Red Devils Football and Cheerleading League hosted its 49th annual Opening Ceremonies and Parade on Saturday, kicking off another season for the young athletes from all around Levittown.
The Red Devils have been an integral part of the Levittown community since 1952, offering football and cheerleading for boys and girls ranging in age from 5-14 years old.
The opening ceremonies held at McLaren Field took place after the young athletes and their coaches marched down Hempstead Turnpike and Loring Road, led by the color guard of VFW Post 9592. The program began with Erin Donahue singing the Star Spangled Banner. Following that, there was a moment of silence in remembrance for the people who were an integral part of the league but who have since passed on, including Jimmy Tintle, Fred Neist, and Joe Fenton.
Many local officials were on hand as 18 football teams and their cheerleaders, from five different divisions got psyched up for their upcoming games and competitions.
The opening ceremonies, emceed by Norm Murray, featured everything from raffle drawings to official presentations to banner contests. Red Devils Commissioner Dennis Machado presented trophies to former Town of Hempstead Councilman Gary Hudes, Town of Hempstead Deputy Commissioner of Parks Joe Bentivegna Jr., and Town Supervisor Richard Guardino (accepted by Receiver of Taxes Angie Cullin), for the work they did last year on a building project for McLaren Field to benefit the Red Devils. In addition, the Red Devils were presented a $3,500 check, by New York State Senator Kemp Hannon, on behalf of himself and fellow state representatives Assemblywoman Kate Murray and Assemblyman Marc Herbst.
Taking first place in the league's banner contest, for the best banner were the P-3 Cheerleaders in the Peanut Division. The Peanut Red Football team took second place and the Peanut Green team took third.
As each of the teams, their coaches, their sponsors were announced, the team ran across the field together followed by their cheerleaders, as their coaches, team Moms and sponsors were announced.
It was a very energetic event for all those involved and led the way for several of the teams to win their first games on Sunday.