Flores crowned Mr. Hammonton 2023
Hammonton High School (HHS) presented Mr. Hammonton 2023 at the HHS Performing Arts Center on March 30. The theme for this year’s event is “The Mighty Gods of HHS,” where the contestants dressed up as their favorite mythological gods for the event. The contestants were then escorted by their female counterparts, who were all dressed up as women in mythology.
The event was hosted by Dani Drialo, Mackenna DeSilvo, Brianna Gazzara and Jenna Thibault and all introduced each contestant and the god that they dressed up as. There were four parts to the competition, which consisted of casual wear, swimwear, formal wear and talent acts competitions followed by final questions to the finalists.
The list of contestants with their act and counterpart are as follows: Aidan Ellis was dressed as Ares and was escorted by Riley Ruberton; Jack Cotton as Hephaestus and was escorted by Quinn Bonnan; Nicolas Spina as Eros and was escorted by Alyssa Cicatiello; Thomas Librizzi as Hermes and was escorted by Gracie Knapp; Paul Kalani as Helios and was escorted by Kamryn Bagnell; Sebastian Pangia as Hades and was escorted by Kayla Eanes; Cole Hermann as Apollo and was escorted by Yessica Barahona; Dante DiMatteo as Poseidon and was escorted by Kaylie Ranere; Eric Barts as Hercules and was escorted by Giada Palmieri; Kevin Watson as Dionysus and was escorted by Emma Peretti; and Jesus Flores as Zeus and was escorted by Sophia Vento.
The competition began with introductions, where each contestant went up to the microphone and said a pickup line to their female counterpart, getting laughs from the audience. The swimwear competition featured each duo in swimwear and doing a beach-related act, followed by the talent acts competition.
Some acts consisted of singing, or lip-syncing in that matter, dancing, magic shows and game shows. A few of the acts consisted of Aidan Ellis performing a rendition of “Cruisin’ for a Bruisin” from Disney Channel’s Teen Beach Movie, Jack Cotton dressing as Elvis Presley, Nicolas Spina and Alyssa Cicatiello performing a dance rendition and Sebastian Pangia doing a magic show.
HHS Senior Class Advisor Stacy Peretti, who along with senior class advisor Erin Vilimas, held meetings in February for those interested. They were given a detailed timeline of deadlines, where their talent descriptions and student profiles were due by March 6 and had to secure their own costumes and props by March 22. The schedule was demanding due to the student participation in other activities but Peretti praised the students for their funny and receptive nature.
“We had four formal practices in the evening and a dress rehearsal. This was very demanding especially since so many are involved in sports and other school activities. All students involved were a true pleasure to work with. They were funny, respectful and always receptive to the structure that Mrs. Vilmas and I had for them,” Peretti said.
After an intermission and the remaining talent acts and the five finalists, Jesus Flores was crowned Mr. Hammonton 2023. Flores was dressed as Zeus and competed in a game show act with other students, who brought out laughs from the audience for his performance with his witty humor. Peretti described Flores as a fantastic student and a passionate learner.
“I have Jesus in class and he has always proven to be a fantastic student, passionate about whatever he is learning. It was nice seeing him outside of the classroom and to get out of his comfort zone and have fun,” Peretti said.