I am writing this column with a lot on my mind, mostly because this week will be one of the most memorable weeks of my high school career. It is homecoming week, and many Deerfield High School seniors will never forget homecoming 2011.
DHS has had a long-standing tradition for homecoming week. Every day during the week is a dress up day, and the Friday is always class colors day. Students love to get creative with what they wear from pajama day to neon day. Many kids will get together in a group and dress similarly for the spirit of the week. Each hallway has a different theme and is decorated accordingly.
About 80 percent of the school participated in the first four dress up days, but the Friday before homecoming is there is 100 percent participation. Freshman wear all white, sophomores wear all grey, juniors wear all red and seniors go all out with facepaint, flags, whistles, capes and hats and wear all black.
In the past, there has been hazing of freshman and many people had gotten hurt. The past few years, the DHS staff has done a great job making sure that underclassman feel safe and welcome in the school.
One part of homecoming that many students enjoy is the pep rally. The pep rally is always held on Friday after school. Students sit with their respective classes. Everyone is wearing their class colors and they cheer back and forth at each other. All of the spring sports are introduced and there are performances by the drill team, poms and cheerleaders.
Before the rally, the entire senior class assembles in a gym and prepares to enter the main gym. One objective is to make as much noise as possible to show the school who’s got the most spirit. Although whistles had been banned, many seniors still brought them to school. This year, two gongs were brought in, and many kids had vuvuzelas. The pep rally was the same as every other year, yet being a senior had its many perks. At the end of the rally, we all ran through the middle of the gym, and everybody went home to prepare for the night.
The homecoming football game has always been a fun game, but this year, most seniors left at halftime to storm the Deerfield-Waukegan intersection. Every year, after the homecoming football game, the seniors, dressed in all black, parade through the busiest intersection in Deerfield with signs saying “Honk 4 Seniors!” and “Seniors, Seniors!” By the time I got there, about half the grade was already running through the streets, but more and more classmates showed up every minute.
Police cars were stationed on each street with their lights flashing. I knew this was going to be an interesting night. Traffic was stopped by the students, and there were kids on rollerblades weaving between cars. Soccer balls were flying through the air, and all I could hear were whistles, horns and cheers of classmates. As I ran, crawled, rolled, and skipped from corner to corner shouting cheers, I realized why friends in older grades have always talked about this being the best night of senior year.
As I reflect on the entire week, I can say that being a senior definitely made homecoming a blast. It is sad to think that this is my last homecoming at Deerfield High School, but the class of 2012 certainly made the best of it. Saturday is the night of the dance, but many seniors have decided not to attend. Instead, groups have plans to go downtown. Choices will be made, some better than others. No matter what decisions are made, parents and teachers all hope that DHS students had a safe, smart, and fun homecoming.