FAIRFIELD, NJ — A little rain didn't dampen Fairfield's annual Falcon Football Pep Rally on Saturday, where the varsity and junior varsity football squads burst through hand-painted banners to music and a smoke machine for extra excitement.
Each of the township's cheerleading squads entertained the crowd with half-time routines to popular songs like "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "Old Town Road" as the team members helped the crowd cheer on the teams.
After a moment of silence to remember Sept. 11, volunteer announcers Tom Kassebart and Mike Russo kicked off the pep rally in high gear with a "Who Are You 'Rooting' For?" contest. Unable to use real root beer on the turf, participants chugged bottles of water for prizes.
The announcers expressed gratitude toward Fairfield Football Committee members Anthony Pompeii, Tony Lipari, Bill Galese, Rich Trovato and Lenny Russo, who oversee the operations of all Fairfield Falcon Football Teams.
"It is their hard work behind the scenes that allows our program to run smoothly and compete at a high level," the announcers said before also thanking Denise Maglione, Denise Mauriello, Mina Ferivechio and Tara Medina from the Falcon Football Boosters as well as Falcon Cheerleading Boosters Maria Lomuscio and Renee Russo.
In order to get the crowd cheering and on their feet, the announcers performed a few football touchdown skits to "show everyone that Fairfield has the greatest and loudest fans." Fans were asked to use their imaginations and cheer as if "it's Superbowl Sunday [and] the Falcons trail the Chiefs, 19-20, with 10 seconds left in the game and the Falcons are out of timeouts."
They imagined that the Falcons had the ball at the chief’s 42-yard line; Pompeii is under center; the ball is snapped; and Pompeii tosses the ball to Galese, who is trying to get to the outside, but stops, pulls up and throws a half-back option to a wide-open Travato. The fans cheered as they imagined that Travato made the catch at the 20-yard line, ran to the 10, and then the five, and then, "TOUCHDOWN FALCONS! The Falcons win the Super Bowl! The Falcons win the Super Bowl!," the announcers yelled.
"Let’s try to support these Falcons each week with as strong of a showing as we have tonight," the announcers said. "We make every effort to give our Falcon teams the best home field advantage, but we cannot do it without you, the fans...Please, Let these children hear you scream, shout, cheer , and get on your feet as we describe a play from years ago. Remember, we want to hear you if the Falcons score a touchdown."
During the pep rally, the crowd was also encouraged to "GO GRAY FOR BRAIN CANCER AWARENESS" by purchasing bracelets to support brain cancer research. One-hundred percent of all net proceeds and donations will go toward the American Brain Tumor Association in honor of Fairfield resident Joseph Mastrogiovanni.
Special thanks went out to this year's Touch Down Sponsors: Eye to Eye Entertainment, Applegate Farm Homemade Ice Cream, Franklin Steakhouse, Angelonis Restaurant & Pizzeria, The Cutruzulla Family, Allegiance Insurance Brokers, Russo Family Chiropractic, The Brook Taphouse, The Dinardo Family, Gencarellis, The Cali Family, Hollywood Restaurant & Pizzeria, Manhattan Bagel, Quick Check, and Pio Costa Enterprises. Field Goal Sponsors: Anthony Robert Salon, Four Jays Bagels, Lawnables Yard Card Greetings, Mecca Integrated Medical Center, Melfast, Modells Sporting Goods, Phoenix Associates Construction, and SMP Photography. Extra Point Sponsors: 360 FPS, Dominant Construction, Chelsea Market Basket, Medicare of Fairfield, Podell Financial Group, and Artistic Signs, LLC.