Updates from Upperclassmen: Coming together for Albert Lea’s Homecoming

Published 8:45 pm Friday, September 23, 2022

Updates from Upperclassmen by Ella Bordeaux and Kendall Kenis

A lot of people say that high school is the best four years of your life. As the class of 2023, this is our first, and last, normal year of high school. Our freshman year was cut short due to COVID, and our sophomore and junior years were filled with COVID as well. This year, the senior class has decided to really embrace all the Homecoming activities. With the help and support from our school, we were able to create an unforgettable and incredible week filled with school spirit and tiger pride.

Ella Bordeaux

Homecoming week has always been one of our favorite weeks of the school year; it brings us together as a school and as a community, but this year it was about so much more than that. It was about what we have overcome in the past two years since COVID. We brought back things that haven’t been done for years, and also took already existing activities and made them better. Countless teachers, administrators, community members and students have stepped up this past month to plan things and be leaders. With great support from the school administration and staff, we were able to see our ideas be supported and put into action. 

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The week kicked off Sept. 9 with a pepfest with the pep band playing, fun cheers, messages from fall sports captains, dress-up day announcements, and of course the revealing of Homecoming royalty. For many of the kids in the school, this was their first time experiencing a pepfest at the high school, but when we entered the gym, the student body’s energy was amazing. There was great school spirit and support from students and staff. 

The week leading up to Homecoming was filled with enthusiasm and fun activities to participate in. We had fun dress-up days through the week and countless students dressed up to show their tiger pride. There was also a door decorating contest with our advisory classes. This was a fun and creative way to bring Tiger pride to our hallways. Wednesday morning the Student Council hosted a senior sunrise event. The senior class gathered at the Hammer Complex wearing senior pants and all black outfits to eat donuts, watch the sunrise and enjoy our precious time together. Thursday was coronation; the whole school gathered in the gym to watch the Homecoming tradition of naming the 2022 Homecoming king and queen. This really brought the school together since the past two years only the seniors could watch due to COVID.

Kendall Kenis

Friday, we had a field day; the high school let out at 1 p.m., and there were games that students could play as well as everyone’s favorite, the powderpuff game, which featured a teacher team this year. This is always a huge hit, but a lot of work goes into making this happen. It takes everyone from the administration and teachers to the students to buy into the school spirit. The student body did just that. We had many participants in the tournament, fans to cheer on our athletes and staff reffing and commentating on the powerpuff game. As seniors, we start to see the last of many things, and this makes us value every moment. To have fun during powderpuff and see everyone outside laughing and just enjoying some fun with our peers was much needed. 

After the field day was over, many of us went to participate in the Homecoming parade. It was a hit, with many sports teams and clubs taking time to make floats and walk in the parade, and community members lining the street to watch as the parade went by. To experience this as seniors was just breathtaking. We could feel the love from our community and our school in that parade. It allowed for the community and the school to come together and show some love to the students and staff who work hard everyday to create a great place at Albert Lea High School. 

After the parade, some of the seniors got together for an informal “tailgate” before the game, playing games like Spikeball and Connect 4. Of course the game was Friday night as well, with a huge student section as we all gathered in our “black out” apparel ready to cheer on our Tiger football team. We had the seniors down front leading cheers, the pep band playing music and the ALDT cheering on the Tigers. The environment at this Homecoming was electric; everyone was there to cheer until the end and have unforgettable fun with their friends. 

Saturday night was the dance, and it was an absolutely incredible night full of fun. In years previous, there always was an informal dance directly after the game, and then no dance because of COVID. This year it was a semi-formal dance the Saturday after the game, which gave everyone a chance to get together with their friends and get all dressed up, then come to the dance and tear up the dance floor. 

While lots of things were different, and still some remained the same, Albert Lea High School had an unforgettable Homecoming. From the view of a student, we believe that the people at Albert Lea High School are able to overcome challenges, care for our community and have a good time. This was overall a year of growth and unity, which was a really beautiful thing to experience.  

Ella Bordeaux and Kendall Kenis are seniors at Albert Lea High School.