Homecoming hype heightens following rally rivalry

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Juniors and seniors cheer for Homecoming, and their rematch after the juniors’ first place win at the Welcome Back Rally on Aug. 27. (Photos by Mei Corricello and graphic illustration by Amy Liu)

Lauren Liu

The term Homecoming is especially appropriate following students’ return to campus after more than a year of remote learning. Students are excited to display their school spirit for Lynbrook’s first Homecoming since 2019. With the overarching theme of “The Multiverse: When Universes Collide,” Homecoming also presents a rematch for juniors and seniors after the juniors’ first place win at the Welcome Back Rally on Aug. 27.

Spirit shown by each class at the rally was the major deciding factor of the class rankings in the rally judged by four teachers.

In response to the rally, juniors made no major changes to their Homecoming preparations schedule, although they extended decoration meetings to encompass the entire day on the Saturday and Sunday before Homecoming. Since it is the juniors’ first year as upperclassmen, it is important for them to display their spirit to the rest of the school. Junior and Decoration Head Sanika Mithbaokar noticed an increase in spirit in her class following the rally, and she is excited for her class’s decorations and dances.

“Homecoming is a way for our class to create something that’s really ours,” Mithbaokar said. “It would be great if everyone was really excited for Homecoming because it’s basically a reflection of our own class.”

Class of 2023 held a fundraiser selling Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears for $3 each the week before Homecoming. While any student can buy them, juniors will be wearing the distinctive headwear as a show of class spirit and unity.

On the senior’s side, class officers began incentivizing people to attend planter decoration meetings with pizza and instant noodles, hoping to boost class morale. Additionally, they brought back 2022’s traditional all-nighter, held on the last weekend before Homecoming week. Huang is excited about the senior class’s backdrop, planters, skit and girls’ dance in particular out of the dances.

“For the Class of 2022, we’re just making sure that our class is all together and we’re all as spirited as possible,” said Arianna Huang, Class of 2022 Secretary and Skit Head.

Along with the freshmen, sophomores are experiencing their first year of homecoming this school year due to Homecoming being cancelled during the 2020-21 school year because of COVID-19. Sophomore and girls’ dance choreographer Vipra Bindal enjoyed witnessing everyone participating in girls’ dance improve.

“Our class put a lot of energy and effort and heart into Homecoming, and I think it’s a good reminder of how resilient, strong and amazing our class is,” Bindal said.

Although Class of 2025 encountered some time management difficulties while preparing for Homecoming, freshman Qia Zhang was excited for the chance to show school spirit. For Zhang, Homecoming represents a way to start off the year well.

“I’m really excited to see what each of the classes come up with for their decorations,” Zhang said. “I think we’ll have a really nice week of Homecoming.”

Homecoming week will conclude on Friday, Oct. 8 with a schoolwide rally, after which the winning class will be announced, and a home football game against Monta Vista High, during which the Homecoming court will be announced. In order to comply with the district’s COVID-19 guidelines prohibiting dances, the annual Homecoming dance will be replaced with Homecoming Fest, which will take place before the football game between the tennis courts and Stober Field.

To determine the Homecoming winner, each class officer team nominated one teacher for a panel made up of four judges total, which is similar to the system used for judging the rally. Based on class performances, a timely clean-up and spirit shown during the gauntlet and rally, points are tallied up at the end of the week to decide the winning class.

Despite differences in experience among the classes, Homecoming ultimately represents an opportunity for everyone to have fun and to display school and class spirit. Through a showdown on Wednesday and Thursday, the rivalry between the juniors and seniors will be resolved — or perhaps deepened — during Homecoming week.

“I’m really glad that we’re having Homecoming this year, even though we have to wear masks,” Huang said. “It’s just nice to be able to do the things that we weren’t able to do last year.”