For high schools around the nation, Homecoming is more than just a Friday night football game. It is a welcoming back to alumni and a merging of the past and present: a week-long celebration of high school. Payson High School is once again preparing to participate in this tradition, beginning today.
"Music Makes You Lose Control" is the week's theme.
Events begin Friday, Sept. 23 with a "Kickoff Assembly," where the cheerleaders will help the student government promote the coming week.
Later that evening, The Ugly Longhorn makes his debut. "Ugly" is a homemade mascot the student government advisers hide each morning, and students (organized by class) must find him and bring him home.
Monday, students come to school with dreadlocks or wearing Jamaican colors. That evening, a bonfire will be held at the Payson Event Center. We will have a barbecue cookoff, and a Falcon-burning competition (the Fountain Hills mascot).
Tuesday, the theme is Latino. Students come to school dressed as tango dancers. Tuesday night is game night, where the various classes square off by participating in different games. Relays and scavenger hunts will also be included throughout the night.
Wednesday, the students will come in Rock 'n' Roll get-up, and will attend an assembly before lunch to watch the candidates for freshman through junior class attendants, and the four senior attendant teams who will compete to be Homecoming King and Queen.
Thursday, everyone will dress in cowboy gear in honor of the country western theme of the day. Thursday is a half-day throughout the district for parent-teacher conferences, so no in-school activities are planned.
Friday is another half-day of school, but this is the most action-packed day of the week. The Payson High School cross country team hosts the annual "Sludge to the Judge" race. Immediately following that race, the parade down Main Street begins, departing from north Green Valley Park. The second-annual Tailgate Party will be held at the Payson Schools maintenance department from 5 p.m to 7 p.m.
The grand finale to the week is at 7 p.m. sharp, when the Fountain Hills Falcons (3A South) come to town to face our Longhorns. At halftime, this writer will announce the Homecoming King and Queen on the KMOG broadcast. Last year's King and Queen, Donnie Wilbanks and Haylee Huff, will be in town to pass on the crowns to the next in the long line of PHS royalty. At the conclusion of the game, all Payson High School students are invited to join the king and queen at the Homecoming Dance, sponsored by the wrestling program.
Student government has been working on Homecoming logistics for the past four weeks, and we look forward to watching our work come to fruition for what should be yet another successful week. We invite everyone to come out and join in the fun.
Details are online at www.paysonsports.net. Go Longhorns!