In the first week of October, Dana celebrated the highly anticipated homecoming week, themed “The Greatest Showman.” To get excited for the big game, students dressed up throughout the week for theme days.
On Friday Oct. 4, the homecoming week concluded with a pep-rally. The homecoming theme for 2019 was “The Greatest Showman”. Associated Student Union (ASU) got the students excited by letting them take part in games like balloon stomp and student scavenger hunt. The teachers also got to join in the fun by competing against each other in making balloon animals. Along with competing in games, all the students got the opportunity to score points for their respective classes. To get excited for the big game later on that day, the student body and staff watched the football “hype” video.
Towards the middle of the rally, the Pep Squad team performed a great dance for all in attendance.
Later in the rally, the homecoming court was introduced. On the queen side were seniors Audrey Lambros, Eve Roch, Izzy Gendreau, Lilly Lawson, Lauren Britton, and Emma Baker. On the prince side were seniors Max Upp, Jack Fallon, Danny Cullen, Josh Wallen, Adler Zachary, and Dimitri Meyer. The pep-rally finally ended with the notorious question being asked, “Hey Dana, how do you feel?”
Later that night was the moment that all of Dana had been waiting for—the big game against Laguna Hills. The student section was overflowing with students, and there was not an empty seat in the whole stadium. Some came to watch the football game, and some came to watch the “Greatest Halftime Show on Earth.”
Going into halftime, the football team was losing by six points, but no one would have noticed based on the crowd’s excitement. The halftime show started with all the lights in the stadium shutting off and the students running onto the field with sets more than twenty feet in the air.
Senior President, Danny Cullen, Activities Commissioner, Izzy Gendreau, and all of ASU had been planning this very special event since July seventh.
After organizing most of the show and all the homecoming week, along with being in the homecoming court, Gendreau was ecstatic with how it turned out.
She commented on the halftime show, saying, “From seeing 1,100 students run out onto the football field to the seniors taking one final bow, this homecoming show was like no other. Was it perfect? It depends how you define perfect. The generator, half the lights went out, and no one in the stands could hear a thing, but yes it’s perfect. Looking around when the fireworks went off, I saw nothing but smiling faces and a few tears, full of joy. I could not be more honored that I had the chance to help produce it.”
During the halftime show, the power in the stadium went out. According to Mathew Sargent and Ken Nedler, ASU tried to acquire a bigger generator, but were unable to do so. Because the generator was too small, the equipment drew too much power, causing it to crash. The spectators in the stands noted a slight difference in the noise level not being loud enough when the generator crashed. This was quickly fixed by removing the headsets and using a live microphone.
On top of all the chaos of homecoming, it was Grimmy’s last year performing the halftime show.
Grimmy taught drama and english at Dana for 39 years, announced three different sports and was a freshman baseball coach in the 1990s.
When asked what his favorite thing to do at Dana Hills was, Grimmy commented, “It has to be the halftime show one-hundred percent.” With this being the last halftime show for Grimmy, he has passed the torch down to English teacher, Timothy Sampson.
It was not just Grimmy’s last homecoming show at Dana Hills. Ken Nedler, who has been head of ASU for ten years plus, created his last halftime show this year. Nedler has expanded the size of ASU by a great amount, allowing for it to become a huge part of Dana Hills. Just in the past four years, Nedler and ASU have won the very prestigious Stillwagon award and received an honorable mention. It will be sad to see Nedler leave, but his impact on ASU will be carried on forever.
The show concluded with Sampson announcing the Homecoming King and Queen. Wallen was announced as King, and Roche was announced as Queen. When asked how she felt about winning the title of Homecoming Queen, Roche stated, “I ultimately was very overwhelmed with the amount of love people showed me that night. I was extremely honored to even be on court with such amazing people in the first place. Being acknowledged by my peers filled me with much gratitude. All I’m going to say is that my heart is still overflowing and Dana Hills, you are a blessing.”
After it was all over, fireworks shot into the sky from the roof of the school, and the crowd burst into applause.
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