Homecoming? Mostly …

Students react to the postponement of the homecoming dance

Junior Alyssa Thoren dances her way down Durham Road. On Oct. 8 some homecoming events continued as usual like the parade and football game. Powderpuff and the dance were postponed. (Maggie Troxell)

   With things (mostly) back to normal, students were expecting one of more well known events of the year to happen—the homecoming dance. When the news that the dance would be canceled hit on Sept. 24, students had feelings to share. 

     Usually, THS plans things such as a homecoming parade, spirit week, and of course, the dance. All of these things can be COVID-19 friendly, but with the rising cases throughout the district, district leadership decided to postpone it. Their plan is to have it sometime soon, either in the winter or towards the spring. 

     “Our plan was to have it outside with tents, fully masked, but the truth is, locally we just have too many cases. Our number one priority is to keep students safe, and to do that, we can’t hold the dance right now,” Principal Brian Bailey said.

     Leadership students and administration only had one week to plan all the events. Students wasted no time accommodating the postponement of the dance. 

     “As of right now, we are still having our homecoming parade and spirit week, but the dance is still in the process of being postponed,” Mr. Bailey said.

     Leadership has still planned to do the other homecoming week activities, such as spirit week and the homecoming parade on Durham Road. With these things still happening, it gave the students a sense of normality. 

     Sophomore princess Jaida Brandon geared up for the halftime ceremony.

     “I’m nervous about being in front of a lot of people,” she explained. “But I know that I will have fun and that I won’t be alone, so I will have a great time.” 

     Sophomore prince Nicco Simonetti had thoughts as well.

     “I’m excited for homecoming, it felt pretty cool to be nominated even though I had no idea,” he said. “It sucks that I won’t be in the parade or walk out during half time but just to be a part of it is an honor.”

     Being a varsity football player, he wasn’t able to go to either of the royalty events. Having to be in the locker room at half time, he missed the walk out onto the field, but his mother Nicole Simonetti and his childhood best friend Tyler Anderson were there representing him.

     As much as students understood the postponement and wanting to keep everyone safe, some students felt it was unfair. While other activities like football games and in-person school are happening, why did this get canceled?

     Junior Karis Bomar was disappointed.

     “If homecoming is canceled, why aren’t football games and other sporting events?” Bomar said. “Those seem like big outbreak areas because of the mask rule not being followed.”

     The mask mandate is in full force at every school event. Most follow it, but it can be hard to get everyone to wear one, 100% of the time.

     “We are all really close and stand together in the football stands,” Bomar said. “Masks fall down and people don’t wear them correctly.”

     Although all of these events are outside, viruses can still be spread.

     On the other hand, freshmen and sophomores are sad to be missing their first official school dance. COVID-19 took away the ability to hold a dance. The school’s last dance was in 2019. 

     A dance this fall would’ve been a bonding activity, especially for the new classes attending THS this year. 

     “It definitely affected me; it’s a really big social aspect where you get excited to hang out with friends and it’s just part of the high school experience,” freshman Hope Bomar said. 

     “I’m definitely disappointed that we didn’t do it, especially because I think we could’ve achieved it safely. I know that is hard to do with COVID though,” freshman Caleb Jolley said. 

     “I promise, with the persistence of our leadership team, the second it is safe to do so, we will hold the dance,” Bailey said.