Perhaps the most anticipated week of the school year, homecoming spirit week made it’s return after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19 and remote learning. While changes were made to stay COVID friendly, the principles of the week remained the same, and the level of competition was at an all time high. Every grade wanted to obtain the most spirit points throughout the 5 days leading up to the Homecoming dance, but with half of the grades being inexperienced with spirit week, many were left wondering exactly how to earn their way to victory.
During spirit week, each day has a different theme, and students dress up accordingly. This year, the days were neon day, sports day, generation day, class color day, and blue/gold day. Normally, each student in costume for the day would need to sign in at the fieldhouse before 8am, however this year looked different with 1st period teachers tallying up the number of students dressed up, and submitting those numbers to be added to the daily total. Specifically on class color day, double points were given to the seniors wearing the custom class of 2022 designed shirt. By the end of Friday, the juniors accumulated the most dress-up points, with 1,520.
Another way to use costumes to gain spirit points is by performing a skit. In years past, while all students were gathered in the fieldhouse in the morning, the panel of teacher judges would be set up at a table, and anyone could enter the center of the circle of students and perform a skit. While teachers remained the judges of the skits, they became completely virtual this year, being modeled after a TikTok. The top 5 skits were announced the following day, with 1st place winning 25 points, 2nd winning 20, 3rd winning 15, 4th winning 10, and 5th winning 5. Another major skit change was that while skits used to be every day, Friday’s blue and gold day was not open for skits.
The most popular, and exciting way to earn class points comes in the form of the class color day games assembly. For about an hour on Thursday, all classes would usually filter into specific sections of the gym, and student-selected teams or individuals would compete in various games, trying to win their grade the most amount of points possible. This year, the games assembly took place on the football field, and the games were modified due to the change in scenery. Returning games included the puzzle challenge, tug-o-war, and the partner obstacle course, while the new games were the frisbee cup, pumpkin relay, blanket flip, dizzy bats, field goal challenge, and ball pass (which was skipped due to time constraints).
Each player/team that placed would earn a certain amount of points for their grade. In the end, although the juniors seemingly had a dominant performance winning the assembly with 145 points, the seniors weren’t far behind, coming in 2nd place with 135 points. The freshmen and sophomores tied for 3rd place with 115 points.
Other opportunities for spirit points arise with donations, including the food drive and spirit links.
Spirit links are typically available for purchase through the end of the day Thursday, and outside of being virtual, it remained one of the least changed aspects of spirit week. Spirit links could be purchased, with this years proceeds going to the Ellie Strong Foundation. The seniors raised the most money, with $2,449, winning 100 points for their grade.
“It was for a good cause (the Ellie strong foundation). Also it was nice to be able to contribute to my grade winning in spirit week,” said senior Gwen Pasowicz.
The food drive looked a little different this year, as each grade was given a different room as opposed to a shopping cart in the field house, but the heart of competition was still there. It was mainly a battle between the seniors and juniors, as the juniors donated the most cans on Wednesday, earning the bonus 50 points for their grade. However in the end, the seniors emerged victorious, grabbing 100 points, with the juniors (75 points), freshmen (50 points) and sophomores (25 points) following.
Attendance at certain events also counted for points. This year, the events were the NHS movie night following neon day, and the girls flag football game on thursday evening. Each person that checked in at the door was worth 1 point for their grade.
Every student is eager to earn points for their class, however sometimes lines are crossed, therefore there are several ways to lose spirit points as well. The biggest issue the school has seen during spirit week is harassment, typically in the form of aggressive or damaging tagging on class color day. While some students draw small lines on the arms of other students in washable marker, “marking” students of other grades with a different color, paint, permanent markers, silly string, and other materials have seen an increase in usage in recent years, which has caused students and families to file complaints in resonance to items being damaged, or rashes being formed on skin. The school responded by taking away substantial amounts of points from the grades of the guilty parties.
Despite spirit points looking a little different this year, the week was still a massive success as a total of 8,229 points were accumulated across the grades. The freshmen finished 4th with 1,722, sophomores in 3rd with 1,896, juniors in 2nd with 2,144, and the seniors came out on top with a whopping total of 2,467 points!