Homecoming has become a longstanding tradition for High Schools across the United States. It often is built around a football game and includes a dance or rally. But why is it celebrated?
Homecoming originally comes from college football games where the school alumni are ‘invited home’. Football would be the center of attention, with a rally or dance to build up hype and get the student body more interactive.
Baylor University, Northern Illinois University, and the University of Missouri are believed to have held the first homecomings, with nobody being able to verify that they hosted the first. The University of Missouri has set the standard model of what homecoming is today.
Mrs. Meade of Davis High School says that the faculty lunch-in where previous faculty and alumni are invited back is the best part, but what is the biggest event at homecoming?
“The football game should be the biggest thing, the dance does overshadow just a little bit, but the game should be the central focus. I do love that all of the alumni come back to that game.” Says Meade.
Meade also says that she “love(s) the atmosphere and the unity” during the week. This of course revolves around the game at the end of the week, but the dance seems to be making a larger influence now.
“I think the dance can sometimes overshadow the football game due to the amount of planning that must go into a dance from finding a group, getting the day date and dinner planned, then getting a good outfit put together, and finally going to the actual dance” says Davis High student Ashton Bond.
Homecoming and Prom are different, but the gap between is shrinking and the importance of the homecoming dance is growing. This may be because a dance is able to attract a more diverse population of students over the football game.
Meade states, “The football game is typically the biggest event, but the dance does sometimes rival it and that’s too bad.”
Bond also says, “If the football game is not the center of attention it is bad. It not being the center of attention can upset the football players which seem to almost mediate the whole homecoming dance.”
It is unfortunate to see the original traditions of the event being challenged in the way seen today, but regardless, homecoming has rooted itself in the hearts of high schools across America and it is here to stay.