Howell High School’s homecoming week was Sept 30 through Oct 4. Students and staff celebrated the football team’s return to their home stadium, John Dukes Memorial Field, with festivities and spirit days throughout the week.
The dance, the parade, and the big homecoming game against Canton started with a bang during Spirit Week. Kicking off with twin day, the homecoming court couples twinned with each other and other friends and couples all throughout the school dressed alike. Tuesday was character day, when students and teachers picked a character to dress up as, such as characters from Disney or the Avengers. Wednesday was color day. Each grade had a different color; the freshman wore green, sophomores wore gold, juniors wore white, and seniors wore black. Thursday was Hawaiian day, resulting in flowered shirts, leis, and coconut cups covering the school. Finally, Friday was green and gold day. Most students and teachers could be found wearing green and gold face paint or bandanas, and students and staff rooted in support of the football team at the pep rally that afternoon.
At the pep rally, many groups performed, like the band, the award-winning pom-pon squad, and the Howell High cheerleaders. The band performed first, including drumline, baton twirlers, and the color guard team. They riled up the crowd before student section leaders introduced this years fall sports.
“We’ve been practicing this routine since the very first practice in June. It was more of just an adrenaline rush, there was a little bit of anxiety with dropping your flags, but that’s true with any performance,” sophomore colorguard team member Alyssa Konesky said.
Football players bursted through the doors of the gymnasium where the rally was being held. With one of the biggest sport teams at the school, crowds went crazy for players, especially considering their game that night. They had practiced the plays at this game for weeks on end.
“We train six days a week, after school for three hours. I’m always nervous before, but as soon as you hit the field, all the nervousness goes away. It felt great, coming back to that home field with a win. Having a perfect record at home, that’s always the goal,” junior Ethan Lassitter said.
The record-breaking pom squad performed during half-time at the game, as well as performing at the pep rally. This was one of their first gigs of the year, considering this was the first home game of the year for the team.
“We learned this routine in June at pom camp, and we’ve been practicing it ever since. We usually just keep the performances at one game or competition. I felt really ready, because we’ve practiced it a lot so it’s pretty much just muscle memory at this point, like your brain goes on autopilot,” senior Maegan Bandemer said.
The homecoming dance, however, didn’t run as smoothly. While students behaved themselves for the most part, there was some issue with the playlist for the dance. Students may notice that the songs played were somewhat inappropriate.
“The leadership playlist never got sent to Schrock, so Schrock couldn’t approve it. The DJ did the playlist that actually played that night all on his own,” junior Zach Metz said.
The leadership group was also at the center of parade planning, including floats and drivers. For the most part, the parade was pulled off due to students’ hard work and planning.
“This year and last year I’ve run it with leadership. We plan the parade from point A to point B and are 100% involved in the planning process, but we usually have the chair people that oversee everything,” senior Cayla Nichols said.