Recent Changes Made to Homecoming

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Recent Changes Made to Homecoming

Cheerleaders at the 2019 fall pep rally

Cheerleaders at the 2019 fall pep rally

Ainsley Burke

Cheerleaders at the 2019 fall pep rally

Ainsley Burke

Ainsley Burke

Cheerleaders at the 2019 fall pep rally

Philip Blumberg, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Our school recently celebrated Homecoming, a weeklong event that instills school pride and helps bring in the new school year. Students dressed up for specific spirit days during the school week and then gathered for a pep rally on Friday, followed by a barbecue and parade that preceded the football game later that day. The week culminated with the Homecoming dance Saturday night, where hundreds of students flocked into the gym for a good time. 

In an effort to better the community, Homecoming Week has made some significant changes in recent years. The biggest difference in this year’s Homecoming was the change in the pep rally format. This year’s freshman class is significantly larger than last year’s senior class, resulting in the school being more crowded than ever – last year’s senior class was around 400 students, while there are over 600 freshmen this year. While this means classes and hallways are now more congested, the school also faced a big problem regarding the pep rally: unlike previous years, the entire school could no longer fit into the main gymnasium, meaning two separate pep rallies had to be held.

Separating the freshman and sophomore classes from the junior and senior classes was far from ideal, but it was the only plausible solution to an unfortunate situation. Although the Student Government Executive Board had no choice but to make the decision, freshman health teacher and Student Government sponsor Stephanie Meadows thinks that the split rallies did have a positive outcome. 

“The underclassmen were able to be more vocal and more spirited, without having the upperclassmen there. It was cool to see the sophomores really excited and energetic. I think if all four classes were together, that would not be the case,” Meadows said. 

Students had mixed feelings on the two rallies. Some favorite acts were only performed at the later pep rally for juniors and seniors, which was disappointing to underclassmen. 

“Last year, my favorite part of the pep rally was the team dances. I especially remember the football team dance being awesome. This year they only performed for the second one, so we missed out,” sophomore Billy Baldwin said. 

One student liked having the extra space this year, as they thought the gym was too congested last year.

“The gym was a lot less crowded this year, which was nice. I remember last year we were all crammed in there real tight. The schedule this year was really weird though, and the pep rally just felt totally different with only two classes there. Although I have to admit, I preferred how it worked this year,” junior Simon Powers said. 

The change in the pep rally format marks the second consecutive year with a big change to Homecoming week. Last year, the spirit walk into the football game was debuted as a replacement to a parade, which had been around for roughly ten years. 

“Over the years, we started off with these awesome floats, but then they just started throwing them together, like a sign on a car. There wasn’t really any commitment to kids working on the floats. It became a bit of a hassle – we needed the trailer, a hitch, all that stuff. There was much enthusiasm from the community, like the little elementary school kids, but not much from [Yorktown] students themselves. So two years ago, the class sponsors sat down and decided to see what we could do differently. They came up with the idea of the spirit walk,” Meadows said.

The spirit walk was more successful in year two, as more students participated. Any school club had the opportunity to  create a banner and walk in the parade, ultimately leading to more clubs participating this year. There were also more spectators, as they came directly from the barbecue held in the courtyard right before.

2019 Homecoming was a jubilant success. With more than 1,500 tickets sold, more people came to the dance than ever before, and students had positive feedback about the entire week. Two recent changes made it different than before, but it was undoubtedly successful.

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