Orcas Island High School began its homecoming week with a bang! All the classes showed up the weekend before to decorate their halls to the theme of the week, which was animated movies. The seniors claimed Shrek as their theme, the juniors theme was Monsters Inc, the sophomores had Space Jam, and the freshman had Finding Nemo. Onions could be seen adorning the seniors’ hall along with various scenes from the movie Shrek, the juniors went with a door and monster theme, basketball jerseys and stars spangled the sophomores’ hallway and the freshman went with an ocean fish tank theme complete with jellyfish and a stuffed shark. By the time Monday dawned, all the halls were decorated and ready for inspection by the student body and teachers who would determine the winners of the homecoming competitions—a competition that the Orcas seniors won across the board taking the best hall, float, and lip sync award.
Starting off with the first event of the week, students were happy to show their Viking pride on Superhero Day, where every superhero from Batman to Superman to Awesome Man (featured by Charlie Holmes) was featured. The winner of the day, Kahana Pietsch, dressed as Canada Man is his Canadian flag unitard. The next day of homecoming week was Duo Day. The winners were Luke Bronn and Stephen Hohman who dressed as a bunch of green and purple grapes. Other favorite duo costumes included Charlie Holmes, Jordan Randolph and Brother Murphy who dressed as boxes, and Halle Thompson and Claire Orser who respectively dressed as a mustard and ketchup. Wednesday of homecoming day was Fancy Day, i.e. tuxedos, dresses and high heels. The winners of the day were Aleyda Erickson and Jackie Shi. Thursday was #ThrowbackThursday where everyone dressed as members of the past—from yesterday to thousands of years ago. Every decade from the century was represented with some “groovy costumes, man”. The winner of day was Olivia Brunner-Gaydos in her tye-dye seventies costume. The last and most anticipated day of the week was Spirit Day, where our Vikings dress up in school colors to show their Viking pride. Decked out in white, blue, and black, Jo Gudgell won for her show of school spirit. The overall winner of the week, elected for his continued success and almost over-the-top costumes was Enzo Thixton.
Revered most for his infamous Miley Cyrus costume, Enzo Thixton was proudly recognized with the rest of the homecoming day winners at the spirit assembly as the winner of the entire week. His school spirit combined with some masterful costume skills won him the title previously held by Luke Bronn. On Monday, Enzo dressed as super villain/god Hades. He died his hair blue and was decked out in full costume, complete with a scary scowl. For Tuesday, Enzo and Anneke Fleming dressed as Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, with Anneke playing the pre-split Hannah Montana and Enzo dressed in an interpretation of Miley’s 2013 VMAs costume. The Duo was a hit and the couple even sang upon request. Enzo was looking sharp on Wednesday in a suit, and his impeccably groomed hair. For #Throwback Thursday Enzo threw back farther than most and dressed in a toga in remembrance of ancient Greece and Rome. For Friday, Enzo cranked up his Viking spirit and dressed in a silver morphsuit with viking hat and blue clothes. Overall, Enzo’s homecoming spirit carried the rest of the school on with his enthusiasm and was expressive of his personality to the max. “I even got dress coded,” Enzo admitted, laughing.
The homecoming assembly that recognized the winners of each homecoming day was fun of fun events and school spirit! Games such as “getting ready for school”, “the four legged race”, and “screaming toes” were all part of the assembly and participated in with great enthusiasm by the school. One of the most celebrated events was tug of war, which the seniors, continuing their three-year streak, won against the juniors. The homecoming assembly was put together by Mr. Buckner and the leadership class and had several students leading the assembly. They also has several skits discussing proper conduct for the school dance. All of these events happened between the class lip syncs, most memorable of which was the seniors winning Shrek lip-sync, complete with narration, slow dancing, and a wedding ceremony.
Also recognized at the spirit assembly was the homecoming royalty, a ceremony with a surprising twist! Rather than continuing the tradition of roses-to-girls and swords-to-boys, each prince was given the rose and each princess was given a sword, courtesy of the woods class. The freshman prince and princess were Henry More and Milly Kau, the sophomore prince and princess were Serei O’Toole and Jayden Kopp, the junior royalty was Ella Conrad and Axel Greening, and the prince and princess of the senior class was Kahana Pietsch and Halle Thompson. The overall royalty, the king and queen of Homecoming, elected by the whole school from the senior class was Lilly Miller and Pasha Bullock. The royalty was awarded crowns, a place aloft in the class floats, and a solo dance at Homecoming.
The homecoming parade following the assembly was a massive success with record attendance. The classes’ floats featured everything from “monster trucks” to horses. The usual time was changed from right after school to later in the afternoon—5:30—and the parade ended in the Village Green with a bonfire. A huge community turnout ruled the parade a success, and lots of cheering and laughs accompanied the burning of Concrete’s mascot, a Orcas High tradition that has been brought back in anticipation of the football team’s senior homecoming game the following Saturday.
The next day was the football game, Orcas/Lopez vs. Concrete. Although the weather was cold and rainy, the community was not discouraged and turned out to support their football boys. The game began with a stunning performance of the National Anthem by Katie Minnis and a recognition of the seniors and their parents with flowers, as it was their last home game. Almost immediately Vikings took the lead in the game, and overall managed to maintain a steady gain through the game. As an addition to the traditional hot dogs, hamburgers, and candy the Booster Club donated a salmon BBQ to the football spectators. The Vikings won the game 26 to 21, much to the delight of the crowd. The Lopez/Orcas combination team has proved to be a successful experiment that has led to an excellent season for the football team, who are hopefuls for state.
The homecoming dance hosted by the school that happened later in the evening has been described as some as “the best one so far”. The dance, starting at 8 and ending at 11, had a record attendance and made both the ASB and Leadership class over thirteen hundred dollars in revenue. Students Ricky De Anda and Grayson White (DJ Rico + G$ was their official slogan) were in charge of the music and kept the party thumping. Glow sticks and glow in the dark ray bans were provided and greatly appreciated by the student body. Students from the Orcas Sailing Team’s regatta also attended the dance with their Orcas sponsors and contributed to the festive and populous atmosphere.