The Blue Devil seniors and their families. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Blue Devil seniors and their families. (Darin Reed photo.)

Blue Devil Girls’ Basketball Celebrates on Senior Day

February 15, 2024

The Huntington girls’ basketball team celebrated four very special teenagers on the Blue Devils’ Senior Day at Louis D. Giani Gymnasium this past Monday night.

Huntington’s coaches, underclassmen and fans toasted team manager Emersen Evans and players Kayleigh Bender, Reese Rinaldi and Jessica Maixner for their commitment to the program and all-out effort on the court.

Head coach Michael Kaplan spoke about each of the four teenagers during pre-game festivities. The players walked into the gym with their family members and proceeded to center court where they were honored for their exceptional careers before posing for a series of commemorative photos. The seniors were given gift bags along with flowers. Junior Elizabeth James performed a spirited rendition of the national anthem that brought cheers from the crowd.

“I am so lucky to wear a Huntington jersey,” Rinaldi said. “Every time I put it on I am playing for the people I love with my best friends. I am extremely grateful for all the memories I have made while wearing blue and white.

Sophomore Jolie Weinschreider and junior Jenna Italiano both spoke following Kaplan, extolling the seniors as great teammates, role models and friends. Blue Devil underclassmen stood nearby on the court. Tears welled up in the eyes of players. Emotions were hard to control.

“Wearing a Blue Devil jersey is something I’ll forever be thankful for,” Bender said. “Every time I get the opportunity to, it means I get the chance to play alongside of my chosen family. The memories I’ve made while wearing Huntington across my chest are ones worth a lifetime.”

Following the ceremony, the Blue Devils went out and battled Newfield. A postgame party was held in the cafeteria with an extensive array of food choices and desserts. The festivities stretched to 10 p.m. before the crowd started heading off to their cars.

The four seniors will never forget this night or their association with Huntington High School and the Blue Devils.

“Being a part of the Blue Devil family is something I will always be thankful for,” Maixner said. “I’ll forever cherish every second I’ve had wearing a Blue Devil uniform. I’ve made such amazing friendships and have so many great memories. I’m going miss being a part of such an amazing team!”