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Appendicitis nearly derails Greenport homecoming love story

Greenport High School homecoming king and queen Sean

Greenport High School homecoming king and queen Sean Walden and Elizabeth Powe had their first date at homecoming in eighth grade. Here, they share the spotlight as seniors at the homecoming game on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. Photo Credit: Amy Onorato

Sean Walden and Elizabeth Powe met on the first day of eighth grade at Greenport High School. Powe was the new girl, a transfer from the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district, and Walden was immediately captivated.

After getting to know each other, they decided to go to that year’s homecoming game together — their first real date — and the beginning of a relationship that would change and grow over the course of their high school years.

“You could say I snatched up the new girl,” Walden said, laughing as he wrapped his arm around Powe. Powe giggled and smiled as she looked up at him, nodding her head in agreement.

Four years later, the couple attended Greenport High School’s homecoming game as king and queen, parading on the field in a convertible during halftime.

However, this pinnacle moment in a seemingly perfect love story almost didn’t happen. Powe didn’t put in a bid for homecoming queen until several days before voting, and had surgery to remove her appendix only two weeks before the homecoming game. Luckily, Powe managed to recover just in time.

“It was definitely a long haul,” Powe said. “I was nervous I wasn’t going to be able to make it, but I’m glad I did.”

Walden and Powe have dated on and off since their first rendezvous four years ago, and they plan to continue their relationship into their college years. Powe, who is also the captain of Greenport’s field hockey team, plans to go to medical school. Walden plans on joining the Navy and earning tuition money to study engineering at SUNY Maritime.

“Even when we weren’t dating, he was one of my best friends,” Powe said. “We know it will be hard after college, but we’re willing to try and make it work.”

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