Football Homecoming!


Laura Mayhew

The Mr. Blackcat candidates stand waiting for their competitions to begin with varying levels of confidence. From left to right, Shane Miller (10), Eli Aslinger (10), Huston Bradford (12), Braden Lee (12), Conner Brotherton (11), and Josh Hunt (11).

Abigail Stookey, Writer

Lizzie Crouch on Tie Dye day, the day’s winner! (Miriah Allgier)

Fall homecoming week—a week of dress up days, pep rally competitions, and the peak of the football season!  The week was spent hyping up the school for the pep rally that rounded off that week, and the football game that night, with students throughout the school dressing up for spirit days with varying levels of enthusiasm.  While some students wore simple hoodies to match the theme, others went all out—such as Erin Watkins in her Fiona costume for Color War or Lizzie Crouch’s hipster style on Tie Dye Day—and won points for their grades!

Then at the end of the week, the pep rally rolled around!  Students were shuffled outside in chaotic bundles of classes down to the football field—as is the new tradition—and with that the games began!  The games were for class spirit points, grades pitted against grades, battling for the win.  Games did have to be a little different this year, of course, and not only because of the extra space outside.  They had to remain socially distanced activities; instead of games like scavenger hunt where everyone is in contact with each other’s things, they were less interactive, especially with the crowd in general.  This year our homecoming activities includes games such as obstacle course, tug of war, and finish the lyric.  And of course, there was the traditional Mr. Blackcat competition!

After introductions for each of this year’s sports teams were given—each member listed by name and given his or her moment in the spotlight—the sports were pitted against each other in a great tug-of-war tournament.  The softball girls put on an impressive show, winning by landslides against several boys’ teams, before unfortunately losing to the football team.  The win nearly in hand, the football boys were put against the challenge of their own teachers.  The struggle was the longest so far, but before long and with a powerful pull, the teachers toppled the football team, breaking into cheers alongside the excited crowd, Mr. Carver strutting across the field with fists punched triumphantly into the air.

Next up, the year’s homecoming candidates were walked down the track in pairs and introduced to the crowd, who had voted for those among them over the past week.  First came the freshman candidates, Grace Lewis and Carter Cheaney, followed by sophomores Rylie Rehkop and McCoy Clark, and juniors Layni Kinkead and Jake Williams.  Finally, the seniors walked down the track—far more in number than the previous grades—Arika Buxton and Ruben Benitez, Laci Francis and Nate Miller, Lexie Stamp and Patrick Sikes, Kristen Mungle and Leyton Boswell, and Larissa Kemp and Colton Francis.  However, we were kept in suspense because the winners wouldn’t be announced until that night’s game.

Tanner Berrey (9) nearing an only slightly clumsy end to his cartwheel. (Laura Mayhew)

The candidates introduced to us, we now switched gear to focus on the annual Mr. Blackcat competition!  The competitors stood lined up on the field before the crowd, Shane Miller and Eli Aslinger representing the sophomore class, seniors Houston Bradford and Brayden Lee standing between them and the junior representatives, Conner Brotherton and Josh Hunt.  Surprisingly, however, no freshman had stepped out onto the field, and so Mr. Carver gave the freshman one last chance for one of their number to step up.  After a short moment, Tim Holland and Tanner Berrey both stepped down to the field, then—to the furious outcry of every other grade—they were followed by a third representative in Marcos Navarrete.  The boys went through a series of challenges. We saw a talent show—where Brayden drew an on-the-spot recreation of Mr. Carver, Josh’s stanky leg dance had the juniors cheering him on, and Marcos dipped out of the competition when it came to his turn—an arm wresting competition in which the juniors chanted Josh’s and Conner’s names, despite Brayden’s almost inevitable win, and finally a Q&A!  The crowd’s cheers determined the winner, and Josh Hunt came out the winner after resounding agreement from the whole junior class.

Conner Brotherton (11) and Brayden Lee (12) during their arm wrestling match, one Brayden was quick to win despite the juniors chanting Conner’s name throughout. (Laura Mayhew)

Afterwards the spirit week’s daily winners were announced, each given a dollar for their win.  Another game which pitted the grades against each other was played, four members of each grade passing a sponge between each other, trying to fill a bucket full of water.  The sophomores came out on top, winning another point for their grade.  There was a game of capture the flag stretched out across the entire football field, followed up by a game of finish the lyrics where Noah Brown and 2019’s choir led the crowd in a performance of “Country Roads.”  After a game of freeze tag similarly spread out across the football field—teachers joining in alongside their students—and a final word from Mr. Gibbs, the students made their way back to the high school.  And while some would head home, others would remain to await the football game of that night…