Sparta High School senior Alex Bennett said student body members knew homecoming would have to look different this year.
“We wanted to keep Spirit Week alive and do everything we could do to keep some of our homecoming traditions,” said Alex, the group’s president. They decided on a virtual homecoming, to stretch traditions throughout the school year.
Traditional grade-level competitions for the Red Apple trophy such as the most pushups, rope jumps or hula-hoop twirls, which used to garner crowds in the hallways, were moved outside.
The counting of coins donated per grade was still held, with proceeds divided between the class, to pay for senior events, and for the Angel Tree Christmas project, as in past years. A relatively new tradition — a TikTok video contest — also took place.
The homecoming dance wasn’t canceled, said Bennett, but like some of the week’s other usual events, postponed until later in the school year when it can be held safely. “We’re just waiting to see when,” she said.
In Kent City, students chose homecoming royalty, despite not knowing whether they would be able to attend the football game. “It is a bummer we won’t be able to be there, but am glad we could still do this,” said senior Ava Wright.
The royal court joined clubs and organizations for a reduced-capacity parade. Cheering visitors remained in their cars as the parade wound up and down aisles spread among four parking lots.
At both schools, the tradition of themed dress-up days went on with a few changes: a “dress for quarantine” day in Sparta, for example, and social media-themed app day and emoji day in Kent City.