SOFO HOCO 2021: The Return of the Homecoming traditions
October 26, 2021
From October 18th – 22nd, South celebrated Homecoming Week, the annual tradition where students and staff showcase their school spirit and support for the football team. This led up to the hallmark Homecoming game on Friday the 22nd.
Throughout the week, SOFO students and staff geared up in Spirit Week-themed apparel, and the student body showed up to cheer on the varsity War Eagles against the Denmark Danes. The eventful and spirit-filled week concluded with a HOCO dance to congratulate the football team for their hard work and the students for their amazing support.
Homecoming Spirit Week
This HoCo spirit week was full of entertaining themes ranging from hilarious onesies to intricate ensembles. Each theme brought out a different side of SoFo staff and students’ personalities as they donned costumes to match every day. With the opportunity for group costumes on several days, spirit week truly brought the student body together in preparation for the big day.
On Monday, students and teachers rolled right out of bed with their cozy pajamas sporting some of their favorite hobbies from M&Ms to Star Wars. Some teachers even took it an extra step and donned full robes, embracing the Scrooge aesthetic to its fullest. Others had an even more hilarious take, coming to school in extravagant nightgowns.
Tuesday was twin day, and we saw multitudes of best friends dressing up as twins to celebrate the event. From matching hoodies to completely coordinated outfits, many of the ensembles had people seeing double.
Wednesday was character day, and students dressed up to match their favorite characters from shows, movies, books and even real life. Several staff members dressed to match and from a series of characters, such as those from Toy Story. Ms. Hunt and Mr. Wolff were Jessie and Woody, and Mr. Nelson dressed up as Buzz Lightyear. Several students even dressed up as their favorite teachers to have fun with the theme.
Thursday, which was decades day, saw the student body sporting clothes from every decade of fashion history. Some teachers went all-out with Victorian ball gowns, whereas others kept it more low-key with a pair of mom jeans and an oversized tee reminiscent of the ‘90s.
Friday was class color day; every grade dressed up in their respective colors to hype up the school for the oncoming game. The Spirit Week truly built up excitement in the student body for the game and the thrilling dance.
Check out the slideshow below featuring different students and teachers who have dressed up throughout the week!
SFHS Homecoming Spirit Week by Shree Delwadia
Homecoming Court and Football Game
On Friday, October 22nd, students, faculty, families, and alumni eagerly filled the War Eagle Stadium, awaiting the start of the game of the year.
The South Forsyth marching band, dance team, and cheerleaders supported the players as they prepared to take on Denmark High School for the annual homecoming football game. As South and Denmark were the last two undefeated teams in the region, this game was definitely one for the books.
The game began with the Denmark Danes winning the coin toss and choosing to defer. This allowed South to receive the ball and start off the game. During the first quarter, the ball continued to be passed back and forth between the Danes and the War Eagles. Both teams punted multiple times during the quarter, with not much change in the score. However, with 1 minute remaining in the first quarter, the Danes lined up for a field goal attempt and successfully kicked a field goal to get ahead of South. This play adjusted the scoreboard to 3-0, putting Denmark in the lead at the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the second quarter, senior Tight End Mason Capers caught the ball, gaining five yards for South. The War Eagles gained another penalty during this quarter, moving the ball towards the Danes’ offensive end zone. The War Eagles fought hard during the second quarter as they earned their first touchdown of the game with 4 minutes left. South’s touchdown caused the score to go up 7-3 with the War Eagles now in the lead. After gaining the lead during the second quarter, the athletes and audience were ready for the annual homecoming festivities during halftime.
Students and staff happily waited for the crowning of their homecoming court after a week full of spirit and fun. SFHS Principal Ms. Laura Wilson began the night off by recognizing the faculty king and queen, Chief Wagner and Ms. Kristine Naffky. Following their crowning, the announcer recognized all the students on the court who were beyond thrilled to represent their grades during one of the biggest games of the year. Dylan Cox and Kai Katz were part of the freshmen homecoming court.
“I’m a people person so my favorite part about the week was making new friends,” said Katz. “I felt it was such an honor to represent our South freshman class.
The sophomore homecoming court consisted of Braden Belue and Lauryn Heath; the junior court consisted of Byrce Hammond and Sara Kate Newsome. Finally, after the underclassman made their way off the field, the senior homecoming court prepared to line up along the different yard lines.
The crowd roared in excitement as their senior homecoming court was finally announced. The senior male homecoming court was made up of Luke Sears, Gavin Morris, Mason Cooper, Mason Capers, Justin Tyre, Clay Walsh. Moreover, the senior female homecoming court was made up of Audrey Belue, Bella Kate Caro, Emory Hilton, Madison Blanchard, Julia Nazarowski, and Kate May.
“It felt like a dream come true! I think every girl dreams of becoming the Homecoming Queen, and the feeling I got when they called my name was indescribable,” said homecoming queen Audrey Belue. “I think my favorite part [of the night] was seeing all the love and support from my friends. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you make an impact on people and that they chose [you] to represent the school in this way.”
Something I enjoyed about the game was how we played as a team. Even though we came up short, we played hard and didn’t give up. It made us come closer together at the end of the day.
— Tight End and Outside Lineback Justin Tyre
After admin crowned the homecoming court, the players returned to the field in hopes for a victorious third quarter.
South began the second half of the game by kicking off. The score during the first half of the third quarter did not change much as there was not much progression for the War Eagles. Later in the quarter, the Danes displayed their skills as they came out and scored on their first possession. As the Danes earned their second touchdown of the game, Denmark was now in the lead with a score of 10-7. The War Eagles showcased their dedication as they fought hard during the third quarter. However, South’s offense stalled again allowing Denmark to take over and score near the end of the third quarter, which caused the score to go up 17-7.
In the fourth quarter, the War Eagles continued to execute their strategic pays in order to get ahead of the Danes. With three minutes left in the 4th quarter, the Eagles soared high as they earned another touchdown, bringing the point deficit to 3 points. With a score of 17-14 in favor of Denmark, South had less than two minutes to bring home victory. In order to score a win, South needed to kick off and get a stop in order to get the ball back in their hands. South’s offense pushed past the challenges as they came up big and stopped the Danes’s offense. The Danes passed the ball back to South as they prepared to punt, with a chance to win or tie the game. In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Eagles played harder than ever before as the crowd continued to hype them up and show their enthusiasm. With the ball in their playing field, South had the chance to drive down the entire field to win the game.
However, their first three plays came up short, landing them with only 30 seconds left in the game. On the fourth down attempt to save the game, South came up short near the end and dropped the pass. As the clock continued ticking, the Denmark Danes ended the game as their quarterback took a knee and South had no remaining time-outs. With a final score of 17-14, Denmark won the game with a 3 point lead.
While South’s homecoming game ended in a loss, the Eagles most definitely gave the night their all as they fought hard and worked as a team. As the night ended, the team huddled together and reflected on their plays and passes.
For the team, this defeat only served as strong motivation for their next game against North Forsyth High School.
“We all made mistakes that night and forgive each other because we know we made some ourselves,” said senior Offensive line Luke Sears. “We also learned that the only thing stopping us from winning games is ourselves and not the other team.”
On Saturday night, the SFHS student council hung colorful lights all over the plaza, passed out glow sticks and even gave out light bulb-shaped cookies to advance the “Light Up The Night” theme of the HOCO dance.
When the gates to the plaza opened, the student body buzzed with excitement as they entered the brightly lit square. The event swelled with school spirit as the students and staff danced the night away to famous throwbacks and catchy tunes.
Since SFHS did not host a dance last year due to COVID-19, many students were excited to see what the school planned for the resumed tradition. In 2019, South hosted the dance in the Blue Gym, but to maintain social distancing, the school decided to hold this year’s HOCO in the plaza. The dress code for the dance was semi-formal, and many students dressed in shorter dresses, wore sneakers and went blazer-less to align with the casual vibes.
“The dance was a great high school experience that I got to attend for the first time,” said junior Vivan Tadakamalla. “It was a good welcoming back from my virtual year.”
Not only did South switch up the dance by relocating it, but the school also hired a coffee truck to distribute a variety of items including coffee, smoothies, and more. The school provided one free ticket for every attendee, giving them their choice of drink from the truck. Students clustered in a long line, giddy to get their drinks to quench their thirst from their lively dancing. The coffee truck was a fan favorite and a big success at the dance. Many students hope to see a similar attraction for the Homecoming dance in the future.
Ultimately, South Forsyth High School’s 2021 Homecoming dance truly lit up the night with more than just LEDs. Student smiles illuminated the event as they had the time of their lives after long months of social distancing and cancelled plans.