Wide Awakes

History of the Freeport Wide Awakes

The Freeport Wide Awakes drill team dates back to the 1930's. These early teams were competitive and became one of the top Old Fashion teams during the 1950's and 1960's. They also competed in the motorized drills with their "B" Rig. In the late 1960's during the Viet Nam War, the team was disbanded due to the lack of young members.

In 1979 the team was reformed with the assistance of Ex­Chief Donald Mauersberger of the Freeport Dead End kids, competing in the Old Fashion drills. Using the old equipment that was used during the earlier years, the team was immediately competitive and almost beat the Dead End Kids in the 2nd Battalion Drill missing this accomplishment by a mere 1 1/2 points. During the years from 1979-1993 the Wide Awakes were constantly finishing in the top five teams of every drill they entered. On August 1, 1993 the Wide Awakes finally became one of the elite Old Fashion teams in New York State when they set the State Record for Running Hose with a time of 10.09 seconds, which still is the State Record today. In the early 1990's, the Wide Awakes were finishing right behind the Dead End Kids or the Malverne Chipmunks in the State Old Fashion drill.

On July 26, 1996 the Wide Awakes finally won their first tournament by finishing in a tie for 1st Place with the Oceanside Misfits at the Oceanside drill. Two weeks later on August 10, 1996 at the combined New York State Old Fashion and 2nd Battalion Drill hosted by Baldwin, the Wide Awakes beat the defending State Champs and 2nd Battalion Champs, the Dead End Kids, and finally became the New York State Champs and the 2nd Battalion Champs.

On July 7, 1997 the Wide Awakes won their first Nassau County Drill. At the New York State Old Fashion Drill held on August 2, 1997 at Merrick, the Wide Awakes were down by 14 points early in the competition, when they set the State Records in Running Hose Replacement, with a time of 17.96 seconds and Efficiency Replacement, with a time of 21.82 seconds during a remarkable comeback to tie the North Bellmore Rinky Dinks as New York State Co-Champions. In November 1997 at the Nassau County Awards Dinner held in Manhasset, the Wide Awakes were presented with the honor of capturing the Nassau County Old Fashion Total Points trophy for the 1997 season.

On July 12, 1998 during the Nassau County Drill held in Hempstead, the Wide Awakes broke their State Record in Efficiency Replacement with a time of 21.72 seconds. On July 9, 1999 the Wide Awakes won their 2nd Nassau County Drill held at Woodmere.

During 2000 and 2001, the Wide Awakes had several of the team members retire and started the rebuilding process. It did not take long for the team to become competitive again.

On September 11, 2001 the Wide Awakes lost our heart and soul of the team, Ex-Captain Richard T. Muldowney Jr. in the Terrorist Attacks at the World Trade Center. The team unanimously decided to keep Richie's memory alive by hosting the Richard T. Muldowney Jr. Memorial Old Fashion Drill in Freeport on June 30, 2002.

During the 2002 season the Wide Awakes placed 3rd at the State drill, 2nd at the Nassau County drill, 2nd at the Rockville Centre Invite, and 3rd at the Muldowney Memorial drill. On June 27, 2003 at the 4th Battalion drill in Rockville Centre, the Wide Awakes set the State Record for the 2 into 1 contest with a time of 7.84 seconds. During the remainder of the 2003 season they took 1st Place at the Rockville Centre Invite, I" Place at the 2nd Battalion drill, 1st Place at the Muldowney Memorial drill, and 2nd Place at both the State and Nassau County drills. During the 2004 season they took 1st Place at the Nassau County drill, 1st Place at the Muldowney Memorial drill, 2nd Place at the State drill, 2nd Place at the 2nd Battalion drill, and 2nd Place at the Rockville Centre Invite. During the 2005 season they took 1st Place at the Muldowney Memorial drill, 2nd Place at the State drill, 2nd Place at the Fairben Memorial drill, and 3rd Place at the Nassau County drill.

The 2006 season turned out to be a remarkable year. The team could not get together for any practices due to the members work schedules. This caused the team to miss the Nassau County and Fairben Memorial drills. On July 21, 2006 at the Rockville Centre Invite, the team finally fielded a 10 man team which consisted of four members of the 1979 team. This was to be an interesting night as the Wide Awakes beat the Woodlanders by 2 points on their own track, with a 1st place run in Buckets. This set the stage for the New York State Old Fashion drill held on July 23, 2006 in Babylon. The State drill ended up being a battle between the six time defending State Champs, the Rockville Centre Woodlanders, the West Islip Raiders, and the Wide Awakes. The Wide Awakes pulled out a 1 point victory over both the Woodlanders and the Raiders with another 1st Place Bucket run and were crowned the State Champs for the third time in team history. The season continued with no practice and they took 1st Place at the 2nd,3rd, & 4th Battalion Combined drill held in Woodmere on August 6, 2006, taking 36 out of possible 40 points. During the 2nd Battalion part of the drill they took 1st Place by taking 39 out of possible 40 points. On September 10, 2006 at the Muldowney Memorial drill held in Freeport, the Wide Awakes took 1st Place for the 4th straight year. This feat finished off an unbelievable year in which the team became the first Wide Awakes team in team history to win every drill that they

entered during a season.