Homecoming+2020.+Spirit+Week%2C+a+pinnacle+football+game%2C+and+homecoming+court+filled+South+with+festivities+the+week+of+10%2F25.+Despite+the+changes+that+COVID-19+brought+to+the+school+year%2C+homecoming+remained+a+shining+constant.+

Grace Drawdy

Homecoming 2020. Spirit Week, a pinnacle football game, and homecoming court filled South with festivities the week of 10/25. Despite the changes that COVID-19 brought to the school year, homecoming remained a shining constant.

SOFO HOCO 2020: War Eagle Spirit perseveres through adversity

November 11, 2020

The week of October 26th was South Forsyth’s 2020 Homecoming Week, culminating in the pinnacle football game on Friday, October 30th. Despite unusual circumstances due to COVID-19 and social distancing, South staff and students did their level best to display their school spirit and maintain positive attitudes. Throughout the week, both faculty and students dressed up following each day’s spirit theme. Because Red Ribbon Week coincided with Homecoming Week, the Student Council selected spirit day themes that promoted drugs and alcohol prevention awareness. Students could also vote on the Homecoming Court for their individual grades, as well as the overall faculty court. The vote was on itslearning, giving virtual students the opportunity to vote as well, which was just one of the ways South kept COVID in mind while keeping HOCO spirit alive.

Homecoming Spirit Week

Homecoming Spirit Week is a long-standing tradition at South Forsyth High School. Each day of the week, students dress up in different outfits to display their school spirit. This year, spirit week was intertwined with National Red Ribbon Week. Along with encouraging drug awareness and prevention, students and faculty showcased their school pride leading up to the Homecoming Game against Gainesville High School. Each day of the week was dedicated to a different yet exciting theme! On Monday, students dressed up in different shades of red in honor of Red Ribbon Week. Tuesday was Jersey Day; students wore their favorite sports’ spirit wear, shining their team’s colors all day. Decade’s Day on Wednesday was a throwback to the past. The halls were filled with outfits from the 50s, 80s, 90s, and more! Although school was canceled on Thursday due to Hurrican Zeta, students showed up on Friday in their grade’s colors and with high spirits.

“My favorite part of spirit week is feeling the excited anticipation from our student body leading up to the Homecoming game,” said senior Dawn Torow. “My favorite day was Decades Day because there is a lot of creative liberty. When I told everyone I was dressing up as a person from the 70s, my friends were really surprised when I wore a dress from the 1770s.”

Students were very excited to dress up to different themes throughout the week to showcase their school spirit. Those who participated in Spirit Week were entered into a raffle for a chance to win Chick-Fil-A gift cards. While spirit week was cut short due to inclement weather, students were able to display their SOFO spirit during the other days of the week. 

“My favorite part of Homecoming Week is the crowning of both the faculty king and queen and the homecoming king and queen,” said Ms. McGray, sponsor for SFHS student council. “During spirit week, my favorite day to dress up was Decades Day!”

Spirit Week Gallery by Shree Delwadia

Homecoming Football Game

At the end of Spirit Week, South Forsyth’s varsity football team faced off against the Gainesville Red Elephants for the Homecoming game on Friday, October 30th. SOFO students geared up in white, black, gray, and blue, cheering on the football team with masks and social distancing.

Homecoming night. The War Eagles and the Red Elephants line up at the line of scrimmage. The War Eagles started with possession of the ball. (Imagine used with permission from Lily McGregor).

South’s captains, Devin McGlockton, Alec Stephens, Bradley Hutcherson, and Taft Hilton walked onto the field for the coin toss to determine which team would receive the ball. South won the toss and chose to start on defense. The War Eagles’ strong defense stopped a second down play and brought up third down with ten yards to the first. A fourth-down field goal attempt by Gainsville was no-good, and South obtained the ball on their twenty-yard line. A second down play to senior McGlockton ended in a first down for the War Eagles, and after a second down with six yards, a pass mid-field from quarterback Kyle Durham to Gavin Morris resulted in another first down. Gainsville intercepted a third-down pass and returned to South Forsyth’s own 45-yard line. Gainesville, running off the adrenaline of their interception, ran down the field for a touchdown.

War Eagle defense. Defensive end, Taft Hilton is blocking a Gainesville player. Hilton tried to stop the receiver from running a route. (Imagine used with permission from Lily McGregor).

Gainesville attempted an onside kick, but South recovered the ball on their 47-yard line. A quick three downs ended with a fumble with Gainesville recovering the ball. After the first quarter, Gainesville led, 7-0.

Resuming play, South’s defense went back out on the field with Jayden Nelson intercepting a Gainesville pass. With the referees calling a penalty against Gainesville on the play, South declined it, putting themselves at a first and ten. A third-down rocket from Durham to McGlockton ended in a South first down. A personal foul penalty against Gainesville moved South up 15 yards. Another pass completion by Durham put South in the red zone. With only yards away from the endzone, the Gainesville defense drew an offsides penalty. South moved closer, and the offense lined up yards away from a touchdown. With a run into the endzone, Durham put South on the board. An extra point by South’s kicker tied the game at 7-7. South kicked and Alex Urias brought down Gainesville’s kick returner at the 43-yard line. South’s defensemen, led by senior Bryce Myers, stopped Gainvesille’s offensive effort and sent them to a third down and 15. Red Elephants quarterback launched a pass that went beyond South’s defenders and fell into a receiver’s hands–first and ten for Gainesville. The Red Elephants ran downfield and scored another touchdown, putting them ahead 14-7. At the half, the score remained 14-7 Red Elephants.

Getting ready to throw. Quarterback, Kyle Durham is looking for someone open to throw the football to. Durham caught the snap from the center. (Imagine used with permission from Lily McGregor).

To begin the second half, Matthew Meersman received the kick and brought it to South’s 28-yard line. Unable to gain a first down, South was forced to punt the ball. Although the punt was blocked, South’s Tyler Simpson recovered the ball. With possession of the ball once again, a throw to Thompson was enough for a first down. South was able to move the chains down another ten yards after a successful rush attempt. South’s second touchdown was a pass to McGlockton, tying the game 14-14 at the end of the third quarter. 

South’s offense marched down the field play after play to begin the fourth quarter. However, Durham threw an interception in the endzone, and Gainesville ran it down the sideline. After a tag-team hit by Tabor Fleming and Alec Stephens, South forced Gainesville to punt the ball. After failing to score, South punted the ball, giving Gainesville possession. The Red Elephants had a successful drive to put the score up 21-14 and led for the rest of the game. The final score was 28-14 Red Elephants.

Players agreed that a lot needs to happen on and off the field to prepare for Friday night’s game. Senior Devin McGlockton, disappointed with the game’s outcome, commented on improvements that need to be seen: “Our defense was pretty good, but we are trying to improve our blocking and offense.”

Sophomore Tyler Simpson also commented: “As a team, we need to improve on making tackles.”

South faces the Denmark Danes at Denmark High School on Friday, November 6th. 

Homecoming Court

When halftime hit, the homecoming celebrations began. Before announcing the members of the student court, the homecoming faculty winners were announced. College and Career Center Counselor, Ms. Mallamace, and South’s emotional support dog, Jeter, were crowned queen and king.

Afterwards, the students on the SOFO homecoming court were ready to walk across the field. Jack Jeffries and Leah Bagwell represented the freshman class, Ethan Yarbrough and Allie Rose Carol represented the sophomore class, Justin Tyre and Audrey Belue represented the junior class, and twelve senior students walked after them: Gia Lure, Esther Kim, Avery Wyckoff, Sloane Womac, Jansen Harris, Aliyah Thompson, Anthony Adside, Michael Dotson, Alec Stephens, Chan Baik, Devin Schmuckal, and Devin McGlockton. While each student walked across the field, the announcer described their academic and extracurricular accomplishments along with their future college and career plans. When the announcer was ready to announce king and queen, silence overtook the crowd. Chan Baik won Homecoming King, and Esther Kim won Homecoming Queen.

Photo used with permission from Leah McGray.

“I think homecoming court was handled perfectly despite being in the middle of a pandemic,” said senior Jansen Harris. “It gave me a moment of “normal” which was nice since none of us had that for a while.”

Despite the pandemic and social distancing guidelines, many homecoming court nominees still had their night of glitz and glam to remember. 

Photo used with permission with Leah McGray

“Getting the opportunity to walk on the field and represent my class for two years in a row is an amazing experience. I was very thankful for getting to have my parents by my side cheering me on in the stands,” said senior Gia Lure. “My favorite part about homecoming court was being able to walk down the field with my dad, and getting to go on the track and dance with my teammates afterwards.”

“Although we must be social distance and wear our masks, there are still ways to be fun and friendly. Doing little tasks like holding doors or waving at someone can make them feel more comfortable in school and make them appreciate the school and their peers.” Said Jansen Harris. 

Photo used with permission from Leah McGray

“It really comes down to wearing a mask, keeping in mind social distancing, and contact tracing.” said senior homecoming court nominee, Devin Schmuckal. “School spirit is still possible with COVID and all the new regulations, you just have to be adaptable to the changes. I have learned to live with these changes and keep contributing to my community and school spirit.”

Students were ecstatic to see their nominees walk down the field with their loved one, and help cultivate our school spirit for years to come.

South’s 2020 Homecoming Spirit Week was one to remember. Even through a pandemic and a hurricane, South’s faculty and students kept their War Eagle spirit as bright as ever, bringing a sense of normalcy and unity to the entire school. Whether they were virtual or in-person, Homecoming provided an opportunity for every South student to destress, enjoy themselves, and remember that they were #SouthStrong.

About the Contributors
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The Bird Feed Staff,
The Bird Feed is the student news site of South Forsyth High School. We serve the student body by providing timely and relevant content to our readers.

We place an emphasis on objective news, but The Bird Feed does have a character that represents our staff which we will present occasionally. We also give significance to multimedia and believe that it is vital to maintaining a diverse and engaging news site.
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Grace Drawdy, Editor-in-Chief
Grace Drawdy is a senior and has been a part of The Bird Feed for four years. After taking on the role of the Associate Editor, she is excited to be the Editor- in- Chief. She hopes to finish out her final year with a bang, and lead the staff to reach new goals. You can find her making a splash at the Swim Atlanta Sugarloaf location where she is a year-round, competitive swimmer. Grace loves to live life loud. Her heart beats for kids fighting pediatric cancer, and she wants to heal them all. She loves spending time with her friends. In a rare moment of downtime, you can find Grace having a solo dance party or binging Netflix. You can contact her via twitter or email.

 

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