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The 2016 Homecoming Nominees and their escorts.

[ot-caption title=”The 2016 Homecoming Nominees and their escorts. (via Rachel Rutstein, senior”]

Every year students show their school spirit during the highly anticipated homecoming week. Students dress up according to assigned themes and colors for each grade level. In addition to dressing up, many groups of students perform throughout the week to help raise school spirit and entertain their peers. The Homecoming Court Assembly, Powderpuff Dance, cheerleading routine, and hip hop dance are all homecoming week traditions that many students look forward to each year. These daily activities built up the hype for homecoming football game. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

The senior boys show off their refined dance moves in their final homecoming Powderpuff dance. (via Sophie Glassman, junior)
The senior boys show off their refined dance moves in their final homecoming Powderpuff dance. (via Sophie Glassman, junior)

Wednesday, September 28, marked the Homecoming Court Assembly when the ten nominees selected by the seniors for Homecoming King and Queen are introduced to the entire student body. Math teacher Tim Curran read the comical speeches for the second year in a row, and each nominee had the opportunity to bring two escorts up with them on stage; some, like Hannah Cohen, only brought up one escort, and nominee Dani Swords walked solo.[spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

“I was too busy with the hustle and bustle of homecoming, so I couldn’t even get escorts,” senior Dani Swords said. “Also, I was too afraid to ask anyone because I get nervous on stage, and I didn’t want to put anyone else through that. When we got on stage, I was trembling. Even though I am glad it is over, the experience was still fun.” [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Run by chairs Juliette Pozzuoli ’17 and Noa Weiner, the annual Playing for Change concert showcased students’ musical talents from all grades and raised money for charity, Funding Arts Broward. There were many returning performers, such as Brett Koolik ’17 and Tara Perez ’18, but there were also many new performers on the stage, like Samantha Gonzalaz ’19. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

“When I got onstage I was thinking about how nervous I was, but once the music started, I forgot all about it because this event is about having fun and I had my friends up on stage with me,” Samantha said. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Thursday, September 29, was dedicated to dressing up in class colors and to cheering on the popular Powderpuff game and Powderpuff dance. This year, the boys’ performance occurred following the game instead of halftime. During Powderpuff game, the junior and senior girls had their game faces on as their classmates enjoyed the game from the bleachers. The Powderpuff dance, choreographed by girls and cheerleaders from each designated grade, featured flips, flyers, and a lot of laughs. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Students from each grade show off their class colors. (via Sophie Glassman, junior)
Students from each grade show off their class colors. (via Sophie Glassman, junior)

On Friday, September 30, students embodied Panther Pride as they dressed in green and white. Between the green capes, green tutus, green necklaces, and green sunglasses, the student body showed what homecoming is all about. The pep rally held that day, which featured the cheerleading routine and hip hop performance, continued to build up the excitement for the football game and the awaited announcement of the homecoming king and queen. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

“I have loved every moment of Hip Hop Club and cheerleading over the years,” said cheer co-captain and co-president of Hip Hop Club, Lilliana de Souza ’17. “Getting to organize it and being in charge this year for homecoming was a lot of work, but it was also amazing. I’m going to miss the wonderful people on my team and in my club, but mostly running the groups with my cheer co-captain Maddie Hage ’17 and my hip hop co-president Tiffany Blanco ’17. This homecoming was one to remember.” [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

The Hip Hop Club performed during the Pep Rally. (via Rachel Rutstein, Senior)
The Hip Hop Club performed during the Pep Rally. (via Rachel Rutstein, Senior)

During the Friday pep rally, all four grades decked out their quarter of the gym in their class color and cheered on their peers in the two performances and wacky competitions. Balloons, streamers, and posters covered the bleachers and walls for the pep rally. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

“One of the best things about homecoming is to see all the high school students compete for the Spirit Stick and to see them decorate the gym in their class colors for the pep rally,” Ms. Blackwell, the cheerleading coach, said. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

The cheerleaders’ job was not done after the Pep Rally. They also performed their routines throughout the football game to pump up the crowd, despite the rainy weather. At the football game, students brought signs, props, and anything else that excited the crowd and motivated the football players. Even though the grades competed against each other throughout the week to win the Spirit Stick, everyone came together at the football game to cheer on one team: the Panthers. [spacer height=”10px” id=”2″]

Congratulations to Mikey Mattone and Marisol Beaufrand who won Homecoming King and Queen, to the Class of 2017 for winning the Spirit Stick for the first time, and to the Pine Crest Panthers football team for defeating St. Andrews.