Parade marks Harborfields High tourney win

Members of the Harborfields High School boys basketball team ride in a parade in Greenlawn celebrating their state championship victory. (Videojournalist: Ed Betz (April 1, 2012)

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Greenlawn residents lined the streets Sunday to celebrate the Harborfields High School boys basketball state championship -- the first in any sport since the school was established in 1956.

"If you look around today, you can see what excellence does to a community," principal David Bennardo said after the parade.

The Harborfields Tornados had won the State Class A Tournament March 18 at the Glens Falls Civic Center upstate, beating Tappan Zee, 67-58.

The parade was scheduled for Saturday, but was pushed back because of poor weather. It lasted the short distance from East Maple Avenue up Broadway to the high school on Taylor Avenue, where Bennardo and school and elected officials spoke.

Residents of the small community waved and cheered for the state champions, wearing Harborfields clothing or green, the school's color.

Superintendent Diana Todaro told the players and the community that Harborfields and Greenlawn now have a place on the map.

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Kevin Cunneen, who drove one of the convertibles during the festivities, agreed that the championship was great for the community and will now make Greenlawn stand out.

"It's fantastic for the community," Cunneen, 57, said. "I guess it just gives us a little more publicity, countywide and statewide."

One of the classic cars transporting the students to the school belonged to Rod Short, a 30-year Greenlawn resident.

Short, who said his wife worked in the school's library, was driving his 1968 Oldsmobile 442.

The small turnout at the beginning of the parade was due in part to Palm Sunday, Short said, and the parade's rescheduling.

Andrea Yurkew, a Centerport resident and mother of a Harborfields student, said the victory, parade and publicity were all tremendous accomplishments for the school.

"It's huge," she said. "It's an amazing community with an amazing amount of school spirit."

During the reception, Bennardo addressed the team and told them the victory has brought Greenlawn together as a community and into the spotlight.

"Look what you've done for us," he said.

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