Riding in a vintage Ford convertible, baseball state champs Mike Alliegro and Sal Geraci waved to families cheering along Railroad Street in Bayport on Tuesday night.
The Bayport-Blue Point School District honored state championship wins in baseball and boys track with a parade to celebrate its first state titles in more than a decade.
Local fire departments escorted the athletes west down Railroad Street to Bayport-Blue Point High School’s athletic fields to receive proclamations from officials.
The Phantoms baseball team is the first Suffolk County team to go undefeated and win the state championship, according to Tim Mullins, athletic director of the school district.
“As a district and community, we really wanted to bring these kids to attention and give them their due,” Mullins said. “It’s a nice pinnacle to their baseball careers and it’s great for these guys to see the overwhelming support from their community.”
On June 8, the baseball team finished its season 27-0, clinching the New York State Class A championship in Binghamton, and on the same day five boys track team members won at the New York State Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Middletown High School in upstate New York.
Jack Piekos, who finished the season 11-0 as a starting pitcher for the baseball team, was amazed by the nearly 200 people who showed up to celebrate his team’s victory during the parade Tuesday.
“It was an amazing feeling to win and not something I’ll forget,” said Piekos, 17. “And today, it feels even better to have the community come out to celebrate again with us.”
Jim Moccio, who has been coaching the baseball team for 14 seasons, was incredibly proud of his players for remaining humble and resilient throughout the season.
“Coaches can go their whole career without winning a state championship,” Moccio said. “Those kids handled themselves like professionals and their demeanor never changed. That’s what I’m most proud of. They did great.”
Moccio, 40, said many of the same faces that came to the parade had shown up in their pajamas to welcome the team home after they brought back the state title on June 8.
“Well over 100 people were waiting for us as we reached Nicolls Road from the LIE at 11 p.m. that night,” he said. “And the community hasn’t stopped rallying behind us.”
The men’s track coach, Mike Zafonte, said it was his runners’ determination that won them the state title.
“We work these kids hard, but they take it and work even harder,” he said. “It’s pretty neat to see their hard work culminating into a state championship.”
Bailey Imbo, who plans to run track at SUNY Cortland in the fall, was thrilled to close out his senior year with a victory he had long hoped for.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized,” said Imbo, 18, of Bayport. “It’s overwhelming to see the community come out here just for us. The love and support from everyone is great.”