By Terry Rogers
Milford Senior High School has many celebrations planned for Homecoming Week, according to Ron Voshell, Student Government Advisor. Throughout the week, students will celebrate school pride with each day providing students with a way to use their creativity to show school spirit.
On Friday, October 14, a parade that will begin at the old Milford Middle School and walk through downtown Milford, starting at 6 PM. They will march to Briggs Stadium with class and club floats circling the track before the game which starts at 7:30 PM. This year, the Buccaneers will play Indian River High School. On Saturday, from 8 to 10 PM, students will dress in semi-formal attire and dance the night away at the annual Homecoming Dance. The theme for this year is “Circus.”
“We encourage semi-formal attire for the dance,” Mr. Voshell said. “Ladies dresses should come to the knee while standing. Gentlemen should wear a tie or bow tie with a button down shirt and dress pants. This is an evening to look your best and show your Buc Pride.”
Throughout Spirit Week, as the week before Homecoming has come to be known, each day is given a theme. The Spirit Week themes for this year have not been determined yet, but in the past have consisted of “Wacky Tacky Day,” “Bad Hair Day,” “Maroon and Gold Day” and more. Dress codes may be slightly relaxed on those days to allow students to express school spirit.
On Friday, October 14 during Blocks 7/8, students will head to the stadium for the annual Homecoming Pep Rally. During the Pep Rally, each class participates in a contest to see who will earn the Spirit Stick, a brightly decorated baton that is given to the class that cheers the loudest at the rally. The pep rally begins around 1:20 PM.
“We are always in need of refreshments for the dance,” Mr. Voshell said. “Each grade is assigned to bring a something. This year, Seniors are asked to bring paper products, Juniors are to bring desserts, Sophomores are to bring hot food and Freshmen are to bring drinks. Students can bring items to the school on either Friday or Saturday.”
There is much debate on how Homecoming first began in the United States. Since the 1870s, Harvard and Yale alumni have returned to their respective schools to celebrate the football game between the two schools. Three different colleges have claimed to be the location of the first homecoming. The University of Missouri’s Coach Chester Brewer is reported to have invited alumni to help inaugurate the location of their football field by coming home to attend a game between Missouri and the University of Kansas in 1911. Parades, parties and a pep rally were planned with more than 10,000 alumni and fans in attendance. However, the University of Illinois disputes this as the first homecoming.
In 1910, two seniors, Clarence Williams and Elmer Ekblaw, began planning an event centered around the annual Illinois and Chicago rivalry. Illinois had lost to Chicago for seven straight years and the two men hoped to reverse the losing streak by promoting school spirit. October 14 was set aside as the official day of homecoming and the idea immediately took hold. Five thousand extra seats had to be added to accommodate the number of attendees and 12,000 students as well as alumni were on hand to witness an Illinois victory when they defeated Chicago 3-0. Homecomings have been held on the campus ever since except for 1918 when an influenza epidemic caused the school to cancel the festivities.
Baylor University, however, claims that they were the first homecoming as the university invited alumni to return to their alma mater in an effort to “catch the Baylor spirit again” in 1909, one year before Illinois and two years before Missouri. The event was originally called “Good Will Week” and it was scheduled for the weekend of Thanksgiving. Class reunions, a parade, a football game and a dance were all featured for the weekend. Baylor won their first homecoming game against Texas Christian University and many claimed it was the support of the school and community that led to the victory.
Anyone who wishes to help with Milford’s homecoming festivities can contact Mr. Voshell at 302-422-1600.