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It’s Time to “Turn Up!”

Looking inside the high school for the 2023 Football Homecoming Week
Keeley Walker
The Football team gathered for their picture before their individual introductions.

This year, our football homecoming took a different approach than before. Firstly, there was a theme for homecoming week, “Turn Up!” For those who don’t know the meaning, it means get excited and get pumped up. The second thing different this year is the homecoming parade was brought back after 10 years of absence. The parade featured all of the high school sports teams, different floats from each school, and local companies. The parade was held on October 8th and was followed by the band “Broseph Tucker,” along with many games and food trucks in Azalea Park.

The high school STUCO came up with different dress-up days that each school participated in. Inside the high school, each class participates in the competition for the “spirit stick.” The points are scored through total participation in dress-up from each class, dress-up voting on Instagram, decorations in the hallways, and games hosted during the pep rally.

On Monday, the dress-up day was “Giddy-Up!” On the STUCO Instagram, the points for each grade are updated every day. The seniors won the hall decorations as well as dress-up voting, landing them at the top with 5 points, juniors following with 2, freshman 2, and sophomores 1. Tuesday’s dress-up was “Ball-Up,” meaning sports attire. The spirit points for the day totaled a tie between the juniors and seniors at 7 points, freshmen at 5, and sophomores at 2.



Leading into the most participated day, Wednesday’s dress-up was “Grown-Up!” Many students went all out for this day, some even bringing walkers, glasses, wheelchairs, and more. At the end of the day, the seniors moved up to 1st with 11 points, the juniors right behind at 9. The freshman came in 3rd with 8 points, sophomores stayed in last with 3. Thursday’s dress-up was “Wake-Up!” Students could wear their pajamas, as well as some wearing slippers, bringing in blankets. Some even brought in pillows. At the end of the day, the seniors stayed just three points ahead of the juniors , with the seniors at 15 and the juniors in 2nd at 12. The freshman came in at 10, and the sophomores down at 4.

The final day of the week held the pep rally and the game. The dress-up day was “Squad-Up!” Students dressed all out in black and gold, some going as far as painting their whole face gold and putting gold spray in their hair. Before the pep rally, the score to a tie between the juniors and seniors, promising some very interesting games during the pep rally. The freshman stayed in 3rd at 13, and the sophomores came in at 5. That afternoon the pep rally was held in the gym due to rain, but that did not change how hyped the students were.

While students were walking in for the rally, the band played their parade tune “Bang Bang,” as well as the fight song. Once Mrs. Lawson started the pep rally, each sports team was introduced as a whole, then each student individually. According to Coach Williams, the school spirit was not quite there yet. Once the band performed their feature bone squad, that factor changed. It got the crowd excited and pumped up.

While the 5 homecoming candidate pairs walked out, the energy level rose as each was presented. The duos consisted of Tim DeSanto and Grace Lewis, Braden Braswell and Dani West, Mattie Sites and Gage Betts, Ava Penuel and Carter Cheaney, and finally Gabbie McFadden and Ruben Pirtle.



After the candidates were introduced, the games began. The first game was the scavenger hunt, which is usually played at every basketball pep rally. There was a very tight competition between Braden Braswell (12) and Terri Duffel (12), but Terri was the one who scored for the seniors, their points rising to 18. The next game was between the homecoming candidates. Each candidate had to blow up a balloon, run across the gym to their partner, and pop the balloon using anything but their hands.

The female candidates did exceptionally well; however, the boys, not so much. Braden accidentally ended up knocking over his partner Dani, while not even popping the balloon. Tim, however, was not able to blow up the balloon, giving the school and Mrs. Reutzel a very good laugh. In the end Mattie and Gage won, it being a close call with Ruben and Gabbie.

The next game was the annual tug of war. Freshmen went up first against the sophomores, the sophomores coming out on top. The juniors went up against the seniors next to see who would go against the sophomores. Coming to an extremely close game, the juniors just pulled through, lining them up next with the sophomores. After some very impressive moves from the seniors, the juniors just barely won, tying their points for the spirit stick back up with the seniors.

We then moved on to Mr. Blackcat and Junior Blackcat. The freshman Mr. Blackcat candidates were Coach Retuzel and Kasen Whitener; the sophomore Mr. Blackcats were Mr. Daniels and Carter Hale. The junior class Mr. Blackcats were Coach Barton and DJ Baca, and finally, the senior Mr. Blackcats were the legendary Coach Tipton and Braden Braswell. With some very interesting “Would You Rather” questions and a display of “talent,” Coach Barton and DJ were voted the winner, putting the juniors ahead of the seniors for the spirit stick.

Finally, the last game of the day was the human ring toss. The game was very close between two pairs, DJ and Ryan Souden and Dani and Katie Crites (12). Devastating to the juniors, Ryan missed a throw, giving Dani and Katie the chance to overtake them and win the game. At this point, the juniors and seniors were, once again, tied for the spirit stick.

To end the eventful day and break the tie, Mrs. Lawson finished off the pep rally with the scream off. It was an extremely close call between each grade, but in the end, the juniors pulled out on top, securing the spirit stick for the class.


That night the Blackcat football team played against St. Francis Borgia; however, they did not win the game. The next day was the homecoming dance, and the theme was “Cloud 9.” Many students participated, making it a very exciting dance. Many of the gym boys like Noah Bacon (11), Ethan Bellew (11), Alex Amberger (11), and Owen Henson (11) were carried around on each other’s shoulders, making the dance quite interesting. As the dance ended, so did the festivities and events of the exciting week.

This year’s homecoming has been one of the best in a while thanks to everyone’s participation. We want to thank STUCO for all of their hard work this year and for adjusting so well to all of the challenges we faced this year. Let us have another amazing homecoming in 2024!

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About the Contributor
Keeley Walker
Keeley Walker, Editor
Keeley Walker is a junior who was moved up from a first-year publication student to head editor for both Scratchpad and Yearbook. Not only involved in publications, she is on color guard throughout the school year and plays baritone during the concert season. Some of her club participation is FBLA and DECA, filling the role of Vice President for both, and FBLA District 12 Secretary. She is also an active member of Beta and Upward Bound. She is currently working on her Associate of Applied Science in Business Management degree, with the plan of starting her own photography business.