A night for champions [Northeast Times]

(Article originally published by the Northeast Times July 26, 2023)

Hundreds of people gathered last week at Frankford and Cottman avenues to celebrate not one, but two local championship teams.

The St. Hubert Large Varsity Division II and JV Gold cheerleading teams captured national championships in February in Orlando.

The Father Judge baseball team won the PIAA Class 6A championship last month, following Catholic League and District 12 titles.

The July 20 celebration coincided with the Mayfair Night Market. The Great Scott Band, joined by Herb Oakley on some songs, entertained the crowd, including a rendition of We Are the Champions.

Dom Giordano, a host on WPHT (1210 AM), is a St. John Neumann graduate, but credited Judge with making Northeast Philly proud.

“To win the state championship is remarkable,” he said.

Sports comedian Joe Conklin, a Cardinal Dougherty graduate, entertained the crowd with his impersonations of Joel Embiid, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.

“At least somebody from the city won something this year,” Embiid said.

Conklin, in his Harry Kalas voice, recalled the last pitch of Judge’s 4-1 victory over Mt. Lebanon in the state final, as pitcher David Rodriguez escaped a bases-loaded jam and center fielder Richie Lee caught the final out.

John McBride announced each athlete, with Stein Your Florist Co. giving flowers to the cheerleaders and Cracker Jack to the baseball players.

State Reps. Pat Gallagher and Martina White and Sen. Jim Dillon – in his brown pants and shoes for St. Hubert and blue jacket and shirt for Judge – presented each cheerleader and player with citations.

“Northeast Philly is so proud of you,” White said.

Earlier, the cheerleaders traveled to Harrisburg to be honored by the state legislature. They and the baseball players will be recognized on Aug. 5 at the annual St. Hubert/Father Judge Party at the Pier at the Seaport Pier in North Wildwood.

The honors will continue for Judge, which will be honored at the Sept. 12 Phillies game and at the Oldtimers Bats and Balls Association meeting Nov. 8 at Randi’s.

The event was organized by Anne Marie Muldoon, owner of Avenue Chiropractic; Donny Smith, executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District; and Patti Leneghan, owner of Leneghan’s Crusader Inn.

Gallo’s Seafood owner Jim Harvey brought Thee Original Eagles Bus to the celebration.

Among those on hand were the Barbera Bear, city elections commissioner Seth Bluestein, sheriff candidate Mark LaVelle and City Council candidates Jim Hasher and Drew Murray.

The St. Hubert Varsity champs were coached by Lisa McNesby, Kristen Mahon, Mary Kate Kenny and Paul Ballentine. The team consisted of Alyssa Cooper, Kate Tomes, Kyleigh Taylor, Gabrielle Marzullo, Jessica Burgher, Kaitlyn Wilson, Francesca D’Andrea, Angelina Kinniry, Samantha Kinniry, Layla Mastrangelo, Bella Marino, Caitlin Cranston, Jenni Leneghan, Cameron Klepczynski, Lexi Wright, Alivia Murphy, Leah Brace, Hope Bucci, Allie McNesby, Bella Bringhurst, Sophia Sermarini, Ryan Collins and Camryn Bickel.

The JV Gold non-tumbling team was coached by Gina Mansi, Kristine Lemongelli, Meg McGinley and Kirsten Regan. Team members were Mya Hallman, Amanda Dean, Madelynn Fahey, Kayla Mitchell, Kiera Melvin, Alyssa Miller, Martina Bradford, Paige O’Mara, Kaci Fitz-Gerald, Lorenza D’Andrea, Mya Baker, Grace DiDonato, Abby Haney, Rachel Forbes, Erin McNamee, Kiana Solivan, Julianne Bucci, Brittney Le and Abby Handlon.

Father Judge was coached by Mike Metzger. Assistants were Barry Kneedler, Mike Crane, Joe Wagner, Dan Devine, Brian Yost, Joe Kennish and Mike Cox. Jeff Jacoby was the trainer. Players were Nick Shiffler, Richie Lee, Jason LeBold, Anthony Jakeman, Shane Hayes, Declan Foy, Liam Newhouse, Kenny Wetherell, Rob McShane, Tim Gress, Mark Eddis, Kaiden Laverty, Sean Moore, Jason Kane, John Clark, Tim Rauch, Jaden DeLuca, David Rodriguez, Brooks Henderson, Matt Marino, E.J. Kondrad, Colin Morgan, Shane Szychulski, Nick Wolf, George Conway, Michael Dunbar and Ryan Biener. Ryan Moebius was the manager.

The following were sponsors for the night: Avenue Chiropractic; Leneghan’s Crusader Inn; Rauchut’s Tavern; FM Investigations; Lloyd Sixsmith Sporting Goods; Paddy Whacks; Mayfair BID; Jeff George – Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices; Rapi Tax – Greg Blewett; Kirwin Electric; T’s Treats; Bellalisa Hair Studio; Torresdale Flowers; Mayfair Pizza; Merc Brothers Pizzeria; Gallo’s Seafood; David Fallon Realty; Judge Class of 1982 – Chip Dykes; Mark LaVelle for Sheriff – “We Deserve Better;” SenyeCreative – Solange Senye, Graphic Artist; Jay Seravalli Class of ‘79; Little Ducklings Day Care; City Commissioner Lisa Deeley; Drew Murray for City Council at large; Jim Hasher for City Council at large; Marinucci’s Deli; and Stein Your Florist Co.

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