Rocco Meagher wanted to attend a big college in the south with a lot of school spirit. The Huntington High School senior found just the right place and will soon be headed to the University of Alabama where he expects to quickly fit in with the rest of the Crimson Tide faithful.
“When I visited UA in February I knew that this was the place for me,” Mr. Meagher said. “I wanted to go south to warmer weather and a big campus with a great college town. Tuscaloosa feels similar to a bigger Huntington. It is very community oriented and everywhere you go you see ‘Roll Tide!’ The weather is mostly warm and there’s good food and a beautiful campus.”
Mr. Meagher plans to study criminal justice and he thinks highly of Alabama’s program. “When I visited the campus in February, I sat in on a criminal justice class,” the teenager said. “I was impressed with the big beautiful buildings and the nice lecture halls. The professor teaching the class seemed like a really nice, down to earth, interesting and funny professor that his students appeared to like. I was also blown away at the size of the fraternity houses. They are huge. I plan on rushing a fraternity at Alabama.”
Huntington High School senior Rocco Meagher.
The senior was also accepted by the University of New Haven, High Point, Tampa and Farmingdale State University. While he always favored Alabama, he wanted to keep some other options open as well.
“I selected Alabama because I felt it had the greatest number of opportunities within my major,” Mr. Meagher said. “There are many foreign languages to choose from and a great computer science department. If I decide to work on a federal level in criminal justice, a computer science background and fluency in a foreign language will open more opportunities. Alabama also has a tremendous alumni network, which can help me after graduating.”
Played four sports over the years
Mr. Meagher played several sports over the past four years, including golf, football and winter track, where he was among the team’s throwers. He also played on the Huntington/Northport ice hockey team.
While Mr. Meagher has played football since first grade, he took a year off as a junior and tried golf and “had a blast,” he said. Nevertheless, he returned to the gridiron as a senior and was thrilled when the Blue Devils reached the playoffs.
The teenager enjoyed playing ice hockey, too. “I made friendships with kids from other school districts and got to play a sport I love,” he said.
Looking back, he wouldn’t change any of his sports-related decisions. “I’m grateful for the friendships and memories made on those teams and that’s something I will remember forever,” he said.
Alabama seems like a perfectly natural choice for the Huntington senior. “I’ve always liked the Crimson Tide football team and the festivities that surround the football games,” Mr. Meagher said. “I look forward to attending Saturday’s games with the new friends that I will make there.”
Mr. Meagher has participated in Relay For Life during grades 8-11, volunteered with the Special Olympics deck hockey program for several years and was a junior firefighter at the Halesite Fire Department. “I was one of the founding members of the Halesite junior program when I started in seventh grade and in my last year of it I was selected as the sergeant-at-arms,” he said. “We marched in parades, did drills, participated in community drives and community beautification efforts and performed clean-ups.”
Mr. Meagher has spent the past two summers working at the Bay Club as a sailing instructor and dock tender. “The Bay Club is a special place where I have grown up and made lifelong friends,” he said.
Known by his closest friends as Rocco, Mr. Meagher’s legal name is Robert. “I always felt that Rocco suited me better,” he said. “It was a nickname that I have had since birth and it has stuck.”
Favorite high school teachers
The teenager cited high school teachers Anna Fabela, Patricia Avelli and Steven Kroll as among his favorites over the years. “Mrs. Fabela is a great teacher,” Mr. Meagher said. “She’s the kind of teacher that grows on you throughout the year. She’s very knowledgeable and passionate about science and if you’re having issues with anything she will be there to help you. I had her for Living Environment and Animal Behavior. She took us to the Bronx Zoo where we could see the animals up close.”
The teenager encountered Mrs. Avelli immediately upon entering the high school. “I had her for math lab in my freshman year and she was great,” Mr. Meagher said. “I struggled a bit at first, but she really took the time and pulled me through, helping me get past the rigorous Algebra Regents. I also had her this year for Financial Algebra and loved her class. Even with all the shenanigans that went on during senior year, she managed to teach us valuable life lessons that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. When I’m older and doing my taxes, I’ll have Mrs. Avelli to thank for teaching me how to do them.”
The senior studied English with Mr. Kroll for two years. “He made a relatively boring class fun and exciting,” Mr. Meagher said. “Whether it be Macbeth or the Renaissance, you always have a good time in Kroll’s class.”
The teenager has had a great run through the district. “My overall experience at Huntington has been amazing,” Mr. Meagher said. “I will cherish the memories made here for the rest of my life, including events like Relay For Life and the Homecoming Day football games were a lot of fun. I made so many memories that will last a lifetime. Huntington will always be my home.”
Little doubt where his heart is
He may be headed to the University of Alabama, but there is little doubt where Mr. Meagher’s heart will always be. He’s grown up in the Huntington community and it’s where he plans to return when he completes his college education.
“Huntington is a special place,” Mr. Meagher said. “It’s where lifelong friends are made and even bigger lessons learned. I felt I got a well-rounded, real life education at Huntington High School. I will cherish the people in that building for making me the person I am today. I will always look back on high school as a positive experience whether it be the long football practices or the great Saturday afternoon football games. Huntington High School will forever hold a special place in my heart and I hope to one day send my kids through the same school.”