbaro has been involved with Fulmar Road, as well as the other Mahopac Schools, over the years.

“March Madness is one of our longstanding Mahopac traditions,” said Superintendent Anthony DiCarlo. “In just a blink of an eye, it seems like the elementary students watching today’s games are on the same court playing Mahopac varsity basketball.”

Proceeds from the suggested $5 donation go to producing the senior citizen prom that the council holds annually in the fall.

“This is such a fun community event,” said Dominick DeMatteo, council advisor and physical education teacher. “Much thanks and appreciation go to the volunteers who make Mahopac’s March Madness happen. The parents, teachers, staff and community members involved are the heart of this all, helping fill roles as coaches, officials, concession managers, scorekeepers and more.”

Article courtesy of Mahopac School District