2021 Fall Senior Nights!


Senior Captain of Color Guard, Madison Knueppel, with her supportive family on Senior Night.

At Becton, the fall season was not just for celebrating Halloween festivities or appreciating the turning of the leaves, but also for commemorating our outstanding senior athletes! Throughout the past couple of months, fall sports such as Volleyball, Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer, Cheerleading, and Football teams had their senior nights, an event where we congratulate and say goodbye to the beloved seniors on the teams. The seniors were vastly supported by colossal crowds of family and friends as well as décor made by their fellow team members. These bittersweet nights are certainly ones to remember for every senior, and their loved ones, as they advance to the next chapter of their lives.

Seniors (Right to Left) Hasch, Espinel, Drybushar, Castillo, Matraxia, and Coach O´Driscoll holding the Battle at Paterson Ave Trophy on Senior Night!

To start with a triumphant win, the “Pretty-in-Pink” Becton Volleyball Team hosted their senior night on Thursday, Oct. 21 to compete against their rival, the Wallington Panthers. This customary event, better known as the Battle of Paterson Ave, was one of the greatest highlights of their season. Senior Captain Sebrina Castillo is immensely proud of herself and her teammates for finally winning the trophy back after three years; especially on her very own senior night. The gymnasium was filled with adrenaline from the players, spectators, and our famous Becton Jungle for this special night. The gym was dressed in pink and covered with dozens of posters for all the senior players and Breast Cancer Awareness. Castillo shares how the senior night began,  “Every year, the seniors welcome Wallington’s senior girls with flowers! As for the seniors from Becton, a paper banner is made and we run through it.” With all of the hype from the Becton seniors’ entrance, Varsity Coach Jessica O’Driscoll shared thoughtful speeches of the seniors as they received flowers from the juniors. Then, the seniors took pictures with their families to capture this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Castillo feeds pondering minds with how the game began, “During the first match, more and more fans would arrive between each point, which added to the level of intensity.” The overwhelming support from the fans and the hard work from each team member ended the game in a win for the Lady Wildcats, as they took home the trophy. With this game in mind, Castillo reports her conflicting feelings of finally being a senior. She expresses that, “To be parting ways with this team as well as this sport makes the feeling a bit heavy on the heart.” As many seniors would, the shock of their season finally coming to an end could be hard to wrap their heads around, but that doesn’t stop Castillo from fulfilling her role as the team’s captain. As a final message to the team, she states, “To all of the ladies continuing or planning on playing Girls Volleyball, I wish you all the best of luck next season and the seasons following! Always play with your head up, and spread positivity on and off the court. Never give up on yourself or others, and work as a team!” Castillo would like to thank her coaches, Coach Jessica O’Driscoll, Coach Katie Petrone, more commonly known as “Fontana,” and Coach Eduardo Perdomo for encouraging her to work hard in all circumstances. She presents gratitude for being her team’s inspiration for every game and is thankful for the victorious outcome of her senior night.

Seniors (Left to Right) Brodka, McLaren, Nozka, Dato, Kirk, DiLemme, and Coach Piotr Sala on Senior Night!

Moving onto one of the earliest of senior nights, Girls’ Soccer had its celebrations on Monday, Sept. 20. Becton earned the 5-3 win against the Wood-Ridge Blue Devils, another senior night success! With the leadership of the Senior Captains; Francesca Dato, Alyssa Kirk, and Caitlin Nozka, the influence of Head Coach Piotr Sala and Assistant Coach Ashley Dluglosh, and the talented, driven team, they were guaranteed a glory-filled win. Girls Senior Soccer Player, Giana DiLemme, speaks upon the traditions done for senior night, “Traditionally, we always schedule our senior night to be against Wood-Ridge. They are our biggest rivals and we’ve beaten them every year since.” The Lady Wildcats kept their winning streak against the Blue Devils once again. After the hurrahs of their great accomplishment, the team hosted the senior night ceremony. The seniors received thoughtful presents from the team as their final goodbye to the upperclassmen. DiLemme shares, “I received a plethora of gifts and I am so grateful! From the team as a whole, we all received Nike quarter zips and candy! Then, from individual teammates, we received candy, candles, cards, and white tumblers with our logo and number on them! It was all so sweet of them to get these for us!”  The endearing gesture was a tender way to end the night for the seniors to remember their strong bonds with the team. DiLemme puts in a concluding statement for the remaining girls. “…enjoy every minute of it and have a lot of fun because it goes by fast!” The heart-warming, yet melancholy goodbyes will always be adored by the seniors of the 2021-2022 Becton Girls’ Soccer Team.

Seniors (Left to Right) Mota, Chah, and Cespedes posing for the camera on Senior Night!

Although it was the last senior night to occur this year, the seniors on the Boys’ Soccer Team had a memorable night on Monday, Oct 25. The competitive match-up with Wallington resulted in a 1-0 loss for Becton but did not bring down the spirits of the team. Senior Captain Ghali Chah influenced his team to come out with intensity for their game against the Blue Devils and pushed them to play to their fullest potential. To dive deeper into their senior night traditions, Chah shares, “The seniors get called up and take pictures with family,” which is a simple and effective way to congratulate and commend the seniors for all their dedication and efforts to the team. Alongside Chah are Junior Captains Brandon Gjekaj and Salvatore Fonseca. They and the remainder of the team are left with Chah’s words of advice, “Grind and trust the process, it’ll all be worth it.” With that being said, Chah also commends the underclassmen for rising to the occasion to play to the team’s expectations. The seniors on the team wish their remaining teammates the best of luck as they walk off the field after one of their final games.

Seniors (Front to Back) Pontier, Cruz, Koch, Moorman, and Ogando lined up in formation on Senior Night!

The group with the most spirit, the Cheerleading Team, had their senior night on Friday, Oct. 15. Following tradition, the cheerleaders and football players met on the field for the rose ceremony to begin the senior night. Senior Captain Gina Cruz shares the exciting moment, “Senior night started with the football players running on the field. All seniors then lined up with their families ready to have their names called.” This game was not only senior night but Homecoming as well. Cruz was crowned as one of the homecoming princesses and received mass amounts of support from her team, fellow Senior Captains Tara Koch and Skylar Moorman, and her coaches Amy Ravettine, Daniella Polmann, and Jessica Ryan. Cruz reports, “…it was one of the biggest crowds all year,” which made for an exciting game ahead. Not only did the seniors receive roses from their families, but their devoted coaches also gave them a bouquet of flowers to thank them for their hard work. The cheerleaders cheered their hearts out on the sidelines and during halftime; especially the seniors who crafted the halftime routine all on their own! Cruz advises her teammates for next season, “…enjoy every second because 4 years of cheering is nowhere near enough.” The bittersweet emotion of the season coming to an end was whirled through the air that game, including the wistful feelings from the football team.

Becton Wildcats Football Captain, Bobby Colaneri, pictured with his supportive family on Senior Night!

The 2021-2022 Becton Football Team had a lot to live up to due to their previous title of NJIC Undefeated Champions in 2020. The team put in the dedication to produce every play while following the leadership of Senior Captains Tommie Lee Minaya, Bobby Colaneri, Sonny Ragusa, and George Kasper. Minaya, specifically, gave insights into how the senior night went for the football team. Same as the cheerleaders, Oct. 15 was the night of celebrations for the upperclassmen. As their final send-off, they received roses from their families, as well as the cheerleaders, and started the game against the Hasbrouck Heights Aviators with power and perseverance. During halftime, the Homecoming Court was called to the field, which contained three football players! Robbie Emerson and Danny Chandra received the honor of being the princes of the court and Senior Captain George Kasper won Homecoming King. Heading back into the game after the celebratory applause for Homecoming, the stupendous coaching staff, directed by Head Coach Jack Maher and Assistant Coach Greg Barbo, were ready for the second half. Although the game may have not ended in success for the Wildcats, they still put up an impressive performance for their family and fans. Minaya appreciates the team’s effort to show their true abilities and teamwork. He shares advice for the underclassmen on the team next year, “Stay focused and humble, but hungry.” Minaya plans to also utilize his advice since he would like to play football in college along with fellow teammates, Senior Jonathan Williams and Senior Captain Sonny Ragusa. This night was a memorable one for all of the seniors as yet another unforgettable team.

Senior Drum Major, Sarah Burgos, with her loving family to support her on her Senior Night!

The Cheerleading and Football Team would not be complete without the wonderfully talented Wildcat Marching Band! Newly directed by Thomas Sansone, the members of the band have worked day and night to perfect their songs for senior night. Oct. 15 represented several seniors including Drum Majors Erol Yilmaz and Sarah Burgos. To speak on the behalf of the musical crew, senior leader of the percussion section, Aurora Marin, shares her incredible experience of her senior year so far. She reports, “Mr. Sansone just joined the Wildcat Marching Band this year and has been so amazing. He rebuilt our band to the best of his ability and honestly made us so much better.” The positive changes were shown on senior night through all of their spectacular songs throughout the game. Marin also credits the underclassmen for rising to the occasion, “Most of the people in the band were first-year members…We made incredible progress super quickly.” Marin’s senior year, along with the rest, would not have been the same if it was not for the remarkable group of people affiliated with the Wildcat Marching Band. The half-time show cannot go on without Becton’s impeccable Color Guard! Although only made of up of two members, Senior Co-Captain Madison Knueppel still shines along her friends and some could even say “family.” Knueppel admits, “Marching Band is my home away from home as corny as that may come off. They mean everything to me and I will always cherish the person they molded me into.” With all of her gratitude comes wise words to the next generation of members of the Wildcat Marching Band and Color Guard: Kneuppel explains, “…love your teammates with everything you have. They ended up being my greatest part of high school even though I was unsure of joining at first. Even when you’re dreading band practice or you are having your worst day yet, they made my every day brighter.” There is no better way to pass the flag than with a positive ending. With the shiny and colorful flags twirling in the air along with the beautiful notes from all of the instruments, senior night was the perfect way to commemorate the upperclassmen band members and color guard.

To conclude, the fall senior nights of 2021 were successful in congratulating our Becton seniors for their dedication to our beloved sports programs and all the labor, commitment, and leadership it takes to be a part of them. This is a night that every senior student-athlete dreams of in their high school career but forever dreads. Every BHS senior will take this memorable experience with them to their awaiting futures.