Story by Lilian Zhu
Photos by Ella Jayasekera & Sophie Yeung
Photography Editor & Staff Photographer
SPHS students celebrated its annual Homecoming traditions in an innovative fashion colored by a farm theme, complete with a virtual assembly, picnic, petting zoo, and country-attired royal court on Friday, May 14.
In previous years, Homecoming has been held during the first week of November, incorporating an assembly, picnic, dance, and football game. However, this year’s need for coronavirus safety precautions meant that ASB had to scale down the festivities and omit the traditional dance and football game.
“The planning process took a lot more than we had originally thought,” ASB videographer Eliot Correll said. “It took a while for Homecoming to be approved and I didn’t think it would happen due to social distancing, especially since the Homecoming picnic usually has food involved. However once it was passed, we had to plan out enough activities and space that could be socially distanced. ASB worked incredibly hard on both the picnic and the assembly. I had a great time and I think the rest of the school did as well.”
To continue the tradition of the Homecoming court, junior and ASB Commissioner of Spirit Ava Page facilitated voting from all grades in the week leading up to the big event. A video released on May 14 featured an escort and meet-and-greet with the final nominees: freshman Colin Wong, sophomore Aria Argus, junior Kevin Aday, and seniors Kayla Nielsen, Tonalli Garcia-Rodriguez, and Micah Mehkitarian — who was crowned the senior most Royal Tiger at the picnic.
The novelty of having a Homecoming added some excitement to the end of a very isolated year of distance learning.
“I was very surprised to find out that we were officially going to do a Homecoming,” Garcia-Rodriguez said. “But I was also excited because I feel like Homecoming is always a fun time of the year. I was surprised when I found out it wasn’t going to be as formal as it usually is, but the farm theme ended up being very fun. It was fun to hang out with Sean [Jin], my escort, and Kayla, who is also on the court.”
The picnic is also a major part of Homecoming, and this year’s maintained a similar yet unique student experience. Both the jazz band and student band The Bottles performed at the picnic in front of the Tiger Patio, serenading attendees who perused the variety of campus clubs selling snacks, foods, and drinks. Students challenged themselves in a water balloon tossing competition, testing who could successfully pass the balloon to their partner without getting drenched.
A special addition to this year’s Homecoming picnic was a small petting zoo to fit in with the farm theme, which gave students the opportunity to interact with rabbits, chickens, goats, and even a pony. Additionally, the ASB class officers hosted spirit days the week leading up to the picnic to encourage the student body to wear flannel (freshmen), promote their favorite fruit (sophomores), send in their fiercest roar (juniors), or don traditional western wear (seniors).
ASB will be hosting a senior sunset activity on Tuesday, June 1 where the graduating Class of 2021 can watch their final sunset of the year together.