Homecoming: WHS’ atypical take on a typical tradition


Photo by Normandy Studios

SGA officers awarding Homecoming King and Queen in 2018

Emily Greenzang

Homecoming festivities have been occurring nationwide for over a century. There is controversy over when the first official homecoming occurred, but vice.com, episodes of Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit claim that the University of Missouri hosted the first homecoming in 1911.

The primary elements of typical high school homecomings are a parade, football game and semi-formal to formal dance. At WHS, we do host a football game, but the dance only became part of our annual tradition in 2014.

It started out kind of slow, taking place in Cafeteria B, but since then it has greatly grown in size and was upgraded to the Varsity Gym. Despite this growth, at last year’s homecoming dance, it was evident that mainly juniors and seniors attended.

A typical homecoming dance in New Jersey is more formal and well-attended than ours has been historically. While I appreciate that our homecoming is less structured, I wish it was more important to the students. I’ve heard many people say that they don’t want to go to homecoming because “no one goes,” but that in itself is the exact reason why people are reluctant to attend. Students need to realize that it is in our power to make homecoming a bigger tradition. The Student Government Association only has the power to host the event, but its size and importance to the students can only be determined by us.

However, to help with this, more can be done to improve the homecoming event overall. We have a “homecoming” football game here, but it is not attended with any more fans than usual. We also have a pep rally parade in November, but it is not affiliated with homecoming as it occurs almost a month after the homecoming weekend. If these events were combined to form a larger homecoming experience, one that every student expected and was excited for every year, homecoming at WHS could finally become a tradition capable of being compared to that of other high schools in New Jersey.

Logistically speaking, this may be hard to accomplish because we host home football games on Saturday afternoons rather than Friday nights. For a typical homecoming, the football game occurs on a Friday night before a large bonfire, and the dance occurs on Saturday. This obviously wouldn’t be a possibility at WHS, but a football game and dance on a Saturday could be.

There is a lot to think about in improving our homecoming festivities at WHS, but the first step is to appreciate the events that we already have. You’re only going to go through high school once, so you might as well have fun while you’re here.