Homecoming traditions are close to the hearts of many alumni.
“Regardless of how our society changes, tradition is something we can always come back to,” said Rachel Sizemore, Copperas Cove High School Student Council sponsor. “It’s like home, especially if you’re out there in the world for the first time. It’s nice to come back and see the familiar faces.”
Alumni, from as recent as last year, turned up last week for the high school’s homecoming football game, in which the Bulldawgs beat Nuevo Leon 54-7.
“We had some kids who are in the military that came back,” said Principal Earl Parcell. “There were also several kids who had been around the last few years who came back to say hello.”
Parcell used to teach at the high school and sees homecoming in a different light now that he’s the principal. “I was trying to get the kids to focus on math, not homecoming,” he said. “Now, as the principal, it’s significant. It’s important. It means the world to these kids to be nominated.”
Students nominated for homecoming court campaigned the week before homecoming. Voting took place electronically during lunch the Tuesday before the game. Winners were announced during the Wednesday pep rally and again on Friday.
“I thought it was a good opportunity,” said Stephanie Cochran, 17, who won homecoming queen. “Being on the field with my mom and stepdad will be one of my last high school memories.”
Of course, the final decision on homecoming king and queen lies with the voting student body, but campaigning to get their names out there was a challenge for some candidates.
“Getting people to vote was pretty hard,” said Kasey Rivera, 18, who was voted king. “It’s senior year, you might as well go out with a bang.”
Parcell, however, was just pleased to have the high school students behave during the week before the game.
“Kids acted appropriately the whole time. The festivities Friday night went off without a hitch,” he said. “It was a great night.”
Though the school has its main traditions of themed dress-up days and a pep rally the week of homecoming, Sizemore is looking to expand the festivities in coming years by reintroducing a citywide pep rally she remembers from her time as a student at CCHS.
“I’d like to bring back the town pep rallies, getting the community involved,” she said. “We are also looking at having an alumni dance again, just to get the school spirit throughout the community instead of just at the school. Football is Copperas Cove. ... This game in particular is the best one to get everyone involved.”