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HMHS Winter Festival
Tuesday, 12/19/2017

6:00 pm at HMHS Courtyard
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Third Tuesday of every month September through May/June, except December
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Mae and Jon Batchelor Support HMHS Teams and Some Very Special Grandchildren

For most of the past six years, on a Tuesday or Thursday evening in January, February, or March, Mae (’54) and Jon (’55) Batchelor could be found in a gymnasium. They have been among the most vociferous and committed fans drawn to HMHS basketball games. This is more than just a hometown or alumni connection to HMHS athletics. They come without fail to support their grandchildren who have starred in high school athletics.

Between 2011 and 2015, their twin grandsons, Rob and Nick DePersia were stalwart members of the HMHS boys basketball squad. Both boys scored more than a thousand points in their HMHS careers and seem bound to one day join their granddad, Jon, in the HMHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Jon was a three-sport star, lettering in varsity football, basketball, and baseball during his HMHS years.

Jon has fond memories of his own playing days but watching the grandchildren succeed has been its own reward. Jon described the experience as, “Awesome, one of the greatest things that Mae and I have been able to do is to follow our grandchildren and their athletic careers.” Rob and Nick are continuing to enjoy success at Rowan where Rob leads the team in assists and Nick has twice been named NJAC player of the week this season. Jon explained , “We attend Rowan home games and watch all the away games on video.”

When asked about the moment that they found most thrilling, Jon quickly recalled an amazing comeback win that the boys helped to ignite over Paulsboro during their junior year. The team was down by eighteen in the third quarter, playing in Paulsboro and found a way to win.

Jon and Mae’s good fortune does not end here. Today, there is a second pair of DePersia twins making their way through HMHS. The twins are sophomores. Natalie is a three-sport athlete who excels in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. Mikey is a starting point guard for the HMHS boys varsity where he is averaging 15 points and 8 assists per game. Mikey also plays lacrosse.

I found Jon and Mae at their usual mid-court seats at HMHS in late February. One of the first things that you notice is the stat sheet that Mae keeps for her grandchildren during their games. Mae said, “I have kept these stats since the kids were very little. We love coming to support our grandchildren.” Judging by the post-game hugs from Mikey and Natalie for their grandparents, that support and the love is deeply appreciated.

 

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