The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior

The news site of Wantagh High School.

The Warrior


Will You Be Streaming "The Tortured Poets Department"?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

60 Years of Sportsnite Continues but with a Twist


Listen up Wantagh! Brace yourself. It is only a couple of months away from the roaring chants and renowned colors of black and gold whirling through the halls for Wantagh High School’s 60th Sportsnite. Ringing in with the New Year, this March 20, a modernized change will take place. Tyler Dema and Sebastian Alborez will be the first males to participate in this annual event.

It is commonly known that girls take part in this established activity, but with this year’s addition of two masculine figures, some might question; is this going to alter the tradition of Sportsnite?

“I don’t think it will change the tradition,” said Mrs. Sales, co-organizer of Sportsnite “I want it to be more about it being the 60th year and making it this far than the two males joining.”

This glorified custom can be seen as part of Wantagh’s fabric. It’s not just a time for kids to ‘dance around’; it is imbedded in our school system. Raising the student’s levels of joy, friendship and dedication, the traditional Sportsnite is about working together as a team with girls from all four grades, rather than working in individual grade groups. The lineup is then divided into two teams, Black and Gold. There are three main categories, Folk, Rhythmic and Finale. Each team has to choreograph their own dance which they all participate in. The performance also consists of four separate dances for each grade. Every dance is themed, girls use their personal creativity to design costumes for each number. Cliques fade and friend groups dissolve as they join together as a whole to create an organized and spectacular performance. Ultimately, the two teams meld onto the floor to begin an enthralling competition.

“To me Sportsnite is all about unity and teamwork,” Goldie Spirit Captain Victoria Zozzaro says. “Girls from 9th grade through 12th grade join together, work hard and put on an incredible show.”

Starting the 2015 season, junior Sebastian Alborez, received placement on the Gold team while senior, Tyler Dema, accepted a position on Black.

“I knew that I being a guy wasn’t going to be a problem,” Alborez said. “I love the idea of making new friends and being a family.”

Alborez mentions that he doesn’t want to ruin the girl’s tradition by having more boys accompany the teams. The proud Goldie hopes to keep Sportsnite a more predominately a girl’s thing.

“At first when I found out there would be boys on Sportsnite, I saw a lot of negativity from everyone on Sportsnite and even from those not on it,” Zozzaro said. “When I first met Sebastian Alborez, I knew we had it all wrong. This kid, regardless of his gender, has one of the biggest hearts and truly embodies Goldie spirit and pride.”

Along with the placement on the ritual performance, Dema has accepted the position as co-captain of the Folk dance.

When asked about his current experiences on Sportsnite, he said, “It’s been crazy fun. Being in the captains’ circle during cheers is one of the most fun and exciting things to look forward to every practice.”

Dema shows much enthusiasm for the upcoming practices and final performance. It is a challenge to synchronously dance with the whole team but fellow Blackie Captain, Gina Ciappina says: “I have to say that having a boy on each team is wonderful because it really shows how open Wantagh is to equality among genders. As long as you’re cheering for your school, then we’re glad to have anyone join.”

The spirit surrounding Sportsnite is overwhelmed with pride, contentment and motivation. Sportsnite competitors say that each individual benefits both physically and emotionally. The dances are not only enjoyable and entertaining, they are healthful as well.

Most important, Sportsnite enhances bonds and friendships. It allows students to collaborate with teammates and competitors.

“My Blackie family means the world to me,” says Chrissy O’Donnell. “They always put the biggest smile on my face and it’s the most amazing feeling to be with them cheering for what we love. We also put in an insane amount of hard work and dedication to every practice so we can wow everyone on the night of. I’m so proud of everything we’ve done these past four years and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to call my family.”

Why shouldn’t boys be given the equal right to enjoy the perks of the Sportsnite Dynasty? New years call for new beginnings. Says Dema: “I wanted to join simply because it seemed like so much fun and such an awesome thing to be a part of. But, more importantly, I want people in our community to realize that people shouldn’t be denied the right to do something based on their gender. That’s the whole reason Sportsnite was started 60 years ago. So what better year than this one for the first guy to do it?”

The culminating battle is on! Students, faculty and family fill the bleachers while the Blackies and Goldies reflect their enormous amount of energy onto the audience.

“It gives you the opportunity to meet new people and it’s cool to find those people in the hallway because they’ll say hi even if you don’t know them that well,” Julie Loney says.