Members of the community showed extra support for the Sheridan Panthers last week for Homecoming 2011, a tradition where both alumni and current students come together each fall to celebrate their Panther pride.
The celebrations took place throughout the week in the form of class competitions sporting events and a parade. While students can easily get caught up in the excitement of pep rallies and parade floats, its important to remember that homecoming is an opportunity for the community to come together and display their school spirit.
The week started off with a Tough Guy Volleyball tournament followed by a Powder Puff Football game. Although the festivities aren’t much more than an opportunity for students to get in on a pick up game with their classmates, the student body gets into it and the “friendly” competition is fierce.
As principal Rodney Stout watched Thursday evening’s rally at the football field, he commented on how nice it was to let the students run the show for once.“It’s always kind of interesting,” he said of the class football and volleyball games. “At the end they got pretty intense and into it.”
14-year-old freshmen Caleb Bowey anxiously watched his teammates toss the football around before Thursday’s rally, looking forward to Friday night’s game against White Sulfur Springs. Even though he won’t start the game, Bowey is still excited to just be a part of the Homecoming celebration.
“I enjoy having the extra people coming here to support us,” he said. “Just being able to celebrate football and volleyball both.”
Following the rally the students fixed their attention on a massive bonfire behind the football field. As the twilight faded to darkness they sang songs and danced circles around the log framework as the flames grew taller, under the careful supervision of the fire department.
“We just let the kids kind of run it. It was a lot of fun,” Stout said of the week’s activities. “Sometimes you gotta step back and let somebody else take over.”
Bowey commented on one of the many highlights of Sheridan’s homecoming.
“We have spirit days all week, which I’m not sure if every other school does it because I’ve been here my whole life, but every year it’s something different and something new to try out,” he said.
After the flames died down and the bonfire was extinguished Thursday night, the crowd faded out as students made their way home for the evening. But the warmth of a community coming together to show support for their school could still be felt.