Tap your paws three times and think there’s no place like Home(coming)
Packing in two pep rallies, a week of dress-up spirit days, a campus decorated like a theme park, a football game and a dance into a couple weeks is no easy feat, but if any school can do it, it’s Northwood.
Northwood’s 2016 Homecoming, Dancing through the Decades, was a result of the combined efforts of the student body. It celebrated our school, honored old traditions and created new memories. Some of those memories included the crowning of seniors Stefan Hendley and Kellie May as Homecoming King and Queen, a win against Irvine High School at the Homecoming Game and a major dance.
“I loved the homecoming dance,” freshman Leah Kong said. “I thought the school looked fantastic once all the class councils had decorated. The pep rally dances were really fun too, so I thought that was really cool!”
Following the announcement of the theme, Northwood officially kicked off the festivities with a pep rally on Friday, Sept. 30, where the Homecoming Court nominations were presented.
This year’s Court included Michael Bellas, Koby Park, Troy Charbonnet, Kevin Zhou and Hendley for King and Sydney Griffith, Claire Berger, Kristen Chan, Lucy Bowers and May for Queen.
Throughout the following week, students built up the enthusiasm with vintage and retro fashion from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The campus was decked out with colorful decorations representing classic pop culture and music from the past, thanks to the hard work of ASB and Class Councils.
“We introduced a lot of new elements with the decorations and props this year and everyone involved in the process worked really hard to produce a result we were all proud of,” senior and ASB Vice President Justin Lai said. “We really tried to publicize our dress-up themes, and held lunch fests every day to connect with the students even more.”
Project Oak, a 126-piece mural of iconic figures from the 50s through 80s, was a new addition to this year’s set of decorations. A variety of students worked on separate pieces of the image, which was revealed piece by piece.
“The purpose of this mural was to not only create an awesome work of art and decoration for Homecoming, but also to show what Northwood can do,” Lai said. “This provided a chance for students to be involved in the Homecoming process and take on an alternate perspective in the building the community!”
At a second pep rally on Friday, Oct. 7, Hendley was crowned Homecoming King, and the Homecoming spirit grew as students anticipated the football game and dance, bolstered by performances from marching band and pep squad.
“I feel really happy and especially surprised that I was crowned king. It was special to me that my mom decided to come to the pep rally, so it was nice getting crowned with her there,” Hendley said. “And after being crowned the amount of people who came up to me and congratulated me and told me I deserved it was overwhelming.”
Friday night, T-wolves donned school colors and packed the stands of Portola High School to cheer on their varsity football team against Irvine High School. Through chants of “D-E-F E-N-D, defend the den!” and “Ooh! Ah! You wish you were a T-wolf!” students, teachers and parents watched a Beatles-themed halftime show by the marching band and color guard, the crowning of May as Homecoming Queen and a historic 29-28 win against Irvine for the third year in a row.
“Being crowned was really a surreal experience, and I was not expecting to win at all. I was up on that stage with four other, absolutely amazing girls and it was so humbling to be crowned,” May said. “Something special about the crowning was the poster that had my name on it. My name was made out of a bunch of small little pictures of me in ASB, track, or just with my friends. It was such a sweet idea, and it made the whole experience more special!”
Pumped up by the “three-peat” victory on the football field, about 1000 students returned to school on Saturday night for the Homecoming Dance. Although students sported poodle skirts, tie-dye and leg warmers, they left the macarena and the moonwalk in the past, instead opting to rock out to modern tunes. As they danced the night away, the sun set on Northwood’s 18th Homecoming.
“Despite what everyone says about senioritis, first semester is still kind of stressful,” senior Carolyn Hu said. “So homecoming week, the game and the dance were all really good opportunities to unwind with friends and feel nostalgic about our soon-to be four years at Northwood. It was memorable for all the right reasons and a lot of fun.”