In pop culture, high school homecomings seem to be stereotyped as a popularity contest between the young adult elite.
Pitman High School is hoping to change that stereotype.
This year’s theme for the week long homecoming celebration was “Blockbuster,” which entailed a range of school wide activities that referenced movies and the Hollywood lifestyle. From superhero capes to Disney movies, both students and staff wore different outfits every day, all in attempts to promote school spirit, and in every sense of the word, school Pride. Along with dressing up, members of both the student body and staff participated in contests and challenges including an obstacle course, a dodge ball tournament and a Disney trivia competition.
Pitman students en masse rallied behind their school and displayed their spirit.
“I really feel like this week we saw a lot of participation across the board,” said faculty member Sarah Smith. “We’re seeing people involved from all grade levels, and not just the select few.”
Smith stated the reason behind the increased level of participation was directly correlated with the growing age of the school. She said the older the school gets, the more cemented the traditions become.
“Now that we’re more established, homecoming is really starting to take on its true meaning,” said Smith. “It’s about alumni coming home and we’re starting to see that.”
Although this is only Smith’s first year organizing homecoming, she applauded the fact the student body was celebrating every aspect of campus, and not just a single sport or group.
“One thing I really like about Pitman is that we all seem to have pride in everything,” said Smith. “From the drum line to all the fall sports, the student body has been supportive of it all.”
The week ended with a massive rally in the school gymnasium on Friday, as students scoured for seats in the packed bleachers, with many of them resorting to sitting on the ground due to the lack of space. At the rally, representatives of fall sports, teachers and various students all participated in games and dances to celebrate the week.
The highlight of the function, however, was a short ceremony to honor Pitman band director Ruben Modesto. Last summer, Modesto won the SportsNet 2013 All-Star Teacher Award and was given a $20,000 check. Although Modesto formally accepted the award in June, Friday was the first time he was able to officially celebrate with his students.
“I’m glad I got to share this with my band,” said Modesto.
Along with the acceptance of Modesto’s award, the school also announced the winners of this year’s homecoming contest, with Zeke Zuniga and Binco Ortega taking home the crowns.
The Pride closed out homecoming week with a football game against Oakland Tech High School.