Hometown homecoming | SteamboatToday.com

Hometown homecoming

Steamboat Springs High School spirit on display throughout the week

Mike McCollum

Signs decorate the hallways of Steamboat Springs High School on Friday afternoon reminding students to dress up for spirit days during the school's homecoming week this week.

— A legion of alumni filling the stands for the homecoming football game, carefully crafted parade floats, and a coroneted king and queen are images synonymous with small-town America.

“I can still remember my first homecoming here and I was just blown away,” Steamboat Springs High School Principal Mike Knezevich said. “It’s a pretty special thing to have a parade, and I get goose bumps just to see the spirit of the community and the spirit of the school come together : It’s one of those things that make small towns special and small schools special, that there is this sense of community.”

Denise Pearson, class of 1975, said homecoming in Steamboat Springs has always been a special time, although community involvement has been waning in recent years.

“The whole community got involved in it and it used to be really huge,” she said. “It used to be more of a community event than a school event. Before the football game, everyone in town would wear red and white.”

Pearson added that homecoming themes were a little more edgy in her day, with themes such as a “mourning day” for the opposing team. This year’s theme is “under the sea.”

“The homecoming day was also after the game,” she said. “Which was great if we won, but not so great if we lost.”

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Knezevich noted that in many school districts, such as his previous district in Aurora, homecoming was simply a football game followed by a dance.

Not so in Steamboat, Knezevich said. The week ahead is full of daily activities celebrating school spirit, including a teacher skit routine.

“It’s kind of one of those unique things that don’t happen everywhere,” he said. “Probably because not a lot of teachers have the guts and spirit to do what we do.”

Steamboat Springs Booster Club member Karen Deline said a “Hometown Homecoming” event will be held prior to Friday’s football game to drum up school spirit in the community.

“We just decided we wanted to get more homecoming spirit because we feel like it’s been kind of lacking the past few years,” she said. “Before the game on the front lawn, we’ll have a live band, the cheerleaders and alumni, spirit gear and face painters. Then, right before the game, the community can walk down to the field with the band and cheerleaders together.”

Just as Knezevich declined to reveal any details of his skit because he didn’t want to ruin the surprise, high school senior Taylor Miller-Freutel declined to reveal any details about her parade float.

The student body president, who is on the leadership committee that helps organize homecoming activities, said she hopes her fourth homecoming is as special as her first three.

“The tug of war between the classes is always huge, and my class has never won,” Taylor said. “Float building is always so stressful because it never turns out the way we want to. It’s fun building it with your friends, though.”

Powder puff football, the parade, talisman competition events, barbecue lunches, the football game and the dance all fill a busy week.

“There are so many activities and you get so into the school,” Taylor said. “It’s a week where you can forget about all the SAT and ACT stuff and focus on having fun.”