ELMSFORD, N.Y. - As the Hamilton High School girls basketball team continues its winning ways, it has picked up some special fans: Elmsford Mayor Robert Williams and the Elmsford Police Department.
Williams and the police department have greeted and escorted the Red Raiders girls back into Elmsford in the last two weekends as the team won the Section 1 Class C championship in White Plains and then the New York State Southeast Regional title in Long Island.
"The Board of Trustees and I are very proud of the team and how wonderful they have played this season," Williams said. "When they played at the County Center for the Class C Championship, I attended the game. Prior to the game, I advised the Police Commissioner (Frank Rescigno) to have the cars on patrol that day to be ready to do an escort from the County Center to the high school if they won."
The Elmsford Police positioned a car in front of the team bus and cars blocked every intersection from
the County Center to the high school for that hero's return home. Williams repeated the tribute after the Red Raiders won the regional title Saturday.
"We had a car wait for them at the 287-95 intersection, and when the bus got to the car, we escorted the bus to the Elmsford exit," Willliams said. "When the bus got off Exit 4 in Elmsford, we blocked every intersection from there to the high school. It was priceless to see the smiles on the players, coaches and parents faces when we arrived back at the school both times."
Hamilton coach Benjamin Carter, who has been preparing his girls for this weekend's state playoff Final Four, said the first escort was a surprise. His girls are thrilled with the reception, he said.
"When we saw the police escort after the Sectionals, it was so beautiful," Carter said. "It really took us by surprise. Then, when we won the region, (Mayor Williams) called us and told us they would meet the bus on the highway. Wow. Everyone was excited. We're busy getting ready for this weekend. The support has been great."
The Red Raiders travel to Troy this weekend to compete in the state championship semifinals Saturday and possibly the finals with a shot at winning a state Class C title Sunday. Win or lose, they can expect another hero's welcome back in Elmsford.