WARREN, Mich. — Driveby birthday celebrations are all the rage these days.
The De La Salle Collegiate bowling team took it a step further on Saturday, celebrating its seniors with a parade around Macomb County and drive-in tributes.
"So we — the mom's and I — decided that the seniors needed their 'Due' just in case we don't get to have a banquet in the traditional sense," Pilots head coach Jay Lang said. "And when I say 'We' I really mean the moms. They were instrumental in putting this together."
A handful of teammates — including members of the junior varsity teams — and Lang, along with JV coaches Andrew Burke and Jerry Robert, met at a park and proceeded to the home of senior Luke Childs in Washington Township. There, Lang presented Childs with a collage created by the mothers — with all his teammates, family and friends watching from a safe distance away.
The parade then headed south, gaining steam and a number of cars along the way.
"We started out with about 12 vehicles and grew to 30-plus by the time we hit Warren," Lang said.
All five seniors, including Childs, Andrew Rusu, Salvatore Aiello, Jacob Cosart, and Alexander Thorn, were honored by their coach in a short speech. Childs was recently awarded the Chris Buryta Scholar Athlete award (CHSL) and earned Academic All-State honors, as did Rusu. Thorn earned second-team all-state and second-team all-county honors and both he and Aiello were named All-Catholic. Cosart, who was a key member of the JV-A team this season, was working when the parade came to town. So he was honored outside of Schott's Market.
The parade ended in a large parking lot in Warren, to accommodate the large number of people. Pictures were taken, while practicing social distance measures of course.
"To me it was very important to give the seniors a proper send-off because I wasn't sure if we were going to be able to hold a banquet before they leave for college in the fall," said Lang, who still hopes to be able to do so. "We had tremendous support from the underclassmen and their families, which just goes to show you how much this team is more like a family. I think the seniors were all very moved by the gesture, especially during these trying times."