HANOVER TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A local high school dedicated its last home football game of the season to saluting members of the military and first responders in the community.
There was an explosive entrance as the Hanover Area Hawkeyes charged onto the field carrying American flags and wearing camouflage jerseys. Thursday’s game against Nanticoke had a greater purpose in this school community.
“It’s like really special to be cheering, like knowing that you’re cheering on your football players but also cheering on the Army,” sophomore Izzy Curcio said.
Hanover Area students, staff and families paid tribute to service members and first responders.
“We are here naturally celebrating our seniors for both football and cheerleading but, to be honest with you, it’s very important for us as a whole, as a district to bring the communities together, not just Hanover but our outlining ones as well and that’s what this is about,” Hanover Area teacher Christa Langdon said.
The district teamed up with the Pennsylvania National Guard to bring military equipment and a massive American flag to Memorial Stadium.
“We’re always looking to recruit individuals again to serve in the community that they live in. That’s kind of what’s great about the National Guard, you can serve the nation but you can also serve your community,” Pennsylvania National Guard Captain Jeremy Whitmer said.
Nearly 1,000 custom-made t-shirts were sold to raise money for St. Hedwig’s Rehabilitation Program and the VA Hospital.
“We all have free and public education every day so that’s a testament to what they fought for and what they sacrificed for so tonight we honor them and we will continue to,” Hanover Area Superintendent Nathan Barrett said.
During an evening of patriotism, all were honored to be part of on both sides of the stadium.
“I just think it’s honestly amazing. Like, it’s so cool and different. It’s never happened here before and I think it’s really cool to do,” sophomore Paige Engleman said.