Payson High School students passed on the almost nationwide practice of electing a football player as homecoming king, choosing instead a candidate who has passed on athletics in favor of academic success, the Renaissance program and other extra curricular activities.
Tyler McMinimy was crowned the 2011 homecoming king during halftime ceremonies of the Payson vs. Sedona Red Rock game on Sept. 30 in Longhorn Stadium. Destiny Henning was crowned homecoming queen completing the honorary court.
While the traditional dance on Saturday evening following the football game marked the culmination of homecoming festivities, it was the crowning of McMinimy and Henning that had students, fans and parents hootin’ and hollerin’ as if they were clutching the winning lottery tickets.
On game day, the gridiron showdown was preceded by the annual homecoming parade that began at Julia Randall Elementary School, proceeded down Main Street and on to Wade and Meadow streets where throngs of Rim Country Middle School students cheered the sports teams, homecoming candidates and the various groups who built floats.
Richard Alvarez, a longtime building
trades teacher and former PHS softball and football coach, served as honorary parade chairman, smiling and waving to almost every cheering onlooker, many of whom were his former students.
Earlier in the week, the various classes, clubs and organizations built floats to enter in the parade that has been a proud PHS tradition for decades.
Most unusual about the parade this year is that it began at 9:30 a.m.
Almost always the parade has tipped off about 2 p.m. or at the conclusion of the Sludge to the Judge cross country race on Main Street.
But this year the race was not held and since Friday was a half-day of school, administrators moved parade time to the earlier hour.
Also during homecoming week, students and alumni celebrated at a raucous bonfire held Thursday evening in the PHS parking lot and at a pep assembly held earlier that afternoon.
Homecoming sponsors designed a theme for each day of the week including Nerd Day, Super Star/Hero, Career Day, Color Day and on Friday Black Out.
In the homecoming game, the Longhorns put a big-time 42-7 hurtin’ on the visiting Scorpions.