On Sept. 7, 2021, West Ranch ASB hosted their first Homecoming spirit week in nearly two years, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Across campus, flags from various countries decorated the trees and buildings, in addition to beautiful chalk murals plastering the floor. All of this was to celebrate this year’s theme, “Around the World.”
Aishwarya Sudan, West Ranch freshman class president, explained, “[ASB] wanted to engage [students and staff across campus] and celebrate everyone’s heritage by [holding] a series of events throughout the week, ending the fun week with ‘patriot day’ on Friday [to honor the lives lost on 9/11].”
Mrs. Priske, West Ranch’s ASB director, went on to say that after coming back from a long year of distance learning, “it was important to get kids excited for school again. Our goal was to highlight all the wonderful diversity we have on campus and celebrate being back in school.”
Senior Kaitlyn Jizmejian explained the feeling of being back on campus and being able to participate in “normal” activities. “It was great to see everyone excited to be back at school. I know that these little things like spirit week are building my high school memories and I am happy to have the opportunity to have them!”
Throughout the week, ASB hosted four events to raise spirit for the homecoming event happening on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7, ASB held a spaghetti eating contest in the upper quad. With four hungry participants, each representing their class. Drew Greenberg from the Class of 2023 came out on top.
On Wednesday, the homecoming court joined a game of musical chairs, dancing to music from various cultures around the world. The pack leaders and a crowd of students came out to support the competition, with Will Bennett and Jaylee Garcia being the last two contestants.
While Garcia proved victorious, Bennet said, “I’m just glad that we are all here to laugh and interact with each other. Also, this game isn’t a big deal, it’s who wins Homecoming King. And that’s gonna be me!”
On Thursday, Sept. 9, students across all grade levels had the opportunity to organize booths by the ASB office to “show off” their culture using various mediums. Individually packaged food, flyers, photographs, and trinkets were handed out to the students surrounding the multicultural booths during brunch.
Kayla Patel, freshman class vice president, elaborated, “we had many students participate, and they shared about their culture, their religion, their country, where they come from, their background, [etc.]. They had their individual booths and they brought items from their culture, and they shared them [with] the students.”
She went on to say, “[There were booths from] India, South Korea, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and so many more. We were able to get a lot of students to participate in that, and it was so fun to see everyone interacting with each other.”
Lastly, on Friday, one day before the big day of the homecoming event, students crowded the outdoor theater to watch the very first rally of the year. Rally hosts Kaitlyn Saxton, Kendall Schauble, and Caden Miller welcomed the bubbling students filling the rows and called out individuals not decked out in their red, white, and blue.
Vibrant posters, a red carpet for the Homecoming Court, and a huge dunk tank started students’ conversations. After Aishwarya Sudan sang the national anthem, Mr. Crawford, West Ranch’s principal, came out and greeted the students. He led the student body through a “rollercoaster,” every students’ hands going up, down, left, and right.
Afterwards, students were encouraged to vote for Homecoming court. Male nominees walked down the red carpet along with their mothers and “dates” and did a little handshake or dance. When all the nominees were introduced, the West Ranch dance team, cheer team and drumline came out onto the stage and put on exciting performances. Students danced to the beat of the music and cheered on their classmates.
Following the performances, Saxton exclaimed that it was time to dunk a staff member. Conversation erupted as West Ranch’s safety supervisor, Juan Lopez, walked up to the seat of the dunk tank. Varsity football players, Ryan Stuab, Brady Van Bennekum, and Ty Deperno were each given a football to try and dunk Lopez. Although they missed the target a few times, Van Bennekum was successful, running up to the target and slamming it with the football.
As students filed out of the amphitheater, they were reminded to buy the red, white and blue West Ranch spirit shirt and vote for Homecoming king and queen.
Avery Watson, freshman student at West Ranch said that her favorite part of spirit week was going to the rally. “It was a lot of fun, we got to see the dance team and band perform. I really liked the percussion section.”
We are so thankful for all the work ASB puts into making every event. Cats, make sure to stay tuned for future spirit weeks and events!