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Hampton students gearing up for Homecoming 2018.

Hampton’s Homecoming football game against Penn Hills is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at Fridley Field.

Prior to kickoff, the 16th annual Talbot Tailgate will be held from 3:30 to 7 p.m. in the rear parking lot of the Hampton Middle School, where food and games are planned. Tickets for the game can be bought at the Tailgate Information Booth, $6 for adults and $2 for students. All tickets sold after 6 p.m. at the stadium will cost $6.

Tailgaters will also get to vote on the Honorary Talbot Mascot, an annual canine-themed contest sponsored by the Central Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, according to Amanda Rihn, the Talbot Mascot Chair.

There will be five dog finalists on which to vote at the Talbot Tailgate, one representing each of the district’s schools. These final five were determined by students, who voted on them via monetary donations at their lunch periods last week. Those with the highest earnings are the tailgate finalists.

The dog who wins Friday’s vote will be named
2018-19 Honorary Talbot Mascot. Last year’s winner was, coincidentally, named Hampton.

All money collected this year by Central and at the Tailgate voting will go toward the Will Power Pilarski fund to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Rihn said. While Central holds the contest, they invite the other schools to join on the fundraiser, she said.

That effort is in honor of Will Pilarski, a former student at Central who passed away in December at age 10 after a battle with brain cancer.

As he was a former classmate, it gives the students a local, meaningful connection.

“He would’ve been a fifth-grader. It’s something the students can really grasp,” said Rihn of Allison Park.

As far as gametime goes, Bill Cardone, HTSD athletic director, said it will be a challenging one as Penn Hills is a “very good team with several Division I athletes.”

“The homecoming game versus Penn Hills will be a very tough game as they are the second-ranked team in the WPIAL and third in the PIAA,” he said.

“This is the first time we have played them as they dropped down in classification from last year from 6A to 5A,” he said.

While fans cheer and support their Hampton football team, they’ll also get to see the halftime show which is when the 2018-19 homecoming court will be presented, according to Kevin Green, a teacher at the high school and student council advisor.

This year’s court includes Joseph Cafaro, Harper Cook, Rahul Kothapalli, Tejas Badgujar, Brandon Sickles, Evan Waldschmidt, John Nelligan, Kyle Constantakis, Kero Kamel and Calen Cummins.

Green said Hampton’s Class of 1978 will also be recognized at this game. Alumni from that class will crown this year’s king and queen, he said.

Tailgaters are encouraged to park at the high school and take a free shuttle bus that will be on rotation there, due to limited parking at the middle school and Fridley Field.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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