Saving Homecoming Week

By Jeremy McDonald

AURORA, Ore.–  Coronavirus has taken a lot away from kids the past few months, but one thing is for certain.

They will find a way to make things happen.

With COVID-19 ruining their ‘traditional’ Homecoming Week, the Seniors at North Marion High School gave the microscopic virus a good swift kick in the pants.  Finding a way to save Homecoming Week and found a way to make it happen anyway.

It felt like a one-night rental towards normalcy that’s due back at midnight like an assignment on Dropbox no doubt.  But as they set up the football field at North Marion for Brute Volleyball and Powderpuff Football, for a moment thing felt normal Friday afternoon into the evening.

And they opened it for all of the classes.  Spreading the love.

Mallory Pantzer bringing in a snap while warming up with the Juniors during Friday’s Homecoming Events (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“To see all these people since Covid started…we all wanted to do this together so we got together and planned it out.  Right now, we’re missing a couple of people, but that’s fine,” said Tanner Saucedo, a Senior Football and Basketball player at North Marion.

“All the Seniors, we were like, ‘this sucks.  This is our last year, let’s schedule stuff and play.  We can get everything together, it doesn’t have to be through the school’,” adds Hailey Welch, a Huskie Senior Soccer Player.  “We honestly wanted to have a Senior Year and make it count instead of sitting at home doing online school.”

The Homecoming festivities, normally taking the course of the traditional Homecoming week, took place in one day.  But not associated with the school because of the virus.

Meaning that the Seniors would have to do all the finer details.  Approach it as event managers in essence.  Rent the facility, pay for the insurance, charge gate and have people sign the waivers and any paperwork that may come with it.

“That was hard.  We had to find an insurance that wasn’t too expensive and then we had to make the players pay and parents. It was hard to get everyone together as well because you had to sign three different papers to play,” said Welch, who came up with the idea.  “Just having everyone do that, was kind of hard especially since some people don’t have access to printers or simple things as having your parents sign it.

“Just being able to do this, it was hard, but I’m glad that we’re able to…We were able to get the insurance for the field and rent the field.”

The Seniors celebrating their Volleyball win Friday afternoon before the Powderpuff Games that evening (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

Not to mention doing it all under Coronavirus restrictions.  Meaning mask on, social distancing and keeping it to 250 people on top of getting people to ref, announce and help with the front gate.

But overall, it went as smoothly as you hoped.  The Volleyball saw the Seniors edging the Juniors in the Championship bout, rebounding from a tough loss to the ‘Coaches’ (the North Marion Volleyball team, with a brief appearance by the Huskies Mya Hammack) to win it.

“It was fun, we should have won it,” smiled Saucedo following the loss to the coaches.  “But it happened.  But we’re about to play whoever wins this, we’re going to play for the title.”

Hammack and Dani Christenson scored all the points for the Senior squad, who won the Powderpuff Football game Friday night as they wrapped up their Homecoming ‘Week’ with another.

“This…it’s a lot.  I didn’t get to paly one of the years because I had a concussion,” starts Welch.  “So just having these many people wanting to come out and play, it means a lot.  Especially to me because I’m a Senior, I get to experience my last year in High School that same as everyone else is.”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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