Homecoming Traditions: Holding Fast and Looking Ahead


Ava Wells, Staff

Homecoming week is a week-long event everyone can be a part of. The whole community takes part in homecoming week. Many of the students from the elementary schoo to the high school enjoy participating in the dress-up days as well as going to the homecoming football game. In addition, the high schoolers enoy participating in the dance. It’s a week long celebration enjoyed by all. However,  many students, staff  and community members envision different reasons for celebrating homecoming. Some of these differences are due to the fact that each person is a part of a different generation or because each person sees the display of homecoming  done differently.

Most of us remember the hype before the homecoming football game, the excitement as we waited for our date to pick us up for the dance or that one classmate who always had the most outrageous outfit during dress-up days. Schools across the nation have celebrated the tradition of homecoming for decades, which begs the question: “Why?” The week of homecoming for Holdrege consisted of a week of dress up days as well as multiple sporting activities. The week generally ends with a pep rally to get the students excited about the football game that night and the remaining sporting events for each athletic season. In previous years, Holdrege High School has also had a parade after school for the whole community to partake in. This final day of celebration ends after the football game and the crowning of homecoming queen and king has taken place. Most of the fans that watched the football game stick around to watch the coronation. To finish off the night, the high school students are invited to go to the homecoming dance. These activities have commonly remained  the same throughout recent years. Bob Drews, the principal at HHS, said as years progress homecoming tends to become more prominent because the current high school generation tends to take things to a greater proportion. He also stated that as time goes on there has been more structure and regulation throughout the school. It has become easier to spread information via technology such as email, twitter, and other social media platforms. This makes it easier to create structure when planning different events such as the dance, dress-up days, and the football game. The students aren’t the only group that has a say in homecoming week.The staff, student council and the cheer squad are also in charge of homecoming week behind the scenes. 

The high school student council coordinates most of homecoming week together and organizes it all. Student Council President Jennessa Landin, says that the “student council is in charge of determining dress-up days for the students and staff, organizing the pep rally, and regulating the dance as well as cleaning up after it is over.” Landin says that the student council’s role when helping with homecoming is to, ”…pump up the student body and get them involved with school spirit, as well as to encourage the students to positively support their school throughout the week.”  Their main goal is to give students a homecoming experience that will last forever and will continue to leave a legacy of school spirit for future generations. Many students have been thinking  about this week since middle school, and the student council wants to make their expectations a reality.  Similarly, cheer captain Lauren Titus, says the cheer squad’s role when it comes to homecoming week is to “…participate at the pep rally by performing cheers and getting the school and student body excited and involved in the dress-up days by having the cheer squad members participate and encourage others to, also.”  She also states that the cheerleaders main goal is to up the energy of the school by staying involved and and enlivening the students to do the same thing. Without these two groups we wouldn’t see the participation or energy in homecoming week like do. These are the ways that Holdrege high school and the community are currently recoginizing homecoming, but over the years the ways in which we have celebrated it have evolved. 

Bob Drews said that homecoming was originally created to encourage high school alumni to come back and support different sports teams, not necessarily football. It was established to inspire people to return to their roots. Drews also stated that in past years there would be a bonfire that the students and teachers would gather around to celebrate the school and encourage school spirit. Maybe this is a tradition some day in the future we could return to. This student is just one example of how the ideas surrounding the celebration of homecoming have changed, evolved:  Ella Roach, a junior at HHS, says that homecoming stands for unity as a school. She said that the purpose of it is to get the school involved and working together. Mr. Drews added that our school and student body do a good job of representing what homecoming stands for. He says that HHS demonstrates a positive outlook on school spirit. Roach has the same positive outlook toward our school; she says that we do a great job of getting everyone involved. Both were unanimous in their belief that our school demonstrates pride and spirit in a very positive way. 

Homecoming spirit can be displayed in many diverse  ways and HHS does an incredible job of demonstrating our unity as a school. It is a significant week to most high school students at HHS, and it wouldn’t be done without the work done behind the scenes. From the dress-up days to the dance, homecoming will always be an exciting week to be a part of. As years pass on, we can look forward to new ideas to show school spirit and ways for alumni to return to their roots in future years.