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Homecoming 2017 Festivities In Review

Varsity volleyball players celebrate a serve at their Homecoming game.

Varsity volleyball players celebrate a serve at their Homecoming game.

Photo by Sarah-Jayne Austin

Photo by Sarah-Jayne Austin

Varsity volleyball players celebrate a serve at their Homecoming game.

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From spirit week to the pep rally, and with a wide variety of sports games, a cookout, reunions, and a dance to follow, homecoming events of September 22-23 came plentifully. Upper School fall athletes took to the field throughout Saturday with a crowd filled with students, parents, faculty, friends, and alumni cheering on the Colonels.

Some student athletes consider their homecoming games to be among the most important of the year. Homecoming weekend is a tradition that welcomes Parker alumni back to school, as well as a celebration of all the hard work fall athletes have been putting in throughout the summer and the semester thus far. Since preseason began on August 8, fall athletes have been committed to their teams and attending mandatory practices.

Leading up to homecoming weekend, Social Committee organized a spirit week with different themes for every day. Monday started the week with pajama day, Tuesday was twin day, Wednesday denim day, Thursday tourist day, and Friday Parker spirit day. The heads of Social Committee chose which person had the best outfit that suited the theme at the end of each day, and rewarded that person with free tickets to the homecoming dance, which otherwise cost $15.

Varsity and JV tennis kicked off the homecoming games at 4:30 PM on Friday the 22nd at the Waveland tennis courts against Resurrection. Both tennis teams made a clean sweep, winning every single one of their matches. Parker’s Varsity/JV Field Hockey and Varsity/JV Volleyball teams had games Friday night, and then their homecoming games Saturday. Friday night, varsity field hockey lost 1-0 against St. Ignatius, and varsity volleyball won 2-0 against Disney Charter School. Results?

Saturday was when most athletic teams competed. Each Upper School JV team had its own successes in the morning. The soccer JV white team had the first game on Saturday, which resulted in a 1-0 win against Latin. JV field hockey played a tough game against Evanston Township High School next, with the girls coming up with a goal and winning the game 1-0 as well.

The soccer JV blue team went head to head against Lincoln Park High School, which resulted in a 1-1 tie.

Even though the game resulted in a tie, the team was proud of the way they finished it out. “We scored a goal in the last eight minutes of the game,” sophomore Wilson Cedillo said. “We really pushed our way through, and even though a tie wasn’t what we were expecting, our team went out there and did their best.”

As the Junior Varsity teams were putting in hard work on the turf field, there were other games going on at the same time. Varsity/JV Cross Country were running at the Whitney Young Invite at Washington Park. Meanwhile, JV Volleyball was playing a game against Cristo Rey in the big gym, which resulted in a win for Parker — 2-0.

Fans who came out to support the athletes enjoyed hamburgers and hotdogs, cold sodas, and delicious treats throughout the day. As midday rolled around, it was time for both Varsity Field Hockey and Varsity Soccer to hit the field.

The sound of the bagpipes began to fill the field as the Varsity Field Hockey team walked hand in hand around the edge of the field and to their benches. The girls fought hard throughout the game, which resulted in an impressive score of 8-0 against Evanston.

The boys came next, after Varsity Field Hockey set the bar high. The soccer team began warming up for its game against Lincoln Park High School, and played an aggressive game. After 80 minutes no goals were scored.

“It was unfortunate, but we played well overall,” junior Jacob Levy, a member of the Varsity soccer team, said. “We were nervous under the pressure with all the people there, and we never really settled in. We had some good chances but couldn’t put them in.”

On the upside, the team is staying optimistic and looking ahead from that game. Levy said, “We are looking forward to the rest of our season and hopefully making a run to state.”

As the soccer game came to an end, high school students started heading home to get ready for the homecoming dance at Parker that evening.

The Social Committee heads had been planning the dance for a while. Seniors Brianna Boone, Marley Ellis, Amalia Cerda, Cameron Miller, Jack Cordwell, Zach Hirsch, Margo Fuchs, and Nicole Koerner worked along with Physical Education teacher Pat Pagnucco in preparation for the disco-themed event.

In past years, it has been a problem that students tend to leave the homecoming dance early to attend after-parties instead. Social Committee made some changes to the dance this year to encourage students to stay longer.

“This year we wanted to do a raffle or some type of reward or prize during the dance,” Boone said. “Also we’re spending more money on food, so people don’t feel the need to go to dinner before or leave early to go get food.”

The small gym was decorated with colorful balloons, some in the shape of bubble letters spelling out the theme of the dance: “DISCO.” Students danced to a range of music, from current hits to classic disco songs popular during that era. To the surprise of many, though, due to a technical problem, the lights in the small gym stayed on the entire night.

“I was looking forward to dancing at homecoming,” junior Annette Njei said. “When the lights were on at homecoming, I felt uncomfortable because everyone could see me, and I personally got weird looks, which prevented me from being my real self.”

Other students agreed with Njei. “With the lights on, you couldn’t see the disco ball,” freshman Amelia Hoerr said, “and it was just not as fun as it potentially could have been.” Other than the lights staying on throughout the dance, the weekend was positive, according to Hoerr.

All in all, homecoming allows visiting alumni to reflect on the past and current students to celebrate a new beginning to the school year alongside friends and peers from all different grades.

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Keys to the House