By TEDDYE SNELL
High school homecoming sparks memories for adults of a chill in the air, cheering on the home football team, homecoming royalty dressed in finery, parades and camaraderie.
Tahlequah High School Student Council sponsor April Quiett has fond memories of the traditions of homecoming, and hopes to instill that same excitement in a younger generation.
Quiett, along with member of THS’ Student Council, are busy coordinating this year’s homecoming events, which center on the theme, “Tradition.”
“To me, well, I want to bring back the rich tradition of homecoming,” said Quiett. “At last week’s pep assembly, we played some of the old school games, re-instituted passing out a spirit stick – which the seniors won – and everyone was so excited. You could feel the school spirit, and that’s so important.”
The game played at the assembly involved blindfolding the football players, who were then kissed. The footballers’ challenge was to guess which cheerleader had kissed them, when in reality, they had received smooches from their mothers.
“We also want to get the community involved,” said Quiett. “It’s important for our kids to know that not only do the school and parents support them, but they have the backing of their entire town.”
Homecoming is slated for Friday, Oct. 4, and the day is packed with activities, including a parade/pep rally, coronation of royalty and a football game pitting the THS Tigers against the Claremore Zebras.
“The parade this year will be unique, in that we’ll stop at Norris Park and have a mini pep rally, then proceed down Muskogee Avenue, stopping for a second pep rally at the Cherokee Courthouse Square,” said Quiett. “We would love to have lots and lots of floats, too. We’re hoping to get former THS football players and homecoming royalty to enter floats for the parade.”
Quiett said the Student Council is also offering to decorate the windows of local businesses for the event, and will return Saturday to clean the windows.
“We have window chalk that we’ll use in orange, black, white and brown,” said Quiett. “We’ll be decorating windows on Wednesday and Thursday, and businesses can participate for free. Of course, donations are always welcome. We’ll return on Saturday morning and clean everything up.”
Quiett said the parade begins at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4. The coronation of homecoming royalty and sweethearts will take place at Northeastern State University’s Doc Wadley Stadium at 6:30 p.m., followed by the football game at 7:30. A homecoming dance will follow the football game at the Tahlequah High School cafeteria.
“This year, too, we’ll have a portion of the bleachers cordoned off for the royalty,” said Quiett. “That way, little girls can come see the girls in their beautiful dresses. And by having the dance after the game, it allows the royalty and sweethearts a little more time to be dressed up.”
The THS Student Council is also selling commemorative T-shirts featuring the slogan “Keeping the Winning Tradition Home.” Shirts must be ordered by Tuesday, Sept. 24, and range in price from $15 to $17.
“Anyone wanting information about entering a float, ordering a T-shirt or having a business window decorated can contact me here at the school,” said Quiett. “It’s important we get the feeling of community support rallied around these kids.”
To find out more about Tahlequah High School Homecoming events, call April Quiett, (918) 458-4150.
To learn more about how THS homecoming royalty and sweethearts are selected, visit www.tahlequahTDP.com/onlineexclusives.