Homecoming week kicked off with a strong turnout at the first-ever Homecoming Formal. This time around, it seemed like the warning bells were finally heard, and the night went off without a hitch. For one night, we were normal highschoolers — our school gym was transformed into a dance floor, our suits were adorned with boutonnieres and our wrists with corsages and our nights ended in a backyard, cozied up next to our dates.
Coming off of the excitement of the dance, throughout the weeklong Fanatic Fest, we ate crepes, dressed up like cowboys and tourists and cheered on our teachers as they challenged their children to an obstacle course they were doomed to lose. Fanatic Fest got our blood pumping as we witnessed the Wolverine mascot tackle Jackson Beavers ’15 dressed as the Palisades Charter High School mascot, but the Homecoming fervor was tempered by discomfort as the Head Fanatics and cheerleaders tried to energize the school with borderline inappropriate dancing at the pep rally. While we appreciated the effort, it seemed the line between appropriate cheering and provocative dancing was blurred. Although the intention was to raise school spirit, ultimately teachers and students felt uncomfortable, bringing the otherwise effective pep rally to a somewhat disappointing end.
When the big day came Saturday, boys’ water polo brought the only win, over Long Beach Wilson, with girls’ volleyball falling short against Lakewood High School and the previously undefeated football team losing to Palisades Charter High School. The previous week (and four straight football wins) had raised our expectations, only to have them crushed by a heartbreaking loss to a team we were favored to beat.
To add insult to injury, the bleachers lacked a student section, and we lost our home-field advantage. The Fanatics and the Administration failed to communicate, and the lack of a place to sit together led to students milling around on the track. Given the absence of a dedicated section, students and Fanatics should have organized themselves and roused the team, even without seats. We look to the Head Fanatics as examples, and knowing this, they failed to deliver and some went as far as to go home early. We followed their lead and let our team down.
The football team kept playing as the score got worse and worse, and we should have stood behind our classmates as they represented our school. As the clock ticked down and the score became more demoralizing, the thud of opposing pads was amplified by the silence as we made a beeline for our cars. We left the football players alone to shoulder the burden, when we should have walked off the field as one — one school and one team.